A few days ago I was talking with my friend Derek Paice. Derek and I have known each other for years, and seven years ago I profiled his success in dominating diabetes in an article for the “Diabetes Watch” website that is now on my site.
A true engineer, Derek performed hundreds of experiments on himself and thousands of fingerstick tests to develop an extension of the glycemic index that he calls the “substance glycemic index.” Subsequently, he let me make his book about it, Diabetes and Diet, available free on my site.
After we talked on the phone the other day, I told Derek that I wished I had turned on my tape recorder. I thought that what he has said was important enough for me to preserve it. Consequently, he wrote this message for all of us.
“In talking with David Mendosa about the advantages that life style changes confer on some of us with diabetes I was reminded of the first talk I ever gave at Toastmasters, which I called ‘Opportunity Through Adversity.’ Its message is just as true today.
‘At age 20 I was a pilot in the Royal Air force. An exciting career lay ahead. The world was literally at my feet, but adversity intervened. In 1949 I caught polio.
“A new career was forced upon me. I went to engineering school and did well. I’m now age 78 and still do engineering consulting work. I’m not thankful for having polio, but it gave me many new opportunities. They’ve made me what I am today.
“Diabetes gave me an opportunity too. Using skills developed while performing engineering research, I tested the effects of different foods on my blood glucose. Others encouraged me to publish the results. Through support groups I’ve made new friends, hopefully helped others, and helped myself too– that’s win, win, win!
“Some have turned their diabetes into writing opportunities, like authors Gretchen Becker, Richard Bernstein, David Mendosa, and many others.
“Next time adversity strikes, I hope you’ll look for and find its twin – opportunity,” Derek concluded. He couldn’t be more right.
This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.