13 years of diabetes

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.

Cara, 43 years of this lovely disease for me and not sure of the exact date I was diagnosed, but I know it was around this time, and halloween sucked that year.

I too feel that there will never be a cure and those stinking commercials set me over the edge. I am relatively complication free, but a ton of skin issues that I have had since high school and the past few years, they have increased so my diabetes is on the inside and outside for me.

I never celebrate my anniversay date as I don’t know what it is, but a lot of online D friends have stated recently that their’s is around this time as well, so I asked my 81 year old mother yesterday if she knew the date, and she did not, and she remembers everything, but she said halloween was not fun that year. This is also the first time that she mentioned to me that she worried so much for me growing up and that she had many sleepless nights where she cried herself to sleep, I never felt scared or worried growing up, so she kept her thoughts well hidden and believe me I went to insulin shock a ton, with paramedics in my bedroom, once even me coming to and my MD was sitting next to me on our living room couch. Have not been hospitalized in 30 years so I am greatful for that.

Let me know how you celebrate.

Hi Cara: I was diagnosed with Type 1 in April 1995, so one year before you. Like you and like Karen, I don’t expect to see a cure in my lifetime (I haven’t seen the commercial, thankfully). But I do look at the amazing advances in technology just since I was diagnosed (5 second meters, bettter insulin pumps, fast acting insulin, CGMs) and I just hope for improved technology that will continue to make my life better. Oddly enough, I don’t get sad around my anniversary, I celebrate on my anniversary and am grateful to be alive. Before ~1922, people like us just died. I certainly don’t want to sound Polly Annaish, because life is so much more difficult with Type 1 (whatever the “cure” is, would it be possible just to schlep less diabetes stuff around?), but I do think we have cause to celebrate. For me, the months up to diagnosis were so horrific (and are still vivid to me) and I came too near death, that I feel grateful to just get to walk on this earth. Mind you, when I have a really bad low I say, “I hate this ***** disease.” To celebrate, I just do something special but simple like go for a nice hike or have a nice dinner out.


Just look at the good things that came out of the bad situation I guess… But congratulations for being a surviver! Hey you never know, getting Diabetes as you said, forces you to invest time in yourself. Sometimes I think that’s what other people take for granted, looking after themselves like they look after those around them. And you never know, look how technowlegy has changed in just a few short years… the cure for diabetes could be just over the horizon. xxx