When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the word diabetes appeared on every piece of medical paperwork… I started wondering about some things and decided to do some research. Then a Twitter friend asked if she could donate blood with diabetes. Even though I don’t meet donor requirements for other reasons (weight limit) I looked it up…
Some things require “reasonably controlled diabetes.” With diabetes you can still:
- Donate blood
- Donate organs
- Donate plasma
- Have healthy babies (see here, and here…there are a lot of diabetic moms out there)
- Climb mountains
- Be a rock star
- Be an athlete
- Be a body builder
- Be an Olympic medalist
- Hold a political office
- Win a Nobel Prize
- Become Miss America
[source for Rock Star – Miss America]
Also, we can eat cheeseburgers if we so desire (I’ve been asked that a lot).
There are a few limitations that we’re stuck with because of diabetes, but this list is much, much shorter than what you can do.
It appears that treating diabetes with medication (I assume insulin is included as medication… maybe?) precludes you from donating bone marrow, but those type 2s controlling with diet and exercise only can. Since “All the cells of the immune system are initially derived from the bone marrow” [source] and type 1 diabetes is triggered by an autoimmune response that kills insulin producing cells, this makes sense to me.
Also we are not allowed to become Class 1 pilots, I assume that’s a safety issue.
We may not all do “amazing things” but it’s important not to adopt a mindset of defeat because diabetes affects every part of our lives.
I’m interested in what things you’ve done and not let diabetes get in the way of. Care to share?
Love this post. For so many reasons.
Well, I once wanted to go on a Scuba-Diving excursion with my father (one of those one-day deals where they teach you the basics then throw you off the boat), and they told me I couldn’t go because of diabetes. And that was in Mexico, where I thought rules were more relaxed than the US! But other than that, it’s been pretty much “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” for me.
I don’t have any experience there, but I can say that I have heard of people not disclosing diabetes for things like that (usually it’s the company’s insurance that says no).
I am a regular blood donor. In fact, I plan to donate tomorrow at my company’s quarterly blood drive. I kind of feel it’s a privilege to be able to donate.
Thank you for the outstanding posts!
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Actually, one can be an airplane pilot. To medically qualify for a Sport Pilot License from the FAA, one only needs to have a driver’s license. The aircraft is single engine, and of limited size, but it is flying. As with everything, it isn’t quite that simple and common sense is a good thing. Lear more at https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advocacy-briefs/frequently-asked-questions-about-sport-pilot
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