Remembering Life Before Diabetes


I was thinking about this the other day.  I know a lot of people probably don’t remember much of their lives before diabetes.  The majority would though, considering type 2 diabetes is the great majority of diabetes cases and a substantial amount of type 1 diabetics were diagnosed as older children, teenagers, or adults.  Then there are the type 1.5 diabetics who would remember, too.

Anyway, if you were older when diagnosed…do you ever think back and remember life before diabetes?

I try not to but, the year of my diagnosis is so clear in my mind.  When I’m recalling a memory from childhood I tend to automatically go to that year, 1994.  It’s kind of strange. 

I can remember who I sat next to in 5th grade between January and June when I “graduated” elementary school.  I remember how in February my sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 3 and how that night I tried to explain to my brother who is a year and a half younger than me, that it was serious because Dad was sitting on the couch thinking for too long a time.  I remember my favorite outfit that Spring was a matching pair of Umbro soccer shorts and t-shirt…orange and purple.  I remember fighting with my hair all the time because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to fix my naturally wavy hair (Oh what I would have done for a flatiron).  I remember liking a boy just because he was especially kind to the girl in the wheelchair.  I remember three family members visiting over the summer from Venezuela, leaving my brother and I sleeping on army cots in the basement for a month (which was so much fun).  I remember us having pillow fights every time we disagreed on something (also fun).  I remember visiting Washington D.C. that summer and thinking that Abe Lincoln was the coolest president EVER and I remember feeling so giddy about being in the presence of his statue.  I remember starting middle school in September and was excited to be “growing up” and felt ready to take on the world.  I decided I’d stop being so shy.  Every day was amazing due to the potential of it.  My diary read, “Sysy, you’re life is gonna change.”

Then I was diagnosed with diabetes in November.  

It’s kind of nice to remember life without diabetes.  My favorite memory is just that of spontaneity and the feeling that my body was unstoppable.  Like the times when there was a thunderstorm and I’d go outside barefoot and run around the house in the mud like a nutcase.  I’d get my brother and two sisters to do it, too.  Our Mom yelled at us to come inside before we were struck by lightning but then we’d look up at the window and see her taking pictures and laughing.  Those were good times.

Oh wait, now that I think of it, those thunderstorm runs were after diabetes…:)

8 thoughts on “Remembering Life Before Diabetes

  1. Melissa E

    I love this post, reading it, I felt like I was there with you during those memories! I definitely remember life before diabetes…considering it was only 4 years ago and I am 30…I miss life before diabetes…I have embraced my life now, but sometimes I find it hard to be the same person I was before and that is the worst part.

  2. Sysy Post author

    Thank you, Melissa :) I can’t imagine getting type 1 around the age I am now. I imagine it would be much more difficult when reminiscing. I mean just to begin with, you have so many more diabetes free memories than someone diagnosed at age 11.

  3. Ana Morales

    haha I was about to say, I was way older than 3 when I went outside in the thunderstorms with you! :P Great way to end this article.

    I can’t imagine what it would be like to remember life without diabetes so clearly. I guess it can be both a blessing and a curse depending on how you look at it… Personally, I’m kind of glad that I can’t remember, but of course part of me would like to know what it would be like to not have diabetes.

  4. Reyna Maher

    I loved living those memories with you as well Sysy. Joe has NO memories pre-“d”…just as well, I suppose. Although, it is somewhat sad too. Don’t ya think?

    I am glad that you have such a positive spin on it all. I am hoping to pass on the same mental mindset to Joe. Thanks for all of your posts and your insight! xoxo

  5. sarah pearson

    I barely remember life before diabetes…and I was diagnosed less than 9 months ago, with type 1, at age 26. It was a different life. 9 months ago I was planning to travel the states with my boyfriend, touring as a musical duo and living out of a van, get married in the spring, and then buy a farm and over time build a sustainable home. Now I have diabetes, and I’ve since split with the boyfriend, and am “chained” to the public health care system of my native Canada, and am still struggling to find full-time work in this economy. Life sure felt a lot scarier in the months after my diagnosis. The world felt like a dangerous place. It’s only now, as the days get longer in our Canadian winter that I can feel that sense of adventure return. I am starting to believe again that anything is possible. The world is a wonderful, joyous place. With or without diabetes.

  6. Sysy Post author

    Thanks for commenting, Sarah. You’re situation sounds rough. You had a lot to deal with aside from the diabetes itself! I’m glad you’re doing better now and feeling up to adventure again :)

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