Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis.
If popular belief were true, my diabetes would have been cured three times by now. But it’s still here.
When you have diabetes for fifteen years (or heck, if you’ve had diabetes for fifteen minutes), it’s easy to find the something bad.
Waking up at 3 a.m. with a blood sugar of 52 mg/dl. Or waking up at 3 a.m. with a blood sugar of 522 mg/dl.
The gushers, the bruises, the stings. The weakness and disorientation from a low. The nauseau and crankiness from a high. There’s sitting down when you want to be running. There’s water when you want a milkshake.
The hours reading the same five month old Good Housekeeping at the endocrinologist’s office, the diabetes educator’s office, the nutritionist’s office, the dentist’s office, the ophthalmologist’s office and the podiatrist’s office.
The stares, whispers and outright rude “Are you sure you can eat that?” questions which really translate into “I’ve never faced my mortality on a day-to-day basis for years on end before but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to do that.” Gee, thanks.
But when I see that inquiry, “Tell me something good,” I can’t help but smile.
I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. I’ve traveled the country, and met interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds and beliefs. I have a creative outlet to share my life (which may or may not be all that exciting right now – but someday people will be use my blog as inspiration for my unofficial and unauthorized biography to be sold at Borders for $4.99 in paperback).
I have a wonderful, big apartment (with a dishwasher!) and a roommate who I actually get along with. I have a boyfriend who is amazing and sweet. I have smart, caring parents who are involved in my life but not too involved. I have a friends who listen and take care of me when I need it.
I have a job. I have co-workers that I like. (Those 2 things do not always go together). I have a car and health insurance that actually leaves more money in my pocket than takes away. I have a support system that is fun and creative and thoughtful.
I’m going to Philadelphia in two weeks. And Boston a month after that. There will be lots of travel this summer, per usual. Tonight, I’m going to Devi, a fancy Indian restaurant (my favorite kind of food), with Erik for Restaurant Week. On Valentine’s Day, we’re going to see Speed-the-Plow, with William H. Macy (who I think is a way better actor than Jeremy Piven, but that’s just me).
After fifteen years of living with diabetes, there has been a lot of something bad. There has also been a lot of something good. But you know what? I remember the something good way more than the something bad. I remember a great dinner with my prom date and dancing all night long, not the insulin pump that was clipped to the back of my dress. I remember seeing the Eiffel Tower and the field of sunflowers and the Mona Lisa, not my meter breaking and having to search French pharmacies for a new one. I remember school plays, picnics with my friends, and eating bagels and Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies for lunch, not going low during a test or having my pump set rip out.
I have fifteen years of something good in the face of Something Bad. I plan on having many more years filled with lots of something good.