Disability Tax Credit Stories: Living with Diabetes
Diabetes – Disability or Opportunity?
This post was written by our ambassador, Debra Gold. Her experience with diabetes is one of inspiration and perseverance. Read about how she claimed her disability tax credit here.
Around 20 years ago I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. My husband was terribly upset with the diagnosis; however, I wasn’t. I looked at it as an opportunity to change my life. Even though diabetes ran in my family, I knew very little about it, other than having an uncle that died due to complication because of it. My doctor told me with some changes to my life style, I would live a normal life, in fact a long life.
So, I quit smoking… and anyone who’s smoked knows how difficult that is…..I’d rather give up food……and speaking of food, that was my kryptonite. I had to start eating properly and much healthier than before…..but I thought, “am I up for the challenge?”
I thought back to when I was a kid in the 60’s. I had a friend who was diabetic and how challenging life must have been for her compared to today. Back then there were no glucose monitors that could measure your sugar levels. All she had was her own judgement on how she felt to tell her if her glucose was too high or to low. In fact, she showed me how she injected her insulin by using an orange as her prop. She said when her blood sugar was too low she’d get shaky and her heart would race and she’d have to eat some chocolate to bring her blood sugar back to normal……eating chocolate, how bad could that be (remember I was only 13). It seems strange to me now that I would remember that experience with her…..maybe it was a warning of things to come.
For the most part, I’ve never looked at diabetes as a disability, but more like an inconvenience, and it doesn’t define who I am. I will be honest, there are some bad days, but everyone has bad days right? I just try to push through it. I do find it interesting if I’m having a meal with a friend that doesn’t know I’m diabetic. Their reaction when I excuse myself to take a needle, and the look on their faces is as if I just told them I have a week to live!
“Geez, I didn’t know, do you take injections?”
“How many times a day?”
“Why didn’t you ever tell us?”
I guess what I’m saying is most people make it a bigger deal than I do because diabetes is one of those diseases or disabilities that you can’t see.
So, I started to be more cognizant of what and how much I was putting in my mouth and I also started going to the gym. Slowly but surely, I started to lose weight.
Not only did I look better, more importantly I felt so much better. My knees stopped aching, my blood pressure was perfect and my attitude towards life in general was positive.
Being mentally fit is as important to me as being physically fit.
I never stopped doing the things I wanted to do before the weight loss. However, because of the weight loss, doing all of those things in life were much more enjoyable and I stopped making excuses to get myself out of doing something or going somewhere.
For me, a diabetes diagnosis was one of the best things that happened to me (except for my husband and my cat Coco).
Life with diabetes was my opportunity to live the life we all deserve to live……..
Debra worked as a Sales Executive in the tech industry for 16 years and 10 years as the V. P. of Purchasing in the computer industry. She’s travelled the world and spent 5 years living in the Middle East. Today she’s enjoying life day-by-day.
We’re always looking for people to share their experiences with any medical condition they have as they’re applying for the Disability Tax Credit. Oftentimes people don’t realize what others really go through when they say they live with Depression, Crohn’s, IBS, or Cerebral Palsy. We want to encourage discussion, break misconceptions, and share perspectives of those living with any medical condition.
If you’d like to contribute to Disability Tax Credit Stories, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!