Very Old, Very Healthy Diabetic

...or die trying.
I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33 with NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes. I come from a diabetic clan. I even married a diabetic. Are you on the diabetes road, too?
This is my goal: to become a very old, very healthy diabetic by day to day choices regarding eating, exercise and medical management. Walk along with me...

Monday, September 04, 2006

A lot of living

I had to bring you this link to Gretchen Rubin's blog entitled The Happiness Project. This link is a post she wrote about tips she's gotten from reading memoirs about illness. I like Gretchen. I love her blog. I find it inspiring and interesting. (Plus, I think she's gorgeous, although I remind myself that she probably doesn't look that glamorous every minute of every day.) I think that many of her tips from that post apply to diabetes, although diabetes doesn't kill many of us as quickly as the diseases in the books she read.

Hey, does anybody know of a good memoir of living with diabetes? Either type?

I loved the third tip, which reads, in part, "A lot of living goes on in the course of dying." This is very true.

I think I learned this way back when I was in high school when my aunt Orlene, my mother's older sister, died of lung cancer. I don't know whether my mom said it to Orlene or whether Orlene said to mom, or whether my mixed up memory just attributes it to them, but one of them said that you LIVE until you die. You live with cancer for a long time before it kills you. You only actually die in that last moment when you die.

Orlene was a bright and loving woman. She did not smoke. She died around 1980 or 1981, or maybe 1982. She set aside a lovely ring to give to me at my high school graduation. I wear it on my left hand now. Orlene never had diabetes, since the cancer killed her while she was in her 40s. The death of Dana Reeve, with a similar quick fight, brought back a lot of memories about her and her illness for me this year. We miss Orlene. I wonder what marvelous things she would have done by now.

My mother's second husband also died of lung cancer. We miss Cliff.

My husband's mother died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in June 2005. She was diagnosed in the spring of 2003. She had bulbar onset ALS and it affected both her speech, her swallowing, and her cognition. We got to spend a lot of time with her, as she spent her last years. And yes, there is a lot of living to do in the process of dying. Or, perhaps, in the process of living with a terminal illness. We both got to be there as she breathed her last. We miss Karen.

And even if you're a health perfectionist, a marathoner who eats a raw organic vegan diet, everyone who is born and lives will die. Even if you took perfect care of your diabetes, you will not avoid death. I hope to avoid pain. I hope to avoid disability. I hope to extend useful, joyful life, for myself, and for others, right up until the moment that I die, no matter what the cause.

So, whether your diagnosis is diabetes or something more horrible, I urge you to do all the living you can, right up until you die. That's a lot of living. Don't miss a minute of it.

4 Comments:

  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger Minnesota Nice said…

    Lori,
    That is a wonderful site. I'm going to bookmark it. I always need to be reminded to enjoy the present. I think it was John Lennon who said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."
    I think I'll sit by the window tonight and listen to the crickets and reflect on that.
    Have a good week ahead.
    Kathy

     
  • At 6:36 PM, Blogger Lyrehca said…

    Some Type 1 D memoirs: Needles, by Andie Dominick, Sweet Invisible Body, by Sue Roney (I think), and Showdown with Diabetes, by Deb Butterfield. A part-memoir, part history, just out this fall, is Cheating Destiny, by James Hirsch. All are fascinating. And more of a how-to, but with lots of personal snippets, is When You're A Parent With Diabetes, by fab fellow blogger Kassie DeGregorio Palmer over at Noncompliant.

     
  • At 6:36 PM, Blogger Lyrehca said…

    Some Type 1 D memoirs: Needles, by Andie Dominick, Sweet Invisible Body, by Sue Roney (I think), and Showdown with Diabetes, by Deb Butterfield. A part-memoir, part history, just out this fall, is Cheating Destiny, by James Hirsch. All are fascinating. And more of a how-to, but with lots of personal snippets, is When You're A Parent With Diabetes, by fab fellow blogger Kassie DeGregorio Palmer over at Noncompliant.

     
  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger MileMasterSarah said…

    I just want to let you know that I really, really enjoy your calm and persuasive style in this blog. It is fabulous and I look forward to reading each post. I only found this blog a few days ago, but ya know, every once in a while you find someone who manages to be enjoyable enough to touch your heart. keep it up!

     

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