This week marks my one year anniversary with diabetes. 365 days.
In some ways I think that I’m lucky, only having had the disease for one year. Plenty of type 1 diabetics my age live with the disease, and have lived with it, for the majority of their lives. I’m not going to lie, that induces a level of anxiety in me that I would probably deny. That being said, this last year proves one of the worst (RIP pancreas) best (abroad, new friends, getting another amazing opportunity to intern in NYC, traveling) of my life. I’ve lost my carefree days and settled for the adult lifestyle a tad earlier than I would’ve liked. I make decisions everyday that determine my future health, which is probably dramatic but also on a realistic level, true.
I constantly remind myself that I can bounce back from this, live with this, because I know people who live with worse, and that’s not self-deprecating or minimizing the disease or what I am going through–it’s merely fact.
A lifetime with diabetes looks like a walk in Hyde park (UGH I miss London) compared to any one of the countless other diseases millions of people live with every day. That being said, I do struggle with the idea of my family checking the box at the doctors office when asked if a family member has diabetes. This disease affects more than me. It affects my friends and everyone around me–something I’m reminded of every time someone mentions cake or cookies, or sugar in general and my family and friends look up at me, in an “I know you can’t eat it and I feel so bad for you” kind of way.
I find myself smirking every time I think of this one year mark as an “anniversary.” I mean, come on. Aren’t anniversaries supposed to be a good event, marking the passing of time since a happy occasion? Or maybe that’s just my quixotic view of the world, and the word. But also, the term “honeymooning.” I mean, tell me if I’m wrong (and I tend to be on occasion… el oh el) but when the doctor explained to me that my pancreas was/is honeymooning, i literally laughed out loud. I wanted to reply with, well who’s footing that bill? And can it come back from vacation and do its damn job?
Apparently, that meant that it occasionally worked, but was on its way out (which can last for up to five years or something like that. Not fun.) So, dear diabetes, please stop ruining words for me. Especially the “c” word: cake. I miss cake. If you’ve seen me recently, I’m sure you can tell to the extent I enjoyed food abroad (damn I need to hit the gym) but even in my indulgences, I limited myself (for the most part) on what I ate in order to maintain a somewhat level blood sugar for the majority of my four months abroad.
I know this journey will be hard, the road ahead not easy, but then I think of the greatest people I know, my family, my grandparents, my inspirations. Surviving despite countless battles, and making it to another day with a smile on their faces. I aspire to be that, well… inspiring to the ones I love one day. I want to be a voice sought during a time of need. I want to be the person that brings a smile to others. I want to be someone who is more than the constant complaining and discussion of diabetes, someone that can use their voice to help those who cannot be heard. I want to be like all of the greats before me, and all of the ones that will undoubtedly come after. I want to take all of my “wants” and make them into “am.” But alas, until i’ve reached that level of self-knowledge and ability to communicate and instill a level of comfort in others, I’ll gladly take the role of some girl who writes a blog every now and then, faking it till I make it, one insulin pump at a time.
Now that I’m back in the good old U.S. of A, Land of the Free, Home of the brave, I have so much free time. Well, that might have more to do with the fact that I am back in my hometown, pining after my Euro trip and bubbling with excitement for my summer in NYC. Not a bad life I have to say.
Stay classy and expect another post soon!