Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hope for a Cure

Thursday was the International Diabetes Federation’s international Hope for a Cure day. They ran an initiative in which you write HOPE on your hand if you or someone you love has been affected by diabetes.

It was a very difficult day for me. The thing about living with type 1 diabetes is that it is ubiquitous in my life. There’s no break from it, there’s no time when I’m not dealing with it in some form. I’m literally chained to my insulin pump, which is only disconnected when playing sports or swimming, my tester and a juice box follow me everywhere I go and any time my blood sugar is high or low I can physically feel the effects of the disease on my body.

When you live with a disease that is so pervasive in your life, hoping for a cure isn’t something you can do on a daily basis because it will tear you apart. There are no words to describe how much I want- no, need- a cure, and I wouldn’t stay sane if I thought about it all the time. I know any type 1 diabetic reading this right now feels the exact same. But anyone who suffers any sort of life-changing disease knows the feeling. Hope isn’t something that can be felt on a daily basis. Hope is something that is felt when you’re at the end of your rope, when you just cannot deal with the disease anymore and you feel helpless. That’s when you hope for a cure, hope for a second chance at health, because it’s the only emotion that can see you through those really tough times.

Having a Hope for a Cure day brought up all those tough emotions that I associate with hope at a time when I hadn’t been feeling them. As humans, we naturally like to feel we have control over our lives, and I think that’s why I find the helplessness of living with an auto-immune disorder so upsetting. Nothing I can do can change the fact I am a type 1 diabetic, and so, when there’s nothing left that can be done, the only thing in my power left to do is hope.

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