By: Meagan Esler
If you have type 1 diabetes, you probably know that you’re in it for the long haul. No diet, nutrition, or exercise plan is getting you out of this one. Our only hope for a life without insulin injections is a cure. It’s a wonderful idea, but I’m not holding my breath.
I frequently hear people in the diabetes community describe how often they’ve been told that a cure is “only five or ten years away.” Friends and family are always forwarding me news about diabetes cure breakthroughs. They’re exciting and I appreciate them, but they are always in trial stages. While there do seem to be a lot of cured mice, the “cures” are never in the human treatment stage.
After nearly 18 years of diabetes, a cure seems as much a fantasy to me as winning the lottery and vacationing with Bret Michaels on a tropical island. I realized a few years ago that I needed to focus on accepting my diabetes and not rely on the frequent rumors of a cure.
Of course, if a cure should ever present itself, I want to be in good shape to accept it. I try to remain healthy as the years pass by. I was careless at times when I was young and felt invincible. I never really worried about complications until I got a little older and had a few more years of life with diabetes under my belt. I think about complications now, though, and I want to stay as healthy as possible.
If they don’t cure us during our lifetime, we have to focus on what we do have. We have each other. There is a place for every single one of us in the various diabetes groups, be it online or local. We have technology that gives us easier and better care year after year, and we have more flexibility with our diet than ever before. When I was diagnosed, it was all about limitations, but now I can count my carbs and take my insulin without worry when I want something sweet.
In all honesty, I sometimes dare to dream about the day they cure diabetes. I’d love nothing more than to be here to see it. I’ll continue to donate and fundraise for a cure because, more than anything, I hope that someday it becomes a reality. But for now, even without a cure, my life is good, despite the multiple daily injections, despite the low and high blood sugar extremes and the mood swings that generally accompany them. Life is good despite my diabetes, and when “D” really gets me down, I’m thankful that I have you to lean on.