Hope and Healing
As noted in a story in the November 2013 issue of Diabetes Forecast, talking about diabetes complications is complicated.
We don’t want to needlessly scare people. We’ve learned so much about how controlling blood glucose significantly reduces the risk of complications*. Better detection methods—your dilated eye exams, regular foot checks, and urine samples to measure kidney function, just to name a few—help doctors spot any developing problems early. Tightening blood glucose control and various other treatment options can help prevent or delay more harm. Life-changing damage to eyes, hearts, brains, kidneys, nerves, and limbs is not the sad certainty it used to be.
When I hear of people celebrating decades free of diabetes complications—and at Diabetes Forecast, we hear that good news all the time—I cheer. Many of us, however, are dealing with health challenges. After more than 40 years with type 1 diabetes, I’m looking at you through mild retinopathy and early cataracts. I can beat myself up about having these signs. Or I can think of them as badges of courage, fueling my determination to manage diabetes to the best of my ability.
I’ve found inspiration in the words of the six people living with complications whom we profile in Living With Diabetes Complications. They bravely show us that patience, perseverance, and positive thinking—along with medical care—are essential components of our battle against diabetes.
Please don’t avert your eyes from complications—those of other people or your own—or from your dedication to avoiding them. Diabetes brings challenges, yes. Yet it also gives us even more reason to value hope and human dignity.
Kelly Rawlings, PWD** type 1
**Person with diabetes
* Read about the landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial.