Five Years With The Big D
Tomorrow is a big day. Like HUUUUUUGE! Five years ago tomorrow, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I won’t get into my whole diagnosis story this time around but I suppose a little reflection is in order. To begin with, let’s go over some numbers. In five years with diabetes I have gone through (numbers are approximate):
- 340 Omnipods
- 64 Dexcom SevenPlus CGM Sensors
- 3240 self injections
- 7300 fingersticks
Holy shitballs! Those numbers blow my mind! That means I have poked MYSELF over 10,000 times in five years (and been poked over 400 times with a needle/cannulae for either of my “devices”) It just seems amazing to me. And expensive. I won’t even begin to try to estimate how much money has been spent on these d supplies (between me and my insurance company) but I can pretty much guarantee it would make my head explode.
It’s funny how your mind works though isn’t it? As I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on what has transpired and changed over these last few years, there is one specific memory that comes to mind – and it doesn’t really have much to do with diabetes. Have a seat, let me tell you a story.
As you know, the separation from BDNF came mere days after my diagnosis. As in, the last night we ever spent in the same bed was the night I got the actual diagnosis at my endo’s office. After that I began living with my parents. I needed the emotional and financial support that only a parent can give after a life changing diagnosis and a revelation that the person who swore to love you forever, in sickness and health, most likely had his fingers crossed behind his back when he made those vows. I digress. The following week, Sis announced she was pregnant. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I. Was. Devastated. I was so happy for Sis & BIL but I was just so damn sad for myself. I still feel horrible for what a baby I was in those early months. Avoiding all the happiness of the expectant couple was hard to do but come on, we’ve all done crazy things in order to find and preserve the peace in our own minds. However, about a week after the announcement (she was like seriously 2 minutes pregnant when she told everyone), there was some spotting and a miscarraige…maybe. Let me preface the rest of this story by saying that after the first week of dealing with all my own negativity and depression I hit the salon on a Friday and treated myself to a haircut (chopped off more than 6″!) and a mani/pedi to jumpstart some self love (not that self love you sicko! I was looking good but come on now!). My mom woke me up at about 5:30 on a Saturday morning in tears. She told me that Sis had lost the baby and her & BIL were on their way over.
The two of them walked in the house just looking so damn sad it broke my aching heart even more. While we haven’t always had the most awesome relationship, she’s my blood and my little sister and my instincts always tell me to protect her. And now I couldn’t (on that note, I can’t even imagine how my parents felt with two daughters dealing with HUGE life stuff at the same time – just another reminder how thankful I am for the both of them!). So we all sat in the living room and talked and cried. I honestly don’t remember what I said to her, but I know it was something along the lines of, “I know this sucks and I’m sorry it’s happened to you. People will tell you it’s happened to them and they got over it. People will tell you it’s for the best. But it hurts right now, and it’s ok to feel that. We all need to grieve to move on.” (I’m sure it didn’t sound quite that awesome – details become embellished over time!). After they left that day my dad came up to me and gave me an enormous hug and said, “I don’t know what that haircut did to you but that was an amazing thing you said to your sister. Even with all you’re going through, you still just want everyone to be happy.” And you know what, that always has and always will be true. It kills me to see other people in pain, and when all it takes are some heartfelt words to bring at least a wee bit of relief to them why would I not? So yes, I was hurting. Hurting like I’ve never hurt before and all I could think about was taking the pain away from my baby sister. I don’t call that going above and beyond. I call that being human. It’s compassion – a trait I wish more people possessed.
I don’t tell that story sound like some boastful snobbish chick trying to prove to you how awesome I am (but I am – DUH! Well, the awesome part anyway), I simply tell it as a memory of those first few foggy days with the D. I don’t know why that memory sticks out so much, but it does. I mean there are other memories – Mom offering me her pancreas (it doesn’t work that way mom! Thanks anyway!); my 1st trip to the pharmacy to pick up insulin, test strips, lancets and such (holy balls that was EXPENSIVE!); the lunch Sis and I shared after that first endo appointment (Welcome to Moe’s!); repurposing old glass jars as portable sharps containers (no, that is NOT a jar of bacon bits in my purse thankyouverymuch!) and so many more. But this story reminds me that I am strong. I am strong enough to make it through a diagnosis and a divorce happening concurrently and to pass and offer that strength to others. When the going gets tough I can think back on that and know that I can make it through anything. ANYTHING! While I’m not a hugely religious person, I do firmly believe in both the “He won’t give you more than you can handle” and the “If He brought you to it he will bring you through it” philosophies. However, most of the time, I like to think of He as me. After all, I am in control of my own destiny. It’s all up to me…and I won’t waste the time feeling sorry for myself. Life is simply too short – and five years ago I learned how precious every day truly is. Happy diaversary to me! XOXO
PS – Sis did not actually miscarry that day. She carried Bman to term and he was born happy and healthy on 12/31/07. I will always say that boy saved my life. I can never repay my gratitude for giving me a light at the end of a lonely, dark tunnel.