Am I Diseased?

Posted on January 13, 2012


Disease: A condition of the living animal or one of it’s parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms. Merriam Webster Free Dictionary.

Hmmm..Normal functioning? What is “normal”? Who is “normal”? Who definies “normal”?

It depends on how you look at it. Medically speaking, there are tests which require results to fall within a normal range to be qualify as “normal”. I get that. There has to be some sort of measure for physicians to use when treating a patient and disease.

And I guess I even undertand how “normal” functioning can relate to my islet cells not producing enough insulin. Diabetes (a condition) is impairing the normal functioning of my islet cells which results in my body not having enough insulin. And then this leads to very distinguishable signs and symptoms like weight loss, fatigue, thirst, high blood sugars, etc.

All of this makes sense to me. BUT….I still do not like the word DISEASE. It seems harsh and negative. Problematic. Without (dis) comfort (ease). Hard. Difficult.

I am a diabetic. Of 39 years. And over the years, I have been told numerous times that I have a disease or live with a disease or manage my disease and the list goes on. The other night, my mom sent me an email saying she was proud of how I lived with my disease. I don’t think anyone intentionally is trying to hurt me by using the word disease, it just pops out.

Yet, I prefer not to use the word disease. That’s just my choice.

I hear the word condition a lot too. And while I think it sounds better than disease (less harsh), I still question it a little.

condition: a usually defective state of health. Merriam Webster Free Dictionary.

Defective state of health? In all honesty, I guess my islet cells are defective, but defective reminds me of disease. Focusing on the negative once again.

What if we were to take the negative connations of diabetes, disease, condition, etc., and turn them into something positive? A way we want to live our lives with diabetes or any other disease for that matter. What if? Why not?

So, with this is mind, I developed two words that I like to use when talking about my diabetes.
1. lifestyle: diabetes is a lifestyle for me. It is a way of living. And I can make it a positive

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