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Thankful for the Contradiction

                                                     Undoubtedly there is a plethora of advice about how to enjoy Thanksgiving while having diabetes. I am not going to offer any such advice. Instead, I will suggest that we with type 1 be thankful for insulin.

Plain and simple, we’d be dead if it weren’t for the discovery by Frederick Grant Banting. That’s stark, and I mean it to be. Thanksgiving should represent a time for taking stock and regaining perspective, and not solely a meal where overindulgence is the goal. Therefore, when we sit at the table and pile on too much, or too little, skip dessert or taste all five, we should first give a silent thanks to the man who gave us the option and gave us our lives.

I believe that Dr. Banting would suggest that we do not feel guilt over our meal, that we do not feel shame. That we simply enjoy, in whatever way works for us. He didn’t work so diligently so that we should feel ostracized in our own skin. There is no reason to apologize for this disease, no reason to care what the relative across the table from you is thinking about your food choices. You live with this disorder day in and day out. No one else can do that for you. Therefore, allow yourself a day to be thankful that we have science and medicine that have provided us more than was ever thought possible before 1931.

I contradict myself. I am offering advice. So be it. We are unique and we are the same. This disease has so many common features that we fight alone and on teams. We are forever in it together, even though we are always separate. Be thankful for that. And revel in the immortal words of Whitman:

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)…”

 ”I celebrate myself, and sing myself.”

                                     Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 1855

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