For the first time in, well, ever probably my Diaversary is not accompanied by sadness or anger. For that I have the D-OC (Diabetes Online Community) and the Taking Control of Your Diabetes conference I attended on Saturday. I will talk more about both this week but for now I just wanted to give everyone in the D-OC a great big virtual hug. You all are awesome.
Thinking about what to write about today I realized I had written about my diagnosis earlier this year over at Nacho's blog. I'm going to repost it here today. Over the next few weeks I will be writing more about my diagnosis. Without further ado....
There are certain days in every person’s life that stand out: day you got engaged, married, children were born, and the day you were diagnosed with diabetes. Wait, what? Day you were diagnosed with diabetes?
Ok, so the vast majority of the population won’t have the memorable day that is D-Day. Frankly, it would be better if nobody has to have that experience but those of us with diabetes clearly remember the day we were diagnosed. Of course if you were diagnosed at a really young age your parents, I’m sure, have that day etched forever in their memory.
I was diagnosed at age 7 on November 1, 1988. Day after Halloween. The previous year was full of changes for me: mom got remarried and 5 months before I was diagnosed my baby brother was born. I guess things do come in three’s because then it was diabetes.
A week before I was diagnosed I was in Mexico with the rest of my extended family celebrating my grandmother’s 60th birthday. Before we left for Mexico my 2nd grade teacher notified my mom that I was always out of the classroom; either in the restroom or at the drinking fountain. We sent a urine sample to the pediatrician’s office as we were leaving town. In Mexico my older cousin and I snuck candy and hid it in the bathroom we shared. I’m sure lucky I didn’t end up in DKA.
Upon our return home we were greeted by a bunch of messages from the doctor’s office saying they needed to redo the test. I went in on November 1. The night before, Halloween, my parents took my candy and told me I could have it after the doctor’s appointment. Of course, I snuck some.
That doctor’s appointment changed my life. They redid the urine test and then sent us into the doctor’s office. He was sitting behind his desk when he told my mom I had diabetes.
Next thing I know we were in the elevator going upstairs to another doctor’s office. I remember looking at my mom and seeing her trying to keep her composure. At 7 years old I knew my mom was scared and upset and it had something to do with me. Suddenly I was terrified.
Next thing I know my parents and I are in the hospital learning about shots and highs and lows and food and testing.
I would give anything to not have diabetes but November 1, 1988 helped shape the person I am today. Every year on my D-Day I get sad about “what if I didn’t have diabetes” but I remind myself of all the strength that has bloomed inside of me and the courage that has come from having diabetes. This year when I celebrate 22 years with diabetes I am going to celebrate it and not think about the “what ifs”.