Sitting in a cold exam room, I scanned the numbers on the printout lying on the sheet-covered table. Seeing that my A1C was below 5, I asked my endocrinologist when, if ever, I could actually say I’d beaten diabetes and am no longer diabetic. She smiled and said, “Now.”
This is why I had surgery. This is why I took the path of ease (and that some called a radical path). I’d eaten my way into diabetes, and I was determined to eat my way back out. I did it to save my life. I did it to be healthy. I did it because I didn't want this disease to render me blind, or numb, or without a digit or an appendage. I did it because of all the things that I absolutely can't do anything about, I had a way to do something about this. And I took that easy way. Beating diabetes was always the end game--my audacious goal.
And I’ve done what I set out to do. I can’t even begin to tell you what this feels like. It’s absolutely on par with learning, last summer, that I have a super-healthy heart. This news today was so big and I was so very giddy, that I almost missed the fact that all my other labs were wonderfully normal, too.
As for why I asked that question, it was because I’d heard this--that one actually never beats it. I’d heard that it’s always just over there somewhere, waiting to come back. I’d heard that it’s much the same as the belief (held by many people in the world of addiction), that addicts can never be free of the addiction—but will always be "in recovery."
I know it can come back, the diabetes. But in the same way that I can get a cold, get well, and not spend the rest of my life calling myself a “recovering cold-haver,” I can get on with my life and only call myself diabetic if I get the disease again.
If. Not when. A lovely distinction, that.
For now, and possibly the rest of my life*, I’m free.
*I'm thinking uber positively about this!