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A Love Letter to My Diabetes

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My darling diabetes,

We’ve come a long way, you and I. Can you believe it’s already been 13 years? Time sure flies. But let’s face it: we were bound to be together. We can say it was all right there in the stars like a predetermined strand of DNA. Or maybe it was just the way the universe always knew it was going to be, like a quickly arranged teenage marriage. But let’s admit it: our relationship was destiny.

Remember how young we were when we began? Though not too young, I suppose. I’ve seen other family members get swept off their feet at a much younger age than I did. And I’ll admit, I tried to play the field a little before you came around. I flirted with the chickenpox and strep throat, even hung out with mononucleosis for a summer. But those others were just passing through; you were in it for the long haul.

I remember the courtship so vividly. You were always so kind — if not persistent — making sure I was drinking glass upon glass of orange juice each night to keep my vitamin c up, and insisting I never pass a restroom without first using it, even if I had just gone. You even made sure I always got a few extra hours of sleep and that I never ate too much.

Some may say we have an unhealthy relationship and that you may be a little too aggressive at times. Like when you violently shake me out of a deep sleep and force me to stick a needle in my finger at 3 a.m. Or when I go for a long run only to have you waiting at the finish line demanding that I eat all the calories I just burned if I want to stay conscious. Your abuse is no secret to others, either. They can see the scars you leave on my fingertips, my abdomen, my hips.

But even certain dark things are worthy of love, don’t you think? It was you, after all, who started to give my life direction. It was you who helped me to love myself and showed me the importance of treating my body like a temple. It was you, with your unwavering determination to keep me down, that awakened the strength within me to keep me getting up. You taught me patience, a great deal of math, and a tolerance for pain. Nobody took such an intimate interest in my well-being before you.

We’ve had our ups and downs, and I can only hope that we’re only just beginning, that our relationship carries on this way for years and years to come. I promise to keep being respectful of your presence if you promise to keep being respectful of my undying efforts. Because as bad as you may be for me, the truth is that I just can’t quit you — no matter how badly I might want to.

Forever yours,

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Thinkstock image by oleshkonti

Originally published: February 17, 2017
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