I just realized that, sometime last month, I reached my 30-year milestone of having Type 1 diabetes. I don’t use the words “Celebrate” or “Anniversary”, as it’s something I’d rather not have, but I suppose it’s better to reach 30 years than not to reach 30 years!
Let’s see. I must’ve injected over 300,000 units of insulin, bled countless gallons from my fingertips… hmm. It makes you think.
Congratulations! the next 30 will be here before you know it.
Thanks Betty, but I’m hoping for a cure before the next 30!
Well. I consider enjoying a new day a reason to celebrate, as I did on my 30th D-Anniversary.
Congratulations on crossing your 30th D-Year Milestone Scott. Keep up your Good work. Hopefully the Cure is within our reach soon.
I reached my 30-year milestone last October - I was diagnosed in 1980, at the age of 11. Lost half of my body weight before anyone noticed and spent two weeks in the hospital. While I was there, the doctors at the time told my mother it was unlikely I’d live to see my 30th birthday. I wasn’t told this until later, by my younger sister (someone I try not to spend too much time around, since she can’t let a family gathering go by without making some kind of nasty or embarrasing comment about me to others). No one apparently thought to tell me this while I was growing up, as I’ve reached the ripe old age of 42, rather than kicking the bucket at the big 3-0 as predicted. I consider it a point of pride (and a chance to stick it in the eye of everyone who thought I would fail) to have made it this far. Lots of people without a difficult illness to deal with don’t make it this far.
I don’t really do anything to mark the ‘occasion’ (if one can call a diagnosis of a serious, incurable illness anything other than a crap-tastic life event’) every year, other than to go outside and try to find the constellation Orion. I used to star-gaze as a kid, sneaking out of my bedroom to go find an empty lot away from the streetlights and try to pinpoint constellations. That particular constellation was pretty prominent when I got home from the hospital saddled with a whole new set of rules I now had to play by and an shot schedule that seemed agonizing for a kid that hated all things to do with needles. Every year I go out in the cold evening and wait until the stars come out, and once Orion becomes visible I say inwardly ‘Another year down and I’m still here, same as you.’. Congrats on making it to your own 30-year mark. I wish I could say that there was a treatment protocol out there that would make it ONLY 30 yeas with this (since one would conceivably be cured by the 31-year mark), but we’ll see if the eternal non-productive circus that currently comprises Type 1 cure-related research coughs anything tangible up this year or not.
Keep up the good work and keep on hanging on, Nothing ticks off the universe more than overcoming whatever hassles it throws at you.
Oh my goodness Abyssinian! Unless my parents didn’t tell me something that my doctor told them, I never was told the “won’t reach 30” story (I was 7 years old at the time, 37 now). Now that I am a parent myself, I can only imagine how disconcerting and heartbreaking that would be for a parent to hear. I’m sure glad it didn’t hold true.
I don’t remember the exact date of my diagnosis, nor do I remember the day I came home. All I remember was that I was at a flea market with my mother (a Registered Nurse herself) and kept needing the bathroom, and eventually she took me to the pediatrician. Apparently I was losing weight at the time, too, as I was told later.
I was just getting over the Chicken Pox at the time, so I had my own room ‘upstairs’ rather than a shared room in the pediatric ward, at least long enough until I advanced to the section of the hospital with the other kids. The nurses upstairs loved me, 'cause I was a youthful child that disrupted their normal roster of cranky old patients.
Going home (I was a bit of a science enthusiast) I thought it was cool to do urine tests, playing with test tubes and dropping in a tablet that made it fizz up like a mad scientist. That novelty wore off quickly, though. As did the other “novelty”, I remember my mother chasing me around with an insulin syringe, eventually tackling me and holding me down to give the injection. It was just one shot per day at the time.
