Would You Choose Diabetes?

If you had the chance to go back in time and chance your diagnosis, would you still choose to have diabetes or not?

This is a bit of a strange question, because the obvious, instinct-answer would be 'yes.'

However, after giving it much thought myself, I think I have come to the resolution that diabetes has improved and helped me more than it hurt. I think if I had the choice, I would still choose diabetes because it gives me the opportunity to help cure a disease that involves countless people. I discovered a piece of myself with shots, a new, different confidence that I wouldn't have found if I hadn't had to deal with poking myself with needles. On the one hand, while I would love more than anything to eat, sleep, live, and exercise freely again, as they say 'the right choice isn't always the easiest.' And I would choose having this amazing insight and ability to help others that are hurting over the same thing I am over not being diabetic any day.

What would you choose?

ive thought about this for a very long time. since my diagnosis, five years ago. and i still think i would say no, i dont want it. because it ruined my life for so long. this is the first year ive been truly happy, and i think that without diabetes i would have been happier.

i dont know. maybe it would have been different.

You are a very good person.

No. I wouldn't choose it. And if I didn't have the recollection of having been diabetic (not sure if that's an option in your suggestion) I would hope that I would still be a concerned enough person to want to do things for others.

But no. I wouldn't be. 

I'm very committed to my career, and work in a field that I chose before diabetes. The only thing I would give up my career for would be a cure. Period.

Interest question. Thanks for posting it.

It is so hard to find the words to explain what I am thinking! It goes so much deeper than I will ever be able to express to everyone.

Basically, I want to say that I do agree in a way because I used to wish I could change this myself, and was just about reading to give up anything to achieve a fix for the disease. But lately I have found such opportunity to help "the greater good" in all of this that I don't ever want to loose it. The longer I was diabetic, the deeper I pondered the matter. And even more so, the more convinced I was that I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world.

Personally, I don’t think diabetes has ‘ruined’ or ‘hindered’ my life all that much in the long run. Really I have come out such a better person, and that is all that matters in the end.

Diabetes has given me such a larger perspective of what is really important to me, and helping my fellow-diabetics through it is first priority next to taking care of myself. I never would have met any of these great people on Juvenation if I turned back time; I never would have been concerned about diabetes at all. Before I was diagnosed I didn’t give the disease a second thought; I knew it was there, but because it didn’t directly affect me, I didn’t look for ways to help all those people it did impact.

I wouldn’t trade these last years for anything; not for the chance to eat without counting carbs, a night without waking up, or a day without diabetes.

I am stronger than diabetes. I can handle it for as long as it takes. But the world can't, and I like to think that I can help so that we are, and so that we can cure diabetes. This may be a strange of foreign opinion to everyone else; I just think I'd rather keep the millions of experiences and everything I've gained than give away a single disease.

Alyssa, you are awesome.

I feel the same exact way.  I am applying to medical school and I'd like to share my "personal statement" with you.  A personal statement is basically how you explain to medical schools "why you want to be a doctor".

Although some nights began with her screaming "You're trying to poison me", they would often end with "Matthew, you are the same angel I took care of when you were just a baby." I would tend to her with a glass of water and a sleeping pill used especially for those suffering from dementia. Sometimes she would take the little pill and go back to sleep, but other times she would become so confused that she would assume that I was trying to poison her. Before learning about the stages of Alzheimer's disease during my internship at Banner Alzheimer's Institute, it was difficult for me to avoid becoming emotionally hurt caring for my great-grandmother when she accused me of poisoning her. Fortunately when I would help her shower in the morning after some of those long nights of confusion, she would always look at me and know that I was the same baby that she once cared for so my mother could attend college. Helping my great-grandmother through some of the startling aspects of Alzheimer's disease was one of the first experiences I had that interested me in obtaining a career in the health care field.

Looking back on the year I cared for my great-grandmother, I realize that it is the single most valuable life experience I have had. At age eighteen I was just starting college; thus, my spare time was spent moaning about all of the homework I now had and causing mischief with my friends from high school. Although I entered my first year of college an immature teenager without a job or any direction, I departed as a dedicated student. If it weren't for the fortunate opportunity to care for my great-grandmother, I am certain that I would not be in the position that I am today preparing for medical school. Caring for her has influenced me to be kind to everyone I meet, cherish the good health that I have, and be optimistic in every situation I encounter. I would not have reacted in the positive way that I did on January 6th, 2006 if it weren't for the lessons I learned from my great-grandmother. It was on that day when they told me I had developed type 1 diabetes mellitus.

