Today, I’ve had diabetes 16 years. Below is my journal entry from November 4th, 1994 when I was 11 and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes:
You might understand more if you read the previous journal entry one month before.
Well God, I’m mad at you. I just saw Ana check her blood sugar and it’s 168. I’m in the hospital right now because I’m diabetic now, too. That’s right, Diary. I have diabetes. I hate it already because it hurts to prick my finger and get shots. I hate it because today Hale was coming over to ask me out and instead he had to call the hospital room to ask me over the phone. So I guess today wasn’t too awful. But, I feel really depressed because now Ana and I have this disease and I don’t see how they will cure it so fast like they say, in 10 years. It just seems too hard to fix. The doctor said I can’t eat any more sugar. I have left my favorite Halloween candy for last!
Whatever, the shots are the worst part. And the complications. The doctor says I will have to take care of my blood sugars or bad things could happen. I know about those things, I read about them in a book when Ana was diagnosed. I have to be here for days. I just want to go to school and pretend this isn’t happening.
<words smeared by tears>
Anyway, other than this I’m fine. I think I’m fine. I’m going to be fine so Ana doesn’t see me upset and feel bad, too. I don’t want mom and dad to worry so I’ll just act fine. Stupid diabetes…
<blood smeared on the page>
This entry makes me think all sorts of different things. It shows me how doctor’s recommendations keep changing for type 1 diabetics. It shows me how much emotion I kept inside as an 11 year old. I remember going to school the week after diagnosis and telling everyone I was fine and that diabetes wasn’t a big deal. I was trying to tell myself that, mostly.
This entry also reminds me that this November isn’t just my diabetes anniversary, it is the anniversary of my friend Hale’s death in a tragic car accident when he was only 17. Back then, if you had told me that I would live longer than Hale I would have not believed you. He was perfectly healthy and didn’t have diabetes like me.
I’ve always hesitated celebrating another year with diabetes for fear it will lash out a complication on me as a sort of “oh no you don’t” warning. But, in honor of Hale and all of those who leave us so soon I think I WILL celebrate this day because it signifies another year I’ve been privileged enough to see.
Diabetes can kill so easily… making it another year should be considered a big deal.
So toast with me to that! <cling!>