Blair Ryan and I had an interesting conversation about the betes recently that I thought about a few times this weekend as I was at home for my grandfather's induction into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame. First I'll tell you about my grandparents.
My grandfather and grandmother grew up on farms in Wisconsin, long before flying was the norm. Long story short, he came home one day and said "I have something to confess, I've been taking flying lessons, I'll stop if you want". Our family would be completely different had she demanded he stop, luckily she believed in him and he went on to at one time own the 6th largest air cargo hauler in the country. Growing up I was always around planes and flying. I always dreamed of being a pilot until... the betes. I still think the movie Top Gun every time I see a sign around San Diego that says "Miramar". The FAA isn't to high on diabetic pilots and one can't get anything above a privates pilots license (meaning they can't fly more than a single engine in nice weather).
This leads into to my conversation with Blair. I believe I am completely different because of the betes, she feels different, as she would be the exact same person even without the betes. Somehow though I can see how it has changed me.
For one, I probably would have ended up becoming a pilot. Although I can't fly or join the Air Force, at least I can take a bike down a hill at 35 miles an hour. Now that's flying! I've had conversations (and heard about many more) with diabetics that are really negatively affected by it. It's never been a problem with me on the other hand, getting it so young probably has a lot to do with this. I did learn later in life that I needed to admit I wasn't completely "normal", I've found talking about the betes it is good for the soul. I use to really dislike when people outside of my "circle" would ask questions about it but now I like explaining it. For one it's a lot better when the people around you know about it. Secondly, how else would people ever know anything about diabetes if people with it never explained.
Without the betes I know I would not take such joy and happiness in life. When your 23 it's easy to think you'll live forever but the betes allows me to realize how special of a gift life really is, that things like a functioning body should never be taken for granted. Heck, I know I wouldn't work out this much.
So grandma, thanks for letting gramps get off the farm, and grandpa thanks for going against the grain and being a crazy farmer with a dream of flying. My other grandpa decided to get off the bread truck one day and open his own grocery store. Its because of bold choices like this I'm able to live out my dreams and more importantly control my betes well through exercise and knowledgable management.