I never really liked being called a “survivor of diabetes”. To me, survivor implies that it is over. You survive a fire, car crash, falling off your roof. As I wrote my last entry, A Bitter-Sweet Experience, I started thinking about the saddening stories that are so prevalent with diabetes.
People who didn’t discover their condition until serious complications had already set in. People, who despite busting their butts, get complications anyway.
I deserve to have complications; there were so many years where I was not in control. Honestly, I should. But I don’t. Why not? No one knows, maybe my genetics include something that allows me to avoid micro-vascular damage, maybe it is just a cruel trick being played on me by <insert diety of choice here>.
What? Cruel? How could I think that? How can I not be grateful that I am so healthy after 4 decades? Well, the longer I live, the longer I have deal with this all day-every day D-crap and that is the reality of it.
Wow, those last two paragraphs were whiney; I’ll stop now as I actually wanted to talk about something else: Guilt.
There can be a lot of guilt associated with diabetes, almost all of it undeserved. I didn’t do anything to give myself diabetes and neither did my parents. I’m not perfect, so I don’t blame myself when I have a high or a low. I don’t feel guilty for not watching or even really caring about American Idol or Celebrity Apprentice, even though diabetics were in the finals of both shows. Now, if I wasn’t honestly taking care of myself, then I’d deserve some guilt because I am letting my family, friends and, most importantly, myself down.
I sometimes feel guilty though; a particular type of guilt and I am sure it is undeserved as all the others. At times, I feel survivor’s guilt.
When ever I hear of someone who is, despite their best efforts, having terrible complications, it makes me feel sad for them and thier families and at the same time, I feel guilty that I don’t. Will all of the children I saw at the JDRF walk outlive me or will I outlive some of them? Again, it comes back to “why me?” Why do I deserve to still be here?
Honestly, I think the answer is probably “why not you?” and I truly wish that answer applied to everyone