But my doctor, Dr. Max Salas, at St. Peter’s Medical Center in New Brunswick, NJ was enthusiastic and entirely dedicated to treating and conquering diabetes. (I say his name because of the praise I have for him). He always wore a pin on his lab-coat with the word “DIABETES” in bold, black letters, with a red circle and slash through it. From what I can find on the web, he’s still practicing. First impressions really last, it’s a shame your first doctor wasn’t so optimistic. But you’ve got a good attitude towards it now, and I’m glad everything seems to be working well (except for that darn pancreas!) for you now.
The way I see it, I"m too big of a b**** to die of diabetes - Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell’s afraid I’ll take over and bring my staff with me to run the joint.
You’re lucky in that you had a great pediatrician. I ran across a book my old pediatrician wrote in the late 70’s that grouped kids into four different grades of health: A, B, C, & D. Guess where the kids with Type 1 diabetes were lumped, along with the kids with leukemia and other cancers, mental illness and Down’s syndrome and severe birth defects? He also gave me pictures to look at, photos of all of the nasty complications (mostly infections and amputations - the visible stuff) one could get from Type 1 diabetes. I will say that no one has ever had to give me a shot - I wasn’t allowed out of the hospital until I could handle my own daily injections. A bit much for an 11-year-old, but at least it toughened me up as far as dealing with it in the adult world, where no one cares if you need a shot or not - they want their trains to run on time and if you have an illness, well too bad.
Congrats. We who have this disease, for extensive times, 30 for you, 50 for me, are a tribute to tenacity, and a host of other things. Every year I celebrate my birthday, I am grateful in ways that other people, who don’t have it, do not understand. I celebrate. Period.We have overcome thousands of shots, insulin reactions, comas, highs, lows, altered thinking, and a list too long to mention. I think I will always look at the world differently than others because of it, because I got it when I was 5. I also feel a little weird acknowledging the time of hospitalization, and diagnosis. It feels weird, because life changed forever at that moment. I don’t feel joy, no I just acknowledge that life changed. And I have been given the gift of beating the odds, and living 50 years beyond.
Melinda, that’s a great attitude to have, and it’s great that you’re doing well after 50 years! But let me ask this: how long did it take until you felt this way? I mean, I accept it and acknowledge it, and try to do what I should (though I’m not as compliant as I should be), but I see the last 30 years of diabetes as something I’ve endured, not that I’ve accomplished. Still, I keep reading your message over and over, and it strikes a bit of a chord with me (except the coma part, I’m fortunate enough to not go through that). Maybe in 20 years, when my kids are grown and I know they grew up with a normal childhood with a relatively healthy father, I can relax about it.
Assyainan1 - I’m surprised they were still tell that story in 1980. I was dxed in 1950s when I was a teen and I always thought I wouldn’t live past 35…shows how wrong THEY were lol. But that story is a carryover from the year that insulin was first discovered, although a lot of those veterans also proved them wrong.
Again, I wasn’t told anything about my projected life span at the time of my diagnosis. The conversation was between the doctor and my mother, and I suppose my mother then told my little sister (my younger brother was maybe three and it would have been pointless to tell him anything). My little sister was the one, decades later, that told me this, in front of a number of people we barely knew (another reason why I tend to avoid my sister if possible). This may be a case of ‘it’s surprising what one can accomplish if one doesn’t know any better.’
Reaching your 30 year mark is an inspiration for all us newbies…
Scott E Sorry I didn’t see your post. How long did it take me to feel this way? Years and years. I think I verbalized it around 47. It doesn’t matter. The trick for me is to learn how to react to something, not in defiance of diabetes. I don’t want to have an agenda , responding to this condition. I don’t know if that is possible, Yesterday I celebrated my 56th birthday. I still harken back to when I was a kid. It was just an awful day for a kid. I experienced it as all the things could not have. Maybe that is why as an adult, I try to change my perspective and try to find the positive. This is a very difficult disease, sometimes really scary. Maybe that let’s me see the joy even more deeply when it does appear.
Positive thinking is a good thing.