Diabetes is pretty shitty right. Off the top of your head, if I asked you to name a positive of diabetes you might be pretty hard pressed to do so right? Well, actually, there may be a few.
It turns out there are diabetics everywhere who have found some metaphorical silver linings to this big, insulin filled, very stormy cloud. Of course, no one is suggesting these things make having diabetes ok, or are worth getting diabetes for. But, they’re at least a positive part of what is, for the most part, a pretty rough, lifelong disease.
This page is all about just that, what real diabetics see as potential upsides of their diabetes diagnosis. It’s got real quotes from real people, a few other ‘perks’ I could think of and a useful resource or 2 for UK diabetics that may be looking for support.
So, let’s get straight into what our fellow diabetics see as the best diabetic perks.
This is easy for me. I have made some lovely new friends, met people I would never have known without this. I have grown in confidence and moved towards actively doing more to help others through various things
Ride access pass at theme parks!
Work is absolutely heaving “Zoe, you must have a break” oh go on then…….
A far greater understanding of physiology and diet and loads of super fun tech
Free prescriptions for life!!
Telling my hubby that I’ve already taken insulin to cover the chocolate so he can’t steal some xx
Since being diagnosed 4 years I would say I’m probably a lot healthier as I’m much more aware of food and eat much healthier than before ..the biggest plus for me is I stopped smoking as soon as I found out ..never touched a cigarette since
Had e-coli poisoning. It caused DKA so got me into the hospital where despite the usual incompetent crap you get as type 1 I was treated. A girl, younger than me also was infected she doesn’t and didn’t have diabetes. She had the vomiting too but was told to go home and take paracetemol and come back in a week. She deteriorated, was in a coma for a long time, kidney failure and had to learn to walk and talk again. She’ll never fully recover. Thank you diabetes. I was in hospital 5 days.
Getting to bring hand luggage onto the plane because it contains insulin, when they tell other people the cabin is full so they have to check it in
It made me look at my life in a whole new perspective… dont get me wrong, it took some time from diagnosis but overall life seems more important and I appreciate the finer things much more than I did before. X
I lied that I had a hypo at least once a day in high school. Mostly maths. Me and my friend would make a plan to say I was having a hypo she would come with me we would walk past the other classes and wave to other friends in their classes hahahahaha
It made me conscious about healthy eating as a kid. Im very aware of my body and when something is wrong. That saved me having very bad repercussions from appendicitis. It might have even saved my life. I don’t believe for a second I would have those if I wasn’t diabetic
Having the toilet pass when I was in secondary school
When I was young at school and I wanted a biscuit I would pretend I felt low and eat lol
I think it’s made me healthier. I was diagnosed age 7 so dont really remember life before diabetes but I work hard at keeping healthy because of it
Probably being more aware of my body and how it works etc, its really interesting learning about nutrition etc
An excuse to eat loads of sweets at 3am
Being able to use it to stand up for other diabetics. Whether that’s helping getting them equipment/medication they’re entitled to, giving them information when their team haven’t bothered or anything else. I wish I could become a diabetes consultant to be able to help from a professional standpoint but I don’t have the patience nor the brains to become a general consultant first
My other half getting up with the kids in the morning if I hypo in the night
So silly and some people may not agree with it but sometimes if I need a mental health day from work or I’m burnt out I’ll use my diabetes as a reason. Or if I am cancelling plans and don’t want to seem like an a**hole! However in my defence there’s been plenty of occasions where I’ve had to drop out of things because my diabetes has been playing up, so I may aswell use it to my advantage every now and then!
I’m a lot more outgoing, met a lot of new friends, and learnt a lot more about caring for myself!
It’s made me stronger but more laid back I think, I drive my friends mad with how calm I am, my favourite line ‘has it happened yet?’ Nope ‘so chill till it does & then we deal’
Think it’s made me able to cope with a lot more stresses. You’ve kind of got to suck it up or die, so if you can do that, you can deal with a hell of a lot else. That’s a positive, I swear…
I quite like the regular check ups and blood tests. I hope that if I had anything really nasty it would be picked up on early. Plus doctor appointments mean I avoid getting up early for work and get a bit of a lie in. The drive to eat healthy food and lead a healthy lifestyle. I became vegan partly due to T1 but would probably eat biscuits and pizza if I wasn’t.
