It’s my 23rd Betes Birthday!
Every year I take this day to reflect on the things I’ve accomplished; both in spite of and because of my diabetes. We have a love/hate relationship. Unlike many PWD, I let my diabetes define me. And, I love that it does. Most of what I have and who I am is directly because of my diabetes or something that I learned from coping with it.
Diabetes has given me a career that I am incredibly passionate about. I love my job. LOVE it. I certainly would not be in medicine if it weren’t for my diabetes. I don’t even like medicine. I like diabetes. It has given me the patience and an understanding that I always longed for in my own clinicians. This year, I opened a practice in an area where there hasn’t been specialized diabetes care in…idk how long, maybe forever? The PWD that I’ve come in contact with here are the some of the sickest people I’ve ever seen. I’ve shed lots of tears and heard countless heartbreaking stories mostly stemming from lack of specialty access. I have also shared with them triumphs and life changing moments. I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything and I’m so glad to be on their team and to be their cheerleader. Diabetes gave me that.
My diabetes also gave me special relationships with some of the most important people in my life. I fell in love with my husband when on our first date he asked, “Hey! Is that an insulin pump?” and proceeded to tell me about his cousin/best friend with type 1. He has been an amazing supporter, always making me laugh through my worst highs and lows (BGs and otherwise). In fact, at our wedding he vowed, “Just like your insulin pump, I promise to always be that little pain in your ass that you can’t live without.” Hes the best.
Diabetes has given me a close special and very special relationship with my parents who taught me that I could do anything I set my mind to if I took care of myself. They read countless books on diabetes management, helped guide me in making decisions about my body, and were always there to pick me up when things got hard. They still are. My parents made sure we celebrated my diabetes anniversary every single year. On my first anniversary my mom got me a charm necklace. Every year since, they have gotten me a charm to symbolize something I accomplished that year, reminding me that diabetes does not stop me from achieving my goals. They’re not just my parents, they are my best friends!
This year, I am getting THE GREATEST present I could possibly imagine. I am finally getting to see my mom and dad after a year and a half of us being apart. COVID kept us separated for longer than we have ever been. But now we are all vaccinated, and they are here! I am so grateful!
Thank you, diabetes, for giving me all these things, resilience, compassion, determination, and so much more. You are a pain in my ass most of the time, but I don’t know where my life would be without you. Cheers to another healthy year and many more to come!