Yesterday I attended the Diabetes Expo at the South Towne EXPO Center in Sandy, UT. I would love to tell you about all the amazing things that I saw……….but to be honest we only made it down 2 isles. Then we spent the next 4.5 hours talking about Diabetic Alert Dogs. I have to tell you I think I may have found my true calling in life!
Sometimes living with diabetes makes you feel rather alone. You really can’t eat all of what other people without diabetes eat. You really do have to pay a lot of attention to health matters. You really do need to have a plan for just about everything. No matter how bad you want it…….you really are a little different from everyone else.
This quote is from the Deseret News in Salt Lake City and is rather sobering: “Some 500 Utahans die from diabetes each year, and 124,000 residents have the condition, according to the Utah Department of Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Another 45,000 are believed to be diabetic but don't know it yet.” (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/0,5143,705287451,00.html) According to the US Census Bureau the population of UT is about 2.8 million. Math is not my strong suit but that means about 6 percent of the population has this disease and what is scary… is it is growing. Why can’t a cure be found????
Anyone diagnosed with this disease has a story. My story is that while I was formally diagnosed as a type 2 in 2000….my body has never responded as a type 2. I did the diet thing, I watched what I ate, I exercised, I was put on medications that didn’t help and I saw the dietician. I listened and took what I could…but what I learned is that diabetes affects each person a little different and there is no end all solution. I learned if you are outside the typical bell curve with a disease it is hard to get answers! I gave up on the medical profession and decided to “do it by myself”. I read everything I could get my hands on and made many changes…but it wasn’t enough. Last September I started on insulin and recently went on an Insulin Pump. Diabetes is a disease that is always and ever changing. Each day I reevaluate how I am doing and whether changes need to be made. Slight changes can have big consequences. A friend was telling me her 3 year old granddaughter has diabetes…and she announce to everyone the other night…that she “didn’t want to have diabetes no more….to take it away”. How do you respond to that???? I don’t want it no more either! However, better me than one so small!
Honestly, I hope and pray for a cure. However, the cynical side of me says it won’t happen. Too much money is being made off of diabetics. I don’t mind paying my own way but when you have to choose between basic necessities and medical care isn’t enough ENOUGH? When your health insurance exec makes 24 million a year and the same company refuses claims based on “you exceeded your $2500 durable medical goods”. Good grief!
I have a disease that makes me mad…I have had medical professionals that made me mad…I have an insurance company that makes me mad…that is a lot of mad. For me, I can either remain mad or I can do something about it…but what????
I have to find a purpose, a reason to keep fighting this….yesterday I think I might have found it…at the Diabetes Expo. I found it in hearing the countless stories of others who wanted to know more about Diabetic Alert Dogs or who just simply wanted to pet my dog! I am not sure how it is going to look exactly…but I know my love and knowledge of dogs, my love and knowledge of people, and my HATE for this disease is somehow going to come together to be used for good….to help others.
While I may not have seen much of the Expo…………I sure found a lot of myself!