Boy, How Things Have Changed


People still think I’m the same as I was pre-diagnosis. It’s hard for them to wrap their head around the fact that I’m not in control anymore. There was the life I had before diabetes, the one where I ate pretzel croissants, pizza bread and chocolate and the one I have now; low carb meals, afternoon walks and 15 finger pricks a day.

The only person with diabetes I ever knew was in high school. I can still remember her ID bracelet circling her wrist and the diabetic friendly sweets she ate on the bus. She never complained and never explained. I knew it was something awful but how can anyone understand what it’s like to live with a disease that requires your attention all day, every day. I have never felt so guilty about food in my life. Always asking myself; did I eat too much? too little? did I walk enough? inject enough?

And by the way…. I am sick of people telling me how strong and brave I am. F-k that! If I could jump off the dia-boat I would. Who wouldn’t? Bravery and strength have nothing to do with it. How would you feel if you got lumped with something you didn’t ask for and didn’t do anything to get?

That’s why I get so frustrated when everyone keeps asking why it took me so long to go on insulin. If you’d been in my shoes? Wouldn’t you have tried everything too?

I don’t regret one minute of trying something alternative. Each practitioner gave me hope. I think that’s what someone who doesn’t have diabetes doesn’t quite grasp. It’s hard not to equate the words “no cure” with “no hope”. I’m still hopeful, but I’ve learnt to be realistic. I’m a realistic optimist.


I take my time with just about everything now and it’s not because I’m into “self care.” If I rush out the door and don’t have everything I need it’s a disaster. People say they admire my discipline. But the truth is … if I could drink martinis and pig out on ice cream I would.

So do I believe in fate? Not really…. It’s like you get what you get. And YES I’m angry enough about the unfairness of it all to punch a wall. But I also feel grateful.

Before my diagnosis there was no off switch. I was used to doing, eating and behaving as I saw fit. I made up my own rules and lived my idea of what it meant to be healthy. I ignored the medical establishment and put my faith in things that eventually wore thin. That’s not to say that I don’t use alternative health and healing methods to accompany my allopathic regime. It just means I’m no longer hiding in the cupboard at the thought of taking a Panadol.

And Gratitude has been a big plus in my life. Everyday I literally imagine humbling myself at the unknown machinations of creation. There are some things that can’t be answered.

Understanding that I’m not alone in having unanswerable questions makes things easier to bear.

But that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t crappy. So … If you don’t feel like being grateful or couldn’t be bothered with self care and wind up telling your friend to go jump in a pond because they’re just not getting it?

You’ll survive …

With great respect … Rachel

Check out her blog HERE for yoga tips with diabetes

Read I Just Want to Be Normal by Dana-Maxx Pomerantz.

WRITTEN BY Rachel Zinman, POSTED 11/16/15, UPDATED 09/20/22

Rachel was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. At first the doctors weren’t sure whether it was type 1 or 2 as she wasn’t a typical candidate for either. It took nearly six years to get the right diagnosis. Now, she knows that she's a type 1 latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) person with diabetes. She started yoga in high school at 17 and by the age of 19, she was hooked. When she began yoga it was to help her dance career, but eventually as her practice progressed, she became passionate about the deeper aspects of yoga and its ability to heal and inspire. 30 odd years later, she still practices passionately and has been teaching nationally (in Australia) and internationally since 1992. She's also a mother, a musician, a writer and amateur film maker. She is absolutely sure that yoga is for everybody and it's her mission to share what she's learned with the diabetes community as well as raising awareness about type 1 amongst yoga teachers both locally here in Australia and globally.