It occurred to me today, that if my diabetes was a person, it would be all grown up, out of the house and living on its own.
However, my diabetes refuses to leave. My diabetes is 27 years old today and still very much clinging onto me for its daily support and existence.
Yep, it’s my Diaversary and I’ll cry if I want to… but I’m actually feeling good about passing this new milestone; 27 years as a person withType 1 diabetes.
I’m not the kind of person who goes crazy for anniversaries of any type. I pretty much downplay my birthday, letting regular years and milestones fly under the radar. Yes, I’m buoyed by the lovely messages I get on Facebook and the acknowledgement from close family and friends. But big celebrations with helium filled balloons screaming the year loudly? Not my style.
My Diaversary, though, feels different. I didn’t know people marked the day of diagnosis until about three years ago. I had always acknowledged it on some level, I guess, remembering that it was mid-July, but after the first few years, I stopped counting. And then I saw someone post about their own Diaversary. I dug out my old calendar and pinpointed the exact day. (A week before my nephew’s birthday! Five days before my brother’s annual canoe trip, which I was supposed to do with him and his boys! Two months after meeting the man who would be my husband!)
To celebrate that first “official” Diaversary, I bought a pretty purse I’d been coveting from “Myabetic”. The following year, I went on a weekend yoga retreat.
This year, I spent the morning walking with my husband in a local park. On the trail, I saw this convoluted mass of branches and thought, what a perfect analogy for the way I feel about having diabetes. Substitute me for the branches and you’ll see what I mean:
How did the branches end up like this? At first glance, it seems hard to sort out: There’s a precarious sense of balance and a mix of old and new. The branches support each other, much like the community I’m starting to find, on-line and in person, of others with Type 1 diabetes. The intertwined branches remind me of the dance my diabetes does with my Omnipod, my Dexcom, my insulin, the carbs I eat, the exercise I do, and everything and anything else that is a part of me.
There’s beauty here, too: A sense that these toppled pieces of wood seem to be exactly where they’re meant to be. Acceptance is my theme for this year. Indeed, Happy Diaversary to me.
(Please remember, I’m not a doctor or an educator. Just a person who has had type 1 diabetes for the past 27 years. Please follow me on instagram at @grownupdiabetes.)