Listening to John Denver while walking on the treadmill, I really heard the words to Rocky Mountain High, particularly the very first line:
He was born in the summer of his 27th year; coming home to a place he’d never been before.
Since just about everything reminds me in some way of diabetes, I started thinking about people who are diagnosed with diabetes and how different that experience would be at different ages. When younger children are diagnosed with diabetes, it really becomes their parents’ disease, at least for a while. It’s also easy to forget life before diabetes when you were diagnosed at a young age.
But what about young adults and adults? They have actually established a life and a lifestyle. They know what they like and what they’re used to doing. I sometimes wonder if there’s a better or even best time to get diagnosed, and I always say no, there isn’t.
The day someone finds out they have diabetes their life is changed forever. Even if they don’t have to make all that many changes, say, eating or activity-wise. Checking blood glucose, taking medications, and simply being aware of the effect every morsel of food has on our bodies is life-changing. Of course, that’s not even mentioning health care provider visits, cost, worry, etc.
John Denver was simply singing about finding a new place – Colorado – which changed his life forever. In many ways, having diabetes is like climbing the Rocky Mountains. And we certainly can experience that Rocky Mountain High (blood glucose), which I’m guessing is not quite as fun as the one JD was referring to.
We can take a lesson from that quintessential singer-man, though, and revel in every moment of this life we have. Manage the highs and lows and come out on top!