One of my closest childhood friends had type 1 diabetes mellitus since I had met him, and I had always assumed that he had needed injections since he was born. I remember thinking about how strange it was that he needed injections for a problem that he had with tolerating the consumption of sugar. I also remember thinking about how happy I was that I was not born with such a tragic disease. Being a child I wondered, "How could anyone bear to worry about their intake of sugar?" I allowed my misconceptions regarding the disease to pervade my understanding until that day in January, that day when my doctor told me that I needed to go to the hospital for the emergent treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. At that moment I abandoned my ignorance regarding my best friend's disease state, as for a brief minute I felt like I was being punished for my complacency. From that day forward I decided that there was nothing that I wanted more than to understand, educate, and help treat those suffering from poor health status.

I have exemplified my dedication to this cause by becoming involved in some of the organizations that are dedicated to fighting the complications of diabetes and one day finding a cure for it. After spending a lot of time browsing through the web pages of the American Diabetes Association, I decided that I did not merely want to be a recipient of the weekly newsletters but also an active player in the ADA's cause. My first opportunity to achieve this was to volunteer at the Diabetes Expo. I corresponded with the activity coordinator and provided my entire day to help with check-in, applications for pre-diabetes risk tests, and many other tasks. Later that year I decided that I wanted to give more than just time to the cause and decided to lead a JDRF walk-for-the-cure team as the captain. Our team raised just enough money to be considered for the grand prize, which unfortunately we didn't win. I was most impressed that my friends and family showed the amount of support that they did; it helped me realize that they were rooting for my cause as much as I was striving to support the cause of the ADA.

Since I will complete my baccalaureate from Arizona State University in human nutrition in December of 2008, I am eager to utilize the practical applications of my knowledge. Some of the major opportunities I have sought out to demonstrate my desire to become a doctor are volunteerism at a nutritional rehabilitation clinic in Peru, employment as an emergency operator working with doctors at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, and internship at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute shadowing two neurologists. Working with these doctors I felt that perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the role of a physician is the hands-on nature of the job; the effects that a physician can have on each patient are often immediately apparent. I hope that one day I can not only help people like me experience a drastic improvement in health status, but also affect patients in the same positive and life-changing manner that I was affected.

I know a lot of it is about taking care of my great-grandmother, but I can say if I never was diagnosed with a chronic disease myself than I wouldn't have cared for her illness as much as I did.

So, I agree with you.  I wish I didn't have to deal with the physical problems that diabetic patients have to, but if in choosing to never be diagnosed I was also stripped the immense emotional experience I have had then I would choose to have diabetes.

I agreed with every single thing you said ^^^!



Ive thot about this question many times over the past 6 years since i was diagnosed, and its not an easy question 2 answer, there is no simple answer.

Giving it ALOT of thot i would hav 2 say, yes. I kno this may sound harsh, but Diabetes pretty much ruined my life, it put me thru 3 years of severe depression, and even 6 years later Im still trying to cope and accept the fact that I hav this disease. Im grateful that getting diagnosed with this disease has given me a new perspective on life and that I hav discovered a new confidence in myself that I may not a hav found without getting diagnosed, but i wish there was an easier way that I could hav found out this other side of me. Im happy that being a Diabetic I can help other people on other levels that "normal" people may not be able 2, and that I hav a special bond with other Diabetics. But being a Diabetic is not an easy thing 4 me in any way. I feel like me being diagnosed Ive helped more of the people that surround me than myself, Ive given them advice and guidance on accepting who they are and yet I dont take that same advice and apply it to myself. I dont know why, Im just not ready to accept the fact that Diabetes is going to be a huge part of my life, even tho I know I will eventually hav to in order to stay healthy. Im glad that you hav found peace with your Diabetes, I just think I need an extra boost to help me find peace with mine.

Before my diagnosis, I was a punk teenager.  Nothing aside from taking care of my great-grandmother has affected me in such a positive as being diagnosed with diabetes.

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, I guess.  Just don't let it kill you!  ;-)


I know what you mean. Although I have come to terms with my diabetes, the only way to get there was through the diagnosis, and through the realization that this disease will be with me for the rest of my life. It is a hard fact, and a slam from reality; I recall feeling that "this is it," there was not anything for me besides diabetes.

