trying to exist

When you learn diabetes has claimed another scalp. Sigh. I pondered whether to mention this but I think it is important. And people not worried about covid should read this. SOMETHING made my immune system attack itself when I was 6 years old and my immune system WON but failed to STOP. It went on to destroy the beta cells in my pancreas and thus I am type one diabetic. My immune system just went red rag to a bull. Injections daily for years. Now hooked up to a machine 24/7. Now we are only a HUNDRED years clear of the first type one diabetics surviving.

Before 1922 it was a 100% death sentence. No ifs or buts. So we are still learning about what this disease does. And the more we learn the more we realise that the immune system doesn’t stop. It becomes a bad partner in stopping things like the cold, flu, chest infections, or anything else and instead goes for other parts of the body. I knew this. I resigned myself to this. I follow in the footsteps of aunts and uncles who are type one. I saw them develop the ‘oh, yes, that is because you’re diabetic’ fist. Hypothyroidism. The next hormone based system your immune system doesn’t know to stop attacking. Suddenly your body can’t regulate or create thyroxine and you are so tired you can barely function. No biggy. Here is another prescription. If you’re diabetic you are 4X more likely to be depressed and anxious. Therapy and more pills for many. Myself included.

When I started to wake up with pins and needles in my hands I thought it was the start of nerve damage. Coming up 25 years of this disease….ah well I thought. I will adapt as it comes. Turns out no. After some recent blood work it is better….and worse. It is not nerve damage but it is my immune system going for something else. This time my red blood cells. I’m now deficient in vitamin B12 because I can no longer absorb it properly. The immune system wouldn’t settle its tea kettle. I don’t have answers as to how but I know I’ll be on more treatment for life. And why am I rambling. Ok. Because estimations put survivors of covid at between 1 in 4 or 1 in 10 to develop type one diabetes. And that is the info we have so far. So ‘everyone is gonna get covid’. Sure you survive. What then? Do you think your health care system can cope? I assure you it takes a lot of work to be a specialist in diabetes care. And if you live in a place like Scotland then you won’t get handed a pump. The rules will tighten. Injections are cheaper. Of course, if you live in a place where you pay, it is the 6th of January as I write this and people have already hit their two thousand dollar deductible on health care before insurance kicks in. Six days. My health care costs thousands. Tens of thousands a year. I am so lucky to live in Scotland but you have to consider how much pressure our system can take. How much YOUR health system can take. 1 in 4. 1 in 10. And that is just diabetes. Every time you go out and don’t follow the rules. Every time you think ‘it won’t be me’ you are playing Russian Roulette with your life and the odds are narrowing in your favour.

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