Mike Fisher is a 23-year-old from Ontario, Canada, who's been snowboarding since he was 13 years old. At the age of 18, he was involved in a motorcycle crash that necessitated the amputation of one leg below the knee. He says, "At first, I felt that my life was coming to a crashing halt. But I just pushed myself to recover as fast as possible and get my life back on track, go to school, get back into snowboarding and motorcycles-just anything so that my life wasn't affected at all. I had a lot of support, and I would say that I was pretty optimistic about it and took it almost as a challenge. By the time that I was 19, I was happy. I was walking again, I was back in college in London, Ontario, and everything was good. The accident was a minor setback to me, and I rose above it. I was just continuing with my life."
I don't sleep till noon, wait for other people to clean up my messes, or put off doing the laundry until I'm down to my last clean shirt. Still, when it comes to my diabetes, sometimes I can't help but feel like a total slacker.
The Year What a year I've had. From the spring of 2011 to the spring of 2012, my life changed utterly. There have been few years in my life more eventful, and few years that mixed joy and pain in such bracing amounts. With the year now done, I'm hesitant to draw any lessons--I just look back in amazement.
I once had a doctor ask me what I'd do if someone offered me a drink or a cigarette. I was a teenager, recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and it was the first time that I had seen her. When I told her that I didn't drink or smoke, she kept hounding me with questions as if I were lying. I grew tired of telling her the same thing over and over. She just didn't seem to hear what I was saying. Maybe she was just trying to scare me from starting, but I left feeling annoyed and convinced that I needed to find a different doctor.
The challenges of pregnancy are daunting on their own, but when you're diabetic, they can seem insurmountable. That's one of the reasons Cheryl Alkon wrote a book on the subject. Having type 1 diabetes herself, Alkon knew firsthand the challenges of controlling her disease during pregnancy, and of raising the kids who followed.
Scientific studies -- and our own common sense -- tell us that staying motivated and engaged helps control our diabetes. We know what we should resist temptation at the dinner table, monitor our blood sugars avidly, and get regular check-ups. But knowing all of these things, and knowing that self-motivation is the way to achieve them, isn't quite enough.
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