I underwent a procedure a couple weeks ago for periodontal disease. Dr. P assured me there was nothing I could have done differently to prevent myself from developing it, that having had undiagnosed diabetes was the likely culprit. Yet, it was disappointing to be diagnosed with a second chronic illness - and just a few days after M and I returned from our honeymoon. It would mean another set of quarterly appointments and hypervigilance about oral hygiene. But, after a week on a soft food diet with black sutures between my teeth, my joy at being able to savor a vegetarian turkey wrap and to be rid of those unattractive black threads was such that my gratitude far surpassed any lingering concerns about managing this new disease.
I could now smile without looking like I got into an altercation with a spinach salad. And smile I did. I also began to recognize that I was the lucky one in all of this: I still have my smile. I still have my oral health. The challenges associated with the procedure were only temporary. I can still thrive. And I can still love. Which, really, is what this life is all about. Nothing had stopped me from living the life I've imagined.
I suppose I could say the very same for my diabetes. And for that I am truly grateful.