Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Half-n-Half

Today is December 30th, 2009. A seemingly normal day.

But 11 years ago, yes exactly half my age ago, this day was anything but normal.

It was on this very day, 11 years ago, that I was diagnosed with Type 1, Juvenile Diabetes. It is safe to say my life, my world, my reality, my dreams were turned completely upside down.

It is in this spirit that I would like to share with you 11 ways that Diabetes has changed my life.

ONE. I must take note of each carbohydrate that enters my body. Even for a number cruncher like me, it can be overwhelming at times.

TWO. I have lost the ability of spontaneity. Chris is always telling me that I need to do more crazy things, take risks, go on more trips, but the fact is, Diabetes is in the driver's seat. Each trip must be planned, the length taken into consideration, and the appropriate bounty of supplies toted along.

THREE. Diabetes has taught me how to empathize. I have come to realize that people appreciate it when you say you don't understand what they are going through. Because, unless you have what they have...you don't understand. No one, even in my own family, knows the feelings, the sadness, the anger that I feel...because, thank God, they do not have this disease.

FOUR. Diabetes not only sticks you in the finger, it sticks you with humility. Sometimes, you just need help, or someone to listen.

FIVE. Diabetes has led me into some great friendships.

SIX. Sometimes Diabetes is funny...like when you go to pick up your prescriptions and they hand you a huge paper bag, plus a cooler with insulin...and all the old people are like, "whoa, that's a lot of Boniva... glad my osteoporosis isn't that bad!"

SEVEN. Shots hurt.

EIGHT. Diabetes has taught me to be careful with glass bottles, especially little ones full of insulin on Super Bowl evening...

NINE. Diabetes has shown my how much my parents love me. They bend over backwards to make sure I have enough supplies, they drove me to the doctor's everyday for a week leading up to the day of my diagnosis, they drove me to the hospital even though I didn't stay and my mom absolutely broke down because she knew then what I had no idea about...several shots everyday just to stay alive, just to function. They learned how to give me shots and so bravely gave them to me even when I cried and begged for them not to.

TEN. Diabetes has taught me to hope. Because without hope, Diabetes will win every single day.

ELEVEN. Diabetes may have changed my life, but there's one thing it hasn't changed, my goal to be an astronaut. --insert hysterical laughing here-- But, seriously, no way Diabetes...you aren't changing that!

It is weird to think that at this moment I have officially had Diabetes for half my life. I still remember life before it, and maybe someday I will only remember life with it. But for now, I am thankful for all of you and your support through these last 11 years!