Saturday, September 26, 2015

21 Years of Diabetes

21 years ago, on September 26th, my parents got a phone call from the doctors office asking them to bring me to the hospital so they could confirm the test results they had gotten. My dad told them that we would come first thing in the morning and they told him I may not wake up the next morning. He woke me up and we waited for my mom to come home. 
My parents and I rushed to the hospital, where they drew more blood. We were then sent to the children's hospital in the city and placed in a waiting room for 6 hours before anyone would tell us anything. Around 5 am, we were settled into a room and informed that I have type 1 diabetes.  

I am told that the CDE assured my parents I would live a long and happy life, and that I could do anything I wanted.  Also, not to let me watch Steel Magnolias.  
The next week was a blur of information and education.  Everything seemed impossible. I cannot imagine how my parents felt. They were the age I am now at the time of my diagnosis. I cannot even imagine being 31 and spending a week in the hospital with my child. But it wasn't impossible.  And we got through it

So, here(raises glass) is to 21 years of putting diabetes in its place and making it my bitch!  21 years of poking my finger and checking my blood sugar. 13 years of injections (in college I was taking upwards of 12 a day to stay healthy) and 8 years of pumping. 21 years of seeing a doctor every 3 months, along with a full blood workup. Yearly eye exams and kidney tests. Counting EVERY SINGLE carbohydrate that is eaten.  21 years of making sure my dose of insulin is correct (yay math!!). And 21 years of people never truly understanding. 
And here(raises glass again) is to the last 3 years, where I have made the most amazing friends, and learned how to be stronger. Where I have found love and support, (which I always had from my family) from people who really and truly get it. 1 week a year, I am lifted up and inspired by some of the most amazing diabuddies (diabetes buddies) a girl could ever hope for. I have learned so much from them, how to be my own voice, that one number is not the end of the world, and when all else fails, tomorrow is a new day. 
Tomorrow I will take a moment to remember how strong I am and be thankful for all that I have learned, and all that I have. Sometime this week, I will do something special to celebrate my 21st diaversary (diabetes diagnosis anniversary).  It won't be as epic as a tattoo, which I happened to get on my 18th diaversary, but it will still be awesome!. Maybe a movie, lunch out and a massage (thanks for the gift card, baby bro!).  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Alive and Living!

I started this blog over a year ago, with the intention to write about diabetes.  I wanted to talk everything, including all the things about diabetes we 'sugar coat' for our loved ones.  And for a year, I would think, "I should write in my blog", but nothing seemed important enough. Until this morning.....

We recently had a friend come visit us for 10 days.  A good friend of my husbands, that he's known for over 20 years.  I adore this person, however, I do not his attitude toward life.   While he is not a PWD (person with diabetes), he does have a life altering illness.  Can you tell by looking at him? No.  Does he wear any sort of device? No. But he does need medication on a daily basis and some emergency pills here and there.

He is so bitter about life. He's negative, angry and holds everyone at an arms length. And you know what? HE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO BE ANGRY.  I get it, I really do.  But, it must be exhausting to build all those walls up and keep them there all the time.  I'm exhausted just from spending a week with this friend. And for me, being angry is a waste of time.  What is it going to accomplish?  

For a week, I listened about how there is nobody worth befriending in the town he lives in.  Everyone is uneducated and living that small town life.  How he hasn't dated in close to 10 years because nobody is up to his standards where he lives.  Marriage is not something he wants, because women are soul sucking and why would anyone want that?  Doesn't want kids, because the odds of passing on his illness are high, very high, like 1 in 4.  He has been so isolated, for so long, that small groups of people make him seriously uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, this visit had alot of nice elements.  We had some good heart to heart talks.  I see that little spark of something in him, buried by years of anger, sarcasm, fear and loneliness. He doesn't let it out often enough.

Here's the thing, with this guy, it's total bullshit.  Absolute crap.  It's all anger and fear talking.  When I suggested that perhaps he make an attempt to reach out to others like him, I was told that all those people are angry and he doesn't want to associate with them.  Maybe he thinks that all he will be met with is more anger.  Who knows?

I've seen his life, and it's good.  He comes from a good family, happily married parents.  I know, deep in my heart that its not that he doesn't want friends, or to be married, or to have a family, but anger and fear holding him back.  Maybe he doesn't want to be a burden on anyone or maybe he is angry at how his diagnosis went down.  Maybe he just doesn't think any of it is worth the effort.  But we know it is.

Like this guy, I have an amazing family, friends like he used to have and a generally good life.  Proper insurance, people to care about me and the ability to wake up every morning, get out of bed on my own, and live.  So what makes us so different?  I couldn't answer that, but it's going to be on my mind for awhile.

So, enough with the crazy ramble.  Lets get to a point, shall we?  I am not angry about MY diabetes.  Am I angry sometimes? Yes.  That children are not properly screened for diabetes, that people assume I didn't take care of myself, that a big chunk of the world is not educated about type 1 and 2.  Those things bug me, but sulking wont change them.

I am living my life.  I am making new friends every day.  I am caring for myself and preparing to start a family.  I have a loving husband and a happy home.  I am educating people about Type 1 along the way. Yes, I do have bad days, but I wont be dwelling on them, EVER......  I will continue to grow and thrive.  Learn new things.  Make new friends.  Because negative thoughts only bring us down........and the further down you go, the harder it is to come back.

I hope one day he does come back.  Make a friend.  Meet the love of his life, adopt babies. Whatever he wants most in life, I hope one day he finds it.  I hope one day he goes out an lives, because right now, I see a grim and depressing future.  Alone. And I don't want that for anyone, especially not him.  But you can only do so much to for someone that does not want to change or move forward.

So, on the eve of my second Friends for Life conference, I've been pondering this.  Here is what I'm going to do.  KEEP LIVING......I'm going to keep enjoying my life, making new T1 friends, bonding with people.  I'm going to start my family. I'm going to enjoy every moment of every day.  And I'm going to continue to welcome this friend into my home, in hopes that one day, he will realize that he is not living.

Tomorrow I'm going to meet up with my  T1 people and spend the week celebrating that we are ALIVE AND LIVING.