Diabetes,  DSMA Blog Carnival,  Lessons Learned,  Life

Living for You and Me

April is here, and that means it’s time for another DSMA Blog Carnival post from My Diabetic Heart.  This month’s topic is a question from the DSMA twitter chat on March 16th about Life Stages with Diabetes.  It asks:  “How did relationships with other people help inspire you to take care of yourself?”  You’ll find my answer below. Enjoy!

I’ve thought long and hard about this question since it was raised during DSMA last month, and about the answer that I tweeted that night.

Q4: Well, the thought of my significant other having to deal with losing me was pretty strong motivation to keep fighting.

Our health problems, be it some type of diabetes, congestive heart failure, cancer, etc…, did not just become part of our lives at diagnosis, they became part of our family and friends lives as well.

I remember the day I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure as clearly as if it were just this morning.  I remember how scared I was when the doctor told me my heart was barely working enough to keep me alive.  And I also remember the look of fear on April’s face that day and how tightly she hugged me when the doctor left the room.  I wasn’t the only one that was going to lose this battle if treatment didn’t go well.  She was going to lose me.

As the fight of my life began, I knew that I wasn’t just fighting for myself, but for everyone who depended on me being there, with April being first and foremost on that list.  And each step of the way, with every little bit of progress I’ve made, and every little set back, I had that as a reminder of why it was important to keep fighting.

However, I also realized something else very early on in all of this.  Something that has also inspired me to keep fighting.

When you’re facing a potentially fatal health condition like congestive heart failure, the true value of each day of life becomes crystal clear.  When you realize that your days really are numbered, you start to take each one to heart.   You want to be well enough to get as much life and joy out of each day as you possibly can.

I realized how much I love my Helter Skelter life, and that I want to keep living it as long as I can.

Not only has my relationship with other people inspired me to take care of myself, but the relationship I have with myself has too.  I’m not just living for them, I’m living for me.

I don’t know who this quote is from, but it certainly expresses how I feel now:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming … WOW! What a ride!”

Keep Living!

This post is my April entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/april-dsma-blog-carnival/

Living with a Confusing Pancreas and a Broken Heart at age 36 #Diabetes #LADA #CongestiveHeartFailure. #MakeDiabetesVisible Creator, #ALittleHeartCanDoBigThings Creator, Advocate, Blogger, Nature Photographer.


  • kerri

    I totally love this. It’s true that something that changes your life like a new diagnosis of chronic disease puts things into perspective, but it’s also true that it can motivate us to change ourselves for the better, our own perspectives for the better and, if we choose, change the world for the better . . . AND to prove to people that it’s possible to be crazy ALIVE when you’re facing big challenges. In regard to relationships, I’m really, really glad that such things exist to pull us through the tough stuff — that counts for online friendships, too!

    I always say it’s about not allowing these things to be roadblocks, but simply speed bumps. Might take a little longer, but you’ll still get where you’re going. 🙂

  • Karen

    Absolutely true, Mike!!!! We need to do our best not only for our loved ones, but for ourselves as well. We need to never take a single day for granted and to live our lives to the fullest. Thank you for reminding us of that!

  • Kate

    So right on the money! I personally don’t have heart issues on top of my diabetes but my husband does! We’re both living with conditions that can limit us but we’re determined to fight to live better lives. You can’t just give up. Kudos to you.

  • Cherise

    Your post made me smile! I agree with every word you said-“I’m not living for them, I’m living for me.” beautiful Mike! Family and loved ones are motivation but its up to us to make it happen:)

  • PrincessLadyBug

    AMAZING post! I’m not kidding here. I actually have tears in my eyes & a smile on my face. Yes, I’m aware that makes me sound crazy. 😛 I always say that you should live & love out loud. If you put only half your heart into it then all you get is a half-hearted life.

    As always, very well said, my friend. VERY well said.