Today is the 13th anniversary of my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. It seems a lifetime ago. So much has happened since 1996, I’ve had 3 children, I’ve lived with a chronic illness, I’ve learned more about insurance companies and the nonsense they like to pull on people. Things I never dreamed I’d deal with or experience.
I always feel in a funk around this time every year. I was 28 when I was diagnosed, so I had years of life with no diabetes. I remember what it was like not to have to take my blood sugar every time I wanted to eat, or every time I felt strange. I didn’t have to count carbs. I didn’t have to see a doc 4x a year. I didn’t have to worry about my eyes or kidneys. So much goes into this disease and taking care of yourself because of it.
My kids have never known me without diabetes. Its always been present. Sometimes it does stop me from doing what I want to do. Unlike the commercials for meters and such, having them doesn’t make every thing easier. So much to pack to take along with you for even the most simple of trips.
Cure? I laugh. I don’t want to be negative, but its never happening. Not in my lifetime. Maybe I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist, but treating this disease makes too much money for too many people. Curing it would not be a good thing for pharmaceutical companies, meter manufacturers or pump makers. For me, it would be the best thing since giving birth to my children.
On the plus side, I’ve lived with a chronic illness for 13 years now. I have no complications other than some very slight kidney damage which is well managed by medication. I have 3 gorgeous children from 3 diabetic pregnancies. I have a busy life, many friends, an amazing family. Maybe having diabetes is keeping me from having a more serious or deadly disease. I could live with this disease for another 50+ years. I probably will too.
Now to figure out how to commemorate this date in a way which celebrates what I have, not what I’ve lost. Therein lies the question.