Saturday, August 13, 2011

Eighteen

As of today, I have had Type 1 Diabetes for eighteen years.  I was diagnosed on Friday, August 13th, 1993.

Wow.

The pictures are from my 10th birthday, about two weeks before diagnosis.




Yikes.

This one is from the following February, about 6 months later.



What a difference!  I don't even look like the same kid!  And not just because of the dorky glasses.

The memories I have of my diagnosis are limited.  I remember my mom taking me to the grocery store to show me the sugar-free candy and ice cream.

I remember the nurse giving me my first insulin injection in my thigh.

I remember stabbing an orange with a syringe to practice.

I remember my parents letting me stab them with a syringe full of saline.

I remember my roommate who had been in a serious car accident, and been in the hospital for months and months.

I remember the hospital game room had a Pac-Man arcade game, and a Sega Genesis.

And that about sums it up.

So today is my diaversary.  Now, this is something I've never really celebrated before.  At all.  I spent a long time hiding my diabetes from others.  Pretending I was "normal."  Never talking about my diabetes at all, to really anyone.  That's all changed now, thanks to the DOC.

The day really snuck up on me this year.  It wasn't until Thursday night when I realized that Saturday was the 13th.  And I immediately decided that I WAS going to celebrate!

I am stronger than my diabetes.  Yes, it is a sad day.  My emotions today are more than a little confused. There's a lot to celebrate, but there's sadness too, especially after recent events.

But this is why I want to celebrate anyway: I have diabetes, it does not have me.  My friends in the DOC showed me this.   I spent a long time letting diabetes control me.  Ignoring the disease gives it power.

I am no longer doing that.  I talk about diabetes to people.  I answer questions when asked.  I wear my CGM sensor on my arm and my pump clipped to the outside of my pocket.  Diabetes is no longer hidden; it is out in the open.  I try to remind myself every day that I can do this.

Living with diabetes is still hard.  And scary.  But I am in such a better place mentally thanks to the DOC.  I am not alone.  That is worth celebrating.

Me and my confused emotions are going to dinner tonight with my husband, my parents, and my little brother.  These people have lived this disease with me for the past eighteen years.  And after dinner, we're all getting cupcakes.  That I am not baking.

And I will bolus for my giant cupcake on my diaversary.  Because I have diabetes, it does not have me.

12 comments:

  1. Happy Diaversary to you Jess!
    Have a wonderful dinner and enjoy a huge! cupcake.
    Hugs.
    Oh - those pics are amazing...

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  2. Happy and Congratulatory 18th Diaversary, J! Wheeeeeeee! I hope you have an absolutely delightful, amazing, gorgeous, bolus-worthy cupcake. And just bolus the crap out of it, too. You're all OVER this dumb D. I'm so glad to have "met" you thru the DOC--you're super cool and awesome. ;) (Did that sound enough like a Dcamp memory book signing?!) Sending lots of love and hugs.

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  3. HAPPY DIAVERSARY HON!!! I have always celebrated mine because it marks one more year that I've beaten the odds. Not that long ago, this was called "the wasting disease" and life expectancy was just a matter of weeks. YOU have kicked it in the head for 18 years and we all celebrate with you! CUPCAKES ALL AROUND!!!

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  4. Happy diaversary! I refuse to capitalize "diaversary" just because I feel like being rebellious. And because it's more important to capitalize YOU today than it is diabetes. Hope you have a fantastical time tonight, and I can't wait until you come back to Florida so we can all celebrate again!

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  5. Yay you! May diabetes play nice today. And even if it doesn't, enjoy that giant cupcake and the company of those that love you. I'm so glad the DOC has you. ;)

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  6. Happy Diaversary, Jess! I hope you have a wonderful celebration dinner and cupcake! Just like you, I'm so thankful for the DOC. It's a lifesaving group of people. :)

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  7. I'm catching up...

    HAPPY DIAVERSARY SWEET JESS!!! You're a great role model for our lil Ds, and an awesome person and friend. Hope you had cupcakes galore! Xoxo

    Thank you for always being a great source of support, love and honesty. You rock!

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  8. LOVED this post Jess. Beautifully said. Hope the cupcake was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Diaversary!!! :)

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  9. Happy Diaversary! Those pictures are scary. I know we were starving without insulin but I don't know if I've ever seen a picture of someone in the DOC where it was so obvious!

    Here's to another 18 - or a cure!

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  10. Happy diaversary, Jess. Those pics are something else. I hope the cupcake was fabulous!

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  11. happy diaversary! your before pics remind me so much of pics of my kid right before dx.

    hope you had a great day! :)

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