Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adapt or Die

I recently read an article written by NPR that described how many people have diabetes now (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) compared to 1995.  

1995 statistics

2000 statistics

2005 statistics

2010 statistics

The article failed to mention if they were including all types of diabetes, but I assume they were.  However, I am more interested in see pictures that show the trend of type 1 diabetes in the United States in the past 15+ years.  Although I did find this stat:

I think it is safe to say that all types of diabetes are on the raise.  Personally, I find this disturbing.  Although type 1 and 2 are very different, the core of the disease is the same.  However, how the person got it and when is most like different.  

Being a type 1 diabetic, my pancreas stopped producing insulin when I was 4.  It most likely produced a little insulin for a month or two after my diagnosis, but not a drop since.  There is nothing I can do about it, as my pancreas cannot be magically hooked up to a machine and be revived, even if I wish that would happen.  It is dead, and has been for many, many years.  

I often think about what my life would be like without diabetes.  It is hard to imagine, as all of my memories growing up and into adulthood involve diabetes to some extent.  I literally do not know what it is like to live without having diabetes.  It is a life I have always known. 

I've heard for the past few years that "a cure is close."  However, I don't fully believe it.  I do not doubt that people are working incredibly hard to try to cure the disease, but that takes time.  Typically, lots and lots of time.  Not days, or weeks, but years and decades.  

I cannot rely on a cure anytime soon.  As my sister once said, "everyone must adapt or die."  It is true - I have adapted to having diabetes and have not died.  As I try new and different things, I continue to adapt.  

I wish people in the United States would adapt and live healthier.  Eating a relatively healthy diet and exercising just a little bit go a long way.  Most people can control if they get type 2 diabetes, or if they do have it, if they need to take insulin for it.  

In the distant future, I hope to adapt to life without diabetes.  

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