I truly wish I knew what to say that could help you come to term with your diabetes. The disease hurts enough without having to feel depressed over it. A trick that may help you that I have used and focused on throughout my diabetes is my personal motto: "start strong, finish stronger." I, like many other diabets, went into this disease strong and ready to fight, not because I wanted to but because I needed to. I will come out of this disease even stronger; if that strength isn't a cure, then I can gurantee you it will be the tightest A1c and health I can acheive.

I hope you finish stronger, too. I didn't accept diabetes because I wanted to, nor was I diagnosed because I wanted to. These were simply things that had to happen. Don't let diabetes hold you back or get you down; you are strong enough to beat this disease, and everyone on Juvenation is here to help :)

Best of luck,


Mad Evans:

First of all, thank you so much for sharing you personal statement with me. I completely understand where you’re coming from and how you feel that these experiences have given you purpose and the inspiration to go into the medical field. I hope the application goes well and I bet you will be accepted. It really does take, in my opinion, a deeper understanding than most people have, which you obviously do. It is such a new experience for me to talk with people who understand (and agree!) with what I am talking about. It’s been a while since I’ve said something about diabetes, especially not wanting to chance having it :), and had the other person agree. It was a very refreshing response – thanks so much for posting.

- Alyssa

I would definitely choose diabetes again, the amount of good it brought in my life totally over rules the negativity it brought. It taught me so many lessons and really changed me for the better so I wouldn't change my diagnosis at all, even as crazy as it may sound.


No, I would never choose to have diabetes.  Because the truth is, it has limited me in what I feel capable of doing.  You know they say, "Don't let your diabetes control you, you control your diabetes."  But I think that was made up by people without diabetes because you can try and try to have perfect bloodsugar all the time and it just is never going to happen.  I've even stopped trying to picture what my life would be like without diabetes because it just gets me so upset. 

I don't have diabetes myself, but my 9 year old daughter does.  She was only diagnosed 7 months ago, but I thought I'd ask her this question.  She said she is glad she has diabetes.  I asked her why and she said because it makes her feel special. 

She isn't concerned with the foods she can't eat or having to have shots all the time, or pricking her finger numerous times a day.  None of it really has gotten to her.  She enjoys the attention she gets at this point.  Now will she have a different answer to the question when she's older?  Maybe, maybe not.  Having diabetes is her way of life now, and she lives in the now and not in the past.  I guess it might be one good thing to come from her diagnosis - that it came while she was very young.

I know that she also feels very connected to others that she knows that also has T1 - like Nick Jonas.  She absolutely LOVES him and it makes her feel better knowing someone famous like him goes through the same things she does.  And it hasn't slowed him down at all, which she notices. 

She really has a good outlook and I have to say I'm proud of her for it.  I will say that I didn't dwell on it like a lot of parents might, which might have rubbed off on her.  I was upset to hear the diagnosis, but right after I heard it, I asked, okay, what do we do now?  Like, we can't change it, how do we adapt to it?

Every day I wish I had it instead of her, but, I've said it many times, that she was meant to have this and she has totally accepted it.  I believe, in life, we are only given what we can handle.  She is able to handle it at this point and I only hope she will continue as she gets older.

I don't really know if I would take back my diagnosis. I am grateful to God for helping me live through an extremely high blood sugar. It hasn't really ruined my life. The first  few months were rough - adjusting to school nurse runs, shots, poking my finger. It has definitely made me a stronger person and I proved myself wrong by giving myself my first shot :)

I simply take care of myself. It's not hard to do and yeah, it sucks that I can't have as much desserts as everyone else but hey, I'm probably the healthiest one in the room at the point! At the same time, I really hate diabetes because it is a hassle for traveling...I have just discovered certain sites that work for me and because they dont kink as easily, they make my sugars perfect. However, I'm stil trying to get the old sites I have used up as I wait for my new sites to come in. These sites stink - they make my sugar high all the time and with each high I get horrible headaches and feel so freakin tired all the time. I hate highs and just want to cry some nights when I think about what life would have been like had I not had to worry about diabetes. Then I remember God thinks I am strong enough to handle it and that's why I was diagnosed. That always makes me feel better. In the long run, I don't think I would take away my diabetes. It has made me stronger, closer to God and I've met many new people and helped quite a few too.