I would probably be really fat and unfit. I started exercise, stopped smoking, cut down my drinking, sorted my diet all because of type 1. I learnt about my circadian rhythms and sometimes I know I m getting unwell before I feel symptoms because my sugar is all over.
Other Type One Diabetes Benefits/Perks
Unlimited Mobile Phone Access
There are certain places in the world where you are told you’re not allowed your phone. This may be in class, or at the dinner table or maybe at some sort of event. But what about when that phone is a crucial lifesaving device?
You best believe you’re going to be allowed to take it with you. So next time your exaccerbated with putting your blood sugar results into your phone remember that you’ll be having the last laugh when you’re at that art exhibition and can take some sneaky photos by pretending your blood suagr is going low.
Unlimited Snack Access
Much like the mobile phone access there are places and times where people have restricted access to snacks. However, if you’re diabetic these rules just don’t apply.
Not allowed to bring food into a concert? Well, I am because if I don’t I could die! People have an issue with you taking your own snacks into a festival? Erm, they shouldn’t once you explain your life depends on having access to it. Someone bitching and moaning about you trying to take a packet of biscuits or 2 into an exhibition? Not as much as they’ll bitch an moan if you keel over into one of the exhibits because you did have access to said biscuits.
Now, this isn’t something I have tried myself but often, where you want to take snacks you may also want to take your own alcohol. There are 2 ways that diabetes can help with that:
- Smuggling it in plain sight: “Yes I do need that big bottle of coke to keep my sugars up!” (The fact it’s half coke half rum has nothing to do with anything!)
- Relaxed searches: “Oh come on you’ve already been through my insulin kit and snack bag, surely you’re not going to go through all of my rucksack as well” (Good, because I’ve got half a litre of vodka right at the bottom that I would really rather keep)
Mood Get Out Of Jail Free Card
In a bad mood because of your diabetes? That’s alright, you can’t help going through ups and downs in your mood when your blood sugar is, well, going up and down.
Just in a bad mood? That’s also alright, because you can just blame it on your blood sugar and get away with it for the next few minutes with little to no judgement being passed on you.
Honestly, next time your mate is being annoying why not tell them exactly how you feel? If they take it badly quickly backpedal and say it’s because of your blood sugar and watch them forgive you almost immediately.
Of course, this doesn’t go as far as making racial slurs as one college basketball announcer has incredibly this weekend tried to blame a racist outburt on his high blood sugar!
I’ve mentioned this a few times in a few different ways on this blog but it’s worth reiterating here. If 2 people are identical in every way, and have shared exactly the same life experiences, but one has diabetes and the other does not, I would argue that the diabetic one has a far better awareness of the inherent challenges and struglles life can throw at both themselves and others.
Type one diabetes is a never ending and constantly evolving battle and it teaches you a great amount about yourself and those around you as well. So next time it’s got you on your knees remember that it has also taught you the strength to get back up off them many times before.
What Is My Single Biggest Diabetic Perk?
For me, I would have to say that the single biggest positive of my type one diabetes diagnosis has been my increased awareness and understanding of both my body and how it works and also the challenges that others may be experiencing in their life without anyone being aware.
Diabetes has forced me to educate myself on all sorts of aspects of health and bodily function that I had no grasp of before and probably would never have understood otherwise. In turn, this has led to me making more of the right decisions for my health in general, not just for the correct management of my diabetes.
Developing a ‘hidden disease’ of my own has also forced me to understand and appreciate more about the unknown and unseen challenges people all around me are no doubt battling every day. Just becuase a person looks fine it doesn’t mean that they are. This is something I always appreciated but it wasn’t until I was battling some invisible challenges of my own that I truly appreciated how easy it is for things like that to go unnoticed.
I’m not for one second suggesting that any of the above is worth getting diabetes for but, as the old saying goes, every cloud does have a silver lining and these are some of diabetes.
Finally, if you’re really struggling due to diabetes here’s a couple of resources that include helpful benefits including financial assistance for those severely impacted by diabetes :