Some would call this a “major milestone”, but I consider it a pain in the pancreas.
At the beginning of January, I “celebrated” a 30 year anniversary with Type 1 diabetes.
I use “celebrate” loosely, as I neither enjoyed nor appreciated three decades of needles, injections, blood tests, blood draws, tongue bites from low bloodsugars, arthritis/frozen shoulders, low stomach emptying that causes havoc with my bloodsugars, the frantic reaction of my parents to a hypoglycemic reaction, or the slim chance of overwhelming guilt I will feel when ReeRee is diagnosed with the disease from my genetics.
Good people embrace their weakness and proclaim to the world the wonder they have learned from the trials and how they would never change a thing.
I would trade for a healthy pancreas.
I would trade for a normal, guilt free childhood. One that doesn’t matured me at age 5. Living with death around the corner for that long takes a toll on your soul.
I would trade for the millions of dollars I have spent on the countless strips, needles, infusion sets, and kind but uneducated doctor visits. I wish my parents didn’t have to endure the financial hardship raising two diabetic children in the worst ag economic recession.
I would trade for a life speckled with freedom to change plans (before planning the next basal due to the change), freedom to exercise without the belly dragging lows (a marathon almost sounds fun), and freedom to work at a job that doesn’t have health insurance.
I would trade for a future not painted full of fear by doctors- blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, nerve damage… I’m so looking forward to the next 30 years- oh wait, the doctors say the average life expectancy of a diabetic is age 55. (More than likely, I’ll be dead to celebrate 60 years with diabetes.)
I would trade for a sense of self-worth not based on the number on the meter’s screen. A good person has perfect control, right?
I would even trade diabetes for cancer. Too much? Consider this- I will NEVER defeat the disease called “diabetes”, but many people live and conquer cancer. I would like to imagine a life “cured” and live diabetes-free.
So here’s to you, Diabetes, and 30 years. I still hate you.