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Don’t You Dare

November marks Diabetes Awareness Month and there will be all sorts of activities going on… T1 Day, The Big Blue Test, World Diabetes Day, blogs and events galore.

I haven’t been around on-line much lately, just to many things going on and honestly?  I’ve feeling exceptionally cynical about most things so I decided to just keep my mouth shut, for once anyhow.

But I wanted to participate somehow, so I finally settled on trying to leverage my cynicism to write something that someone might actually find useful.  So here goes…

For those of you not familiar with my background,  I have two kids, two cats, a career, bills, taxes… all the usual stuff.  I have also been a Type 1 Diabetic for over 40 years, with my only real complication being hypoglycemic unawareness.  Toss in a little clinical depression and viola, here I am.  Now, most people out in the wilds of our world don’t realize what type of commitment it takes to live a day with diabetes, let alone decades.

And of those who do understand or at least have an inkling have been known to ask me “You must really work hard at it.  How do you do it?” like they are looking for a magical formula on how to turn lead into working beta cells.  Normally, I just say that “I just work at it the best I can today.  Some days I do it better than I do on other days”

But the truth of the matter is that I ignored it for the most part.

For nearly 40 years, I was alone in it. Struggling with negative thinking where feeling miserable was normal.  Some sort of a cruel joke being played on me because, by golly, I was supposed to be dead 30 years ago.   At least that is what I learned when I was 7.  I learned I’d be lucky to see college.

So why am I still here?  I refuse to believe I am cursed any more so that pretty much narrows it down to God’s Grace or blind luck on the roll of the ol’ genetic dice.

I once met a doctor at a JDRF function where the conversation went pretty much like this:

Her:  What’s your connection to diabetes?

Me:   I’m a type one.

Her:  Really?  How long?

Me:   40 years

Her:   No complications?  You’ll be a medalist (referring to the Joslin 50-year medal)

“You’ll be a medalist” was just stated like it was fact.   And I was struck by how many people won’t be.  People who are working at it a lot harder than I was.

I normally don’t share all that with folks I’m just having casual diabetes related chats with.  If it gives them some hope that they can do it as well, then I’m all for faking it.  So what am I getting at here?  Do the best you can today.  Learn from yesterday and tomorrow isn’t here yet.

But most importantly?  You can do this but don’t you dare do it they way I did.


Today’s snarky comment:  If you are doing it like I did, I will hunt you down just to kick your butt… and steal your bacon.

©2011 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and
  • Mike Hoskins

    Great post, Scott. Thanks for sharing this. I echo your sentiment, and refer people to those others who simply MUST have done things better than I…. Nice job leveraging the cynicism, too.

  • Patrick McConnell

    Hi Scott, Great Post, very insightful, Thank you…

  • Sara Knicks

    I feel like I’ve been leaving a lot of quotes around lately, but your post made me think of my all time favorite quote related to diabetes.

    “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 
    — Maya Angelou

  • shannon

    woah, yeah, huh. i can somewhat relate (it’s not the same at all but), my mom passed away when she was 44 and i was 20, so for many many many years, i was convinced i would die young as well. but after i had my kid, i realized, hey, maybe i’ll be around for a while, and that’s pretty rad. so anyway. thanks for sharing.

    you’ll be a medalist!

    • Shannon,

      I’m honestly much more interested hearing that you’ve realized you’re going to be here for your family than I am in a medal


  • do the best you can TODAY. thank you for reminding me of that. one day at a time.

    love you!

  • Love this post Scott.  Very honest and moving, and I can totally relate.  Give or take a decade… 🙂

    • lol… you’ll be here soon enough it’s all downhill after 40… /wink

  • But I don’t eat bacon… (I’m trying my best anyway :-P)

  • I needed this today. Thank you, Scott.
    (Guess I’d better go hide my bacon….)