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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a Type I for 21 years now, 23 years old, and I came across this forum out of sheer boredom while waiting at the airport on a fantastic 4 hour layover. Now one thing I wanted to ask, and this does not apply to all, is how you dealt with Diabetes growing up. Were you ever made fun of for it? How did it affect your life if at all? Do you feel Diabetes has helped or hindered your life in any way?

I was made fun of constantly for it through gradeschool, especially after a hypoglycemic seizure during 6th grade. During High School things went great, until sophomore year (I hoped to attend the US Naval Academy) I was told by a Naval Officer that Diabetics were not mentally nor physically worthy of being officers in the US Navy (I had a GPA of 3.9 and had less than 10% body fat). This did not help my spirits until I attended a camp just for Type I diabetics in the PA Pocono mountains due to my mother incessantly nagging me to go. This kind of changed my mind about the issue and my attitude changed for the better.

I feel that being made fun of for being a Diabetic made me work harder than others. Diabetes made me work harder. Due to the need to prove myself I went to Georgetown University, studied in Europe for 2 semesters, and now I have a career that allows me to travel around the world, something I did not think possible at certain points in my life. I'm in London now at Heathrow waiting for a layover plane to Berlin, a place I will stay for 4 nights then head back to Washington. If I did not have Diabetes I feel I would have done well, but I wouldn't have had that drive to prove to myself I could achieve as much or more than others. Is it difficult as a Diabetic to do this? Hell yes it is. Does that stop me? Hell no it does not.

I went to a reunion recently for that grade school. Out of the kids that bothered me most, 9/10 of them either dropped or failed out of college. To see the look of jealousy on their faces when they saw me was one of the sweetest rewards I have ever had.
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