Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Healthy Diabetic.

I was at my local job centre today (yay for unemployment!) and I was going through the whole "About Me" process - qualifications, interests, skills, types of job I'm looking for - when we got to a section about health.

"Are you healthy?" The adviser asked me.

"Yes," I replied.

"Chronic conditions...no..."

"Actually," I interrupted, "I have type one diabetes."

"Oh...I just assumed that because you said you were healthy..."

"Well, I am healthy. I just have diabetes too," I explained, and not very well I might add.

And the rest of the session continued.

But the whole way home, my mind was still at that question, and how something like that is meant to be answered.

Image taken from Google Images.
As far as I'm concerned, I am healthy. I eat well, I exercise, I live my life just like the next person does. Yet I have a pancreas that refuses to produce insulin, causing me to live with this "chronic condition", this "disease".

But "chronic condition" or "disease" aren't terms you often put next to "healthy".

Most days, diabetes is nothing but background noise in my life: the humming of my pump as it delivers my bolus insulin, the beeping of my meter when I switch it on and test my blood sugar. Other days, it's centre stage, with numbers screaming for attention.

That's the thing about diabetes: it's fine - I'm fine - until it's not. And that "not" can be scary at times. It's a weird kind-of dance between seeming and looking fine, but having to deal with something pretty effing serious all the effing time. 

Yet, in spite of that fact, I've never considered it to be something that makes me unhealthy. If anything, it's made me healthier. (Ironic, I know.) I'm a lot more aware of my body. I eat better than I did pre-diabetes, and I've come a long way in terms of exercise since I nervously went to my first exercise class last October.

Yes, my body is broken, in that it doesn't produce insulin, leaving me with this disease known as type one diabetes. But, dammit, I'm healthy, and I will continue to take steps to remain as healthy as I can be. 

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