I have come to terms with the fact that diabetes is just part of who I am.  I test my blood sugar, program boluses into my pump, change my infusion set every 3 days, deal with the highs and the lows, and I could do it all blindfolded.  But....

No, I would never choose to have diabetes.

I realize that being diabetic for the last 20 years has molded me into the person that I am today.  I know that it made me grow up faster, be a stronger person, and be more compassionate to others than I may have been otherwise.  I know that it has made me more aware of what I eat and how I live day to day that as a result have lead to healthier choices than I may have otherwise made. But I would be willing to trade that in if I could have grown up as a "normal" child.  I would be willing to trade that in to avoid the constant needles, uncertainty, depression, mental anxiety, fear of complications, shaky lows, nauseous highs that I experience today.  To go one day with no finger pricks, no needles, and no pump would be the most amazing thing...

(You got me on a bad day.... I have had a "rollercoaster" type day with my bloodsugars....I admire your optimism....)


I don't think I would ever choose to have diabetes, even tho I have a strong family history of the disease. I think that if you have diabetes, it becomes a part of your life.

As a parent no I would not choose this for my daughter. She would have grown up just fine without it. Would she have ended up the same person she will be? No but that doesnt mean the person she would have become would have been any less or more than she will be with D.

I always think about this.. and my answer is: Yes. I would still choose diabetes.

Diabetes doesn't necessarily define me, but it is a part of who I am, and has had such a huge impact on my life. It made me want to fight and become a stronger person. It made me want to choose a career in health care and help others with this disease. I once had a physician ask if I wanted a pancreatic transplant, and my answer was still no. I don't want to be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of my life; I want the CURE. I want to read the trials, testimonies and research developments. Diabetes has shaped me into an awesome person; I regret nothing.

I've had D for 33 of my 37 years, so being a little older gives me a different perspective.  While none of us would choose to have difficulty in our lives, that  is what develops our character and make us stronger people.  Diabetes has been a pain in the butt in many ways, but it has brought countless blessings into my life too. 

Good question! For me it is pretty simple. There is no way in hell I would ever keep diabetes. Diabetes certainly has provided me with many positive benefits, from those outlined in other posts, such as being a more considerate person, to some simpler things, such as having a step up on my classmates when it came to algebra (and other subjects in school). That being said, there is no way I would ever keep diabetes. Not even going into the problems I have had with diabetes, such as depression and anxiety issues, but what it has done to my family. My mother, still worries every night about diabetes, sometimes to a point where she can't sleep. My grandfather ended up in a hospital bed next to me after witnessing me seize and thinking I was dead. I have had girlfriends break up with me after not being able to handle it. I have had uncles and aunts go out of their way to visit me in the hospital. Simply for what diabetes has caused my family to do, I would never want diabetes for myself or anyone else. 

This is a very interesting question.  I've only been diagnosed for a year and a half but I would have to say in that year and a half there have been times I was glad I had diabetes and then there were times I wished it would just go away.  I've been with my husband for 10 years and he's been a diabetic for 20 years now.  I don't think I ever truly understood what he went through every day until I was diagnosed.  I feel like being diagnosed gave me insight that I never had before.  I also truly believe that things happen for a reason.  I may not always understand the reason why but I do believe they happen for a reason.  When I was 18 my father passed away after complications from back surgery.  I was devastated and didn't think I would be able to get through that.  However, it helped make me stronger and pushed me to pursue my dream of going to college.  It was difficult and hard at times but 6 years later I graduated college with a 3.9 GPA and an offer for a job at a top 4 accounting firm.  Then a year after I started my job I got diabetes.  Once again I was devastated and it was difficult but I made it through and I believe it made me stronger.  Just this past month I was hospitalized once again and diagnosed with epilepsy/seizure disorders.  This really hit me hard.  I felt like everything was just getting dropped on me and for the first time I felt like I could make it through.  I just wanted to give up.  I was done with shots, medicines and finger pricks.  However, I thought about everything and realized that I was strong enough to make it through this.  I remember laying in my bed and crying and just trying to figure out why all these things keep happening to me and I just thought about my Dad.  He had many medical problems before he died but he never gave up and he just kept pushing through.  This made me realize that I could get through too and that I although I wish I didn't have these problems I do honestly believe that I am strong enough to get through all of this.