This year, on September 2, 2016, I will have been a diabetic for 25 years.
Twenty-five years! That’s longer than my brother has been alive, and he got married last year!
I’ve been living with diabetes for a quarter century. It’s pretty intense. There are days where it makes no difference at all. There are days where it makes every difference. My diabetes causes so many things in my life to happen. It makes me persevere; it makes me cry; it makes me strong; it makes me weak. Diabetes makes my family hurt, and it causes my future to look different than a lot of peoples’.
Just before my second birthday, I started wetting the bed. My parents had been potty training me, and I had the hang of it. Until all of a sudden, I didn’t. Then, we went on vacation and no amount of cajoling could get me to eat real food. I just wanted to drink and sleep; I was tired all the time. I went from being an excited, funny, interesting child to being tired, cranky, and demanding water and drinks as often as possible.
My parents were scared, and young, and took me to the pediatrician several times before they demanded that I been seen again. This time, the doctors caught the ketoacidosis that was occuring in my body. Ketoacidosis occurs when diabetics don’t receive insulin and the sugar from their food and liver pours into their blood stream. It can cause coma or death if left untreated, and diabetes in young children at that point was almost always fatal. Doctors tried to prepare my family for the worst. It was unlikely I’d live through that night, even less likely I’d see the end of the week and near impossible to consider what the future would hold.
So they waited, they held me through the night, they prayed and they learned. Over the next several days, weeks, and years, I would be a very sick child. Despite this, my family went out of their way to give me as normal a childhood as possible. They went through a number of harrowing close calls, and together we experienced the joys and frustrations that come with being a diabetic or having one in your family.
Type One Diabetes is no joke, and over the past twenty-five years, a lot has happened. I’m proud to still be here and my family’s love and support. Our family has changed, grown and added, and with those changes, we’ve had some great, and less than great, experiences with diabetes.
On this section of the blog, my family and I will share some of our stories from the past 25 years, AND sharing the exciting ways we are celebrating these 25 years!
Join our movement by using #25Thrive !