16. It’s a sweet 16 (hehe punny).
16 years… I’ve been thriving with Diabetes for 16 years now. Diabetes has been along for the ride. It’s my 16th Diabirthday.
I’ve gone from the days of NPH to insulin pumps to CGMs and everything in between. I’ve heard about the days before glucose meters and when people had to boil needles. (and so much more.)
What do I talk about today? Do I revisit my diagnosis? Do I talk about my accomplishments? Do I talk about the good? The bad? and the in-between?
I’ve been promised the days of a cure are 5 years away or 10 years away ever since I was diagnosed. But 16 years have come and gone. But around my 10th Diabirthday… I became jaded when it comes to talk of a cure. But this kind of jaded is good for me. For some people it’s all about using the hope of the cure to get them through each day. (which is fine) For me, that leads to disappointment. Diabetes is the one instance of my life where I live for today. Instead of a cure, I get excited about the things that are happening to make my day to day life easier and easier. I watch people and groups get angry about 100% of everything not going towards to a cure.
I mean. I can understand that. I don’t understand hushing other voices who might not agree (and that applies to all aspects of life and Diabetes). But I’m not. Because if we were only cure focused- where would the CGMs be? Where would camps be? Where would glucose meters be that take less blood and time? Where would the support and changes to clinical care be? Where would we be with advocacy and change? Where would awareness and education be? Where would my friends be who want to start families?
If I was only cure focused or there weren’t any advances… life would be very different. I think I would be personally setting myself up for disappointment when the cure didn’t come. I wouldn’t see people finally talking about the fact that we need to talk about mental health and diabetes more. I wouldn’t watch the fact that I have a pre-exisiting condition be not an okay reason for me to not be able to get health insurance. We might still be stuck with the glucowatch instead of the current generations of CGMs.
So yes- a cure would be great. and there’s always a part of me that holds onto a little bit of hope that the cure will come, someday. Maybe it will come in my lifetime, maybe it won’t. But I’d rather strive to make my day to day life easier in the meantime. I’d rather strive to do the best I can because I have one life and one body.
I’m not just going to wait for a cure and throw all my eggs in one basket.
I’d rather see more people get 50 year medals for living with Diabetes and that they are living happy and healthy lives.
I’d rather see more opportunities for people to thrive.
I’d rather know that clinical providers, parents, and anyone involved in the life of a person with diabetes remember that there is more to the diabetes. That the person isn’t just Diabetes. That there’s more going on. More to the story.
I’d rather see access to supplies and resources become easier for everyone no matter where they are or what their status is in life.
I’d rather see more improvements to health insurance.
I’d rather see more advocacy, education, and awareness.
I’d rather have pumpsites that last longer and whatever means of management that we haven’t even imagined yet make lives easier.
I’d rather that more gets done about mental health and diabetes.
I’d rather there be less stigma for both types. And more community.
I’d rather see that people in and outside of our community had more understanding and were not as judgmental- because everyone is so different- different beliefs, views, methods of managements, points in life, mental health, access, socioeconomic status, etc. etc. (Your Diabetes May Vary).
I’d rather that we look hard at perfectionist tendencies that are encouraged. and that the marks of proper diabetes management mirror markers for eating disorders.
I’d rather we look at the shame and fear and guilt that happen for everyone involved.
(and much more)
I’d rather have changes and improvements. Sure- a cure would be great. But it’s not here yet. In the mean time, I have a life to live.
I’m grateful for so much and for so many people in my life who help me to thrive each day; friends and family, for peers who get it, for people to look up to, camp, my job at the College Diabetes Network, the DOC, technology, change, Dawgs for Diabetes (a chapter of CDN), clinical providers that care, the voice I have, for my “diabetes cat” I got shortly after being diagnosed, and so much more.
I wonder what 17 years will bring? I wonder what will change by then? In my life, the world, and Diabetes?
But, I have my traditional red velvet cupcake to get to and some cold medicine (because of course I’m sick).
I do consider myself to be a sassy and persistent diabadass
(and a badass in general)
Hey you! Yes, you!
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