Tag Archives: diaversary

Living well is the best revenge.

So it’s Friday. End of January. Whenever the calendar comes around to the 30th and 31st, my mind starts going back to 1991.

On January 30th, I saw a new doctor (still my Mom’s doctor) for the first time. We went through a physical exam and I gave some blood and a urine sample. Later that afternoon, the office called to ask me if I could come back to see the doctor first thing the next day, January 31st. That’s when I received the news that I would be living with Type 1 Diabetes for the rest of my life. I was 28 years old.

There’s a lot more to that story, and my mind goes back to every detail when these two days come around again. When I mentioned this 23 year diaversary to Maureen she was like, “Oooh… should we get a cake and celebrate?”. I said no. I feel like it’s important for me to celebrate the fact that I’ve made it this far. It’s not quite so important that I devour something as a memento. Though a little peach pie would be nice. A little peach pie is always nice. But I digress.

After work I’ll head home via the liquor store, and I’ll enjoy some pizza and salad with my brother-in-law, who’s in town on his way to New York, where he’ll start soon at the Bronx Zoo. Our next door neighbor will join us, and probably a couple of others too. I’ll take a moment to check my BG and work out the special dual-wave bolus (known by me as the Karen pizza bolus). Come to think of it, a martini would be okay too.

And that’s the best thing about surviving 23 years with this bastard of a condition known as diabetes. I have to do what I have to do, but in the final analysis, if I’m still living a good life with great friends and greater family? That’s something to celebrate!

No doubt parents of kids with diabetes want a cure. No doubt all of us want a cure. But in the absence of that, I think D-parents, and all of us, just want to know that a good life is possible even with diabetes on board. You know what? It took me a lot of long years with bad numbers and rebelling against the daily grind of this disease, but I am living a good life. I’m not going to blow smoke and tell you that it’s a walk in the park. But whoever said “living well is the best revenge” really knew what they were talking about.
 
 
 

I waited until today to write this post.

I don’t know the reason why, really.

We were all sitting around last night, The Great Spousal Unit and The Live-In Niece and I, discussing it. I remember I said that the same thing happened this year that happens a lot of years around this time. In the beginning of January, I start to think about it, and by the end of January it’s somehow slipped off of my radar. Only this year, I remembered again, a day in advance.

And Maureen, in her psychology-major voice asked, “Why do you think that is?”. I don’t know… I’m forgetful? Absent-minded?

“Yes, you are… but I think it’s more than that.” You mean like I’m avoiding it somehow?

“I don’t know. Maybe. You always seem to dislike dealing with things that are unpleasant.” Yeah, well, who doesn’t?

But she has a point. I don’t like reliving that day in my head. It’s probably not the worst day of my life, but it’s definitely in the top 3. Or top 2. Or maybe there’s 1 and 1a. But when I do relive that day, I get sad, and angry, and then mad at myself for making a big deal of it and letting it affect how I feel in that moment.

So how do I deal with it this year, in a semi-public forum? Do I celebrate, like I try to do for my birthday? Do I curse the course of events and go around with a scowl on my face all day? I think either, or both, would be appropriate.

Instead, I decided to sit down and pen a letter.
 
 
January 30, 2013
 
 
Dr. M____,

Twenty-two years ago today, you correctly diagnosed me with Type 1 diabetes. From that moment forward, my life has changed in ways I couldn’t have imagined then.

First of all, let me say thank you for taking the time to investigate what was obviously wrong with me during the two months leading up to that point. There were two other doctors who couldn’t be bothered to do a blood test or take a urine sample. If you couldn’t be bothered either, well… I don’t know how I would have ended up.

Second, thanks for staying on me those first few years. I think you could have been a little more forgiving about my dietary choices and my lack of BG logging diligence, but you did instill in me a feeling that this is my diabetes, and I live with it every day. I own it.

Finally, I want you to know that I’m doing well these days. My wife and I have had a good life in Baltimore for almost 19 years. Today, instead of twice-daily injections like when I was diagnosed, I’m hooked up to a Medtronic Revel™ insulin pump. My last A1c came in at 6.2. I’ve completed two triathlons, and hopefully a third this year. And I’m writing a blog about my diabetes, talking about my daily experiences, investigating diabetes-related issues from time to time, and advocating for others like me.

Every journey starts somewhere. My journey with this disease began in your office back in January, 1991. I can remember it like it was yesterday. But that’s only the beginning of the first chapter. Subsequent chapters have had their ups and downs, but there’s still a lot more of this story to tell. I think it will be a long time before the final chapter is written. I hope you’re well, and I hope you understand how lucky I was to have connected with you so many years ago.

All the best,
Stephen
 
 
 

Like these links.

Happy Wednesday! Are you among the many in the diabetes online community sharing your story with the rest of us? Have you thought about sharing your story with the rest of us?

Then this is just for you:

 
Karen at Bitter-Sweet is doing all of the hard work on this project, and all she asks is that you write something every day for a week. And then share it. Are you in?
 

Scott S at Scott’s Web Log has another timely post, asking us to help kill a bill in congress that would allow companies to charge for access to taxpayer-funded research:
http://blog.sstrumello.com/2012/05/kill-this-bill-in-congress-research.html
 

And finally, a couple of links from a couple of AWESOME cyclists! These two keep me inspired to continue my training for next month:
I’m So PUMPED!
Canadian D-gal
 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Disclaimer
I have no medical training. If you consider anything written here as medical, legal, financial, or any other kind of advice, you’re out of your mind. Please speak to a learned professional before making any changes that might affect your health. Any of the original content found on this site is my property and should not be reproduced, copied, or otherwise used without the author’s expressed written consent.

Like these links.

Happy Wednesday! Here are some interesting posts that spoke to me in the past few days:

Kim at Texting my Pancreas celebrated her diaversary this week. And she has her hospital records from back then. More profound today than they were 26 years ago?
http://www.textingmypancreas.com/2012/04/twenty-six.html

Like searching for the happy medium, Karen at Bitter~Sweet is Striving for Level after a lot of upheaval. She reminds us all that “not trying is not an option“:
http://www.bittersweetdiabetes.com/2012/04/striving-for-level.html

Scott Johnson at Scott’s Diabetes has great information that reminds us that the best patients are also their own advocates. Be an empowered patient:
http://scottsdiabetes.com/2012/04/questions-answer/

Enjoy!

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