I write this post today as a tribute to my life. Today marks 26 years of living with Type 1 diabetes. I wish I had some profound things to say in honor of this milestone but I’m having a difficult time expressing myself today. Here goes one last try.
I woke up with a blood glucose of 167 but must admit I was hoping for a perfect 115 thinking a good bg was something I deserved on my d-anniversary. But 167 can be how it feels to live with diabetes —not always bad or good but just letting you know it’s there if that makes sense. When I entered the living room I was greeted with an extremely friendly puppy. My dog Jonah. It was almost like he knew and understood somehow that today is special for me, almost like a holiday. He prompted me to sit next to him where I got a hug (he puts one paw on each shoulder) and then a kiss too as he let out a big squeaky yawn. It made me smile and thankful I slowed down a few minutes for him to cuddle up next to me.
I walked by the dining room table and found this beautiful bouquet of magnificent red roses and a card waiting for me. A gift from my husband of five years in honor of my 26th diabetes anniversary.
It was perfect and made my heart feel so happy. I feel so loved and like he truly understands the significance of this anniversary. How hard I work each day to stay healthy and what a joy it is to make it another year. I opened the card. It was beautiful and fitting.
He wrote a beautiful message inside and said something that made me curious.
“Diabetes has molded you in ways I’m just starting to understand.”
I tried to have him explain what this meant as he hurriedly ran off to a morning medical appointment but was not able to get any words out of him—yet. I certainly think that diabetes changes us in many ways and have written about it here. I look forward to hearing what he has to say about this!
Did I learn anything since celebrating my 25th anniversary last year?
Well maybe that we really are stronger than we realize. 2012 was a bad year for me. And that is a little of an understatement. Many things that I went through took a lot of patience and strength. From almost losing my cat Juniper, to leaving the post-baccalaureate nursing program after deciding it was no longer in my heart to be a nurse and finally getting very ill for several months before the holidays. I’ve also been in physical therapy with a frozen shoulder that has kept me away from many of the active things I like to do. Most of us have challenges like this from time to time.
We hang on. We grow and learn. We figure out new ways of doing things. We learn to just let things go that we do not have control of. We learn even more so to find the blessings in the little things. Every day. They are all around us. Like this morning as I made my first attempt to write this.. Mabel, my sweet kitty gave me good company and lots of purrs.
After 26 years I still have frustrating days. Sometimes my diabetes is unruly. Like last night when I was 300 for several hours. One thing I have learned and put into practice when I can is to just honor and respect my body. When I came home with a splitting headache yesterday afternoon, rather than force myself to clean or go to yoga, I rested on the couch. Last night when I really needed to bring my sugar down as well as a boost in my mood from the high sugars I walked on the treadmill bringing me down to 162 and felt a heck of a lot better emotionally.
I am convinced that life is and can be hard for all of us with diabetes. We all have the low blood sugars that can at times make us scared for our life and just feel darn miserable. We have the highs that suck out every ounce of energy from our body. We also have the roller coasters of being low and high again many times in a day which can leave us feeling beat up physically and emotionally.
As I get older I truly feel that our attitude plays a big part in our success of living well with diabetes despite the challenges so often thrown at us. We can choose to let this disease take over our lives and be negative and unhappy about it and let the world know how miserable diabetes has made our life. Or.. we can experience struggles just like everyone else but do our best to keep our chin up—realizing that these struggles are the very thing that makes us stronger and more caring. We find ways of living and being that help us cope and manage our diabetes. This does not take away the bad days, it just helps us flow through them easier and move into the next day with a clean slate. My daily walks and yoga practice help me with this tremendously as well as down time every day and spending quality time with my pets.
I have had the privilege of getting to know so many people because of Diabetes Light. I never could have realized I still had so much to learn after 25 years of living with diabetes but you have taught me so much. And I will continue to share my story. My joys and triumphs and a little about my hard days as well. Because yes I struggle too.
Here’s to another year of health, happiness and not letting diabetes get the best of me. Happy 26 years to me! So glad to have you with me on this journey. Blessings.
I wrote a special post last year in honor of living 25 years with diabetes –> 25 years: what does that mean exactly?
Peace & Light,
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