World Diabetes Day. My first thought, as through most of my post-diagnosis days, is “this isn’t fair”. Why is diabetes affecting the lives of so many across the globe that we have to have a day for it? No fair whatsoever.
I am no longer in denial of my diabetes. And blogging has helped to nurture a positive attitude, but it also brings me close and up-front to the struggles that a lot of fine people go through. As I come to know more people and consider them my friends, I get mad as a hornet knowing what db does to us, on all levels of our existence. The want to strangle the monster until it disappears in a mist of vapor.
I have many days when I’m filled with optimism - and rightly so. Research and technology are advancing exponentially and I expect many more improvements yet to come in my lifetime. But I don’t expect a cure. And so here I am, stuck in the foreverland of being a person with diabetes.
I don’t know if it’s the stage of life that I’m in, or the fact that my mother is on the home stretch, or my job insecurity, but lately I’ve been feeling very nostalgic and thinking about growing up and times gone by. Some surprisingly poignant and lovely memories have crept out of the shadows, like berry picking on my g’ma’s farm, and ice fishing with my dad, and sneaking away to go shopping in a “big town” with my high school girlfriends.
Tonight on the eve of WDD, I remember my relatives who have died from TiDM.
The first person (that we know of) was diagnosed in 1945. Age 9. She died 7 years later. And several more died after that.
These people who shared my bloodline
- had to boil their glass syringes (as one of my TD friends put it, “the needles always develoved barbs on them so they hurt coming out as well as going in”
- had to put urine and a fizzy tablet in a test tube
- had to adhere to a ridgid exchange system, where there was no room for a pancake or brownie
- did not have ACE inhibitors to protect their kidneys
- did not have statins to control blood lipids
- faced across the board job descrimination
- had no publications, support groups and Online Communities to help with the difficult emotions.
There should probably be a whole other day of remembrance for those who died before the discovery of insulin.
But tomorrow, please don’t forget the people who bravely faced life in the early days of insulin. Let the strength of their collective spirit carry you forward when you face challenging times.
All of us, old/young; type 1/type 2; pumpers/pokers; newly diagnosed/veterans are in this together. The ocean refuses no river. Do something nice for somebody tomorrow. Trust life. Press on to a better future, for all of us.
Click here for lyrics to the song below. You won't be disappointed.