Today is my ‘diaversary’. At 1.30pm 33 years ago today ( 23rd July 1981 ) aged 3 years old I was officially diagnosed with Type1 diabetes. I know the exact time as it is written in my hospital records and even though the pages are ageing the handwritten notes from that day have stood the test of time so far!
I often wonder when my diabetes actually began prior to my diagnosis date? Was it days, weeks or months or longer? Ok it wasn’t days. It certainly was at least weeks as I had been noticeably drinking a ridiculous amount for weeks on end. This was the key factor that led to my mum taking me to visit the GP that morning .But how long had it been before the symptoms started to appear? When exactly did my immune system decide to attack my Beta cells ? Where and when was that design placed on my body’s blue print? These questions will never be answered I guess? Are they important? Do they matter? My diagnosis was the effectual beginning in the reality of my diabetes journey.
So what have I learnt over my three decades with my Type1 diabetes ? Well it’s been a bumpy ride! Most importantly I am a person. I am human and if I’m not then please don’t ‘beam me up Scotty’ because I haven’t phoned home yet…..There have been tears, fears, bitterness, incomprehension, exasperation, tolerance, intolerance, pain, joy and eventually acceptance.
I’ve walked the tight rope on the hypo line and danced with devil in the hyper circus. I’ve gone on a kamikaze into minute numbers and rocketed into outer space too….super speed in both directions! I’ve injected into bruises and screamed like a shrieking siren. I’ve unhooked my insulin pump and then moments later got out of bed while helplessly watching it sky dive towards the floor with a powerful jolt feeling the immense tug and swearing I’ll never do that again. I’ve even vowed I’ll unscrew the door handles off every door in my home! I’ve flicked those air bubbles once, twice, five times, ten. I’ve washed many a white top and taken out shares in stain removers due to numerous blood glucose finger fountain displays. I’ve had my ‘Yabadabadoo!’ moments when my HbA1c result is really good or better than expected and I kind of resemble Droopy dog if my result isn’t what I expect or want…..
I’ve witnessed glass syringes, testing powders, colour charts, dip sticks, strips long and short, plastic syringes, blood glucose machines big and small, hand written blood glucose diaries, USB data diaries, pen injections, clicks, bleeps, HbA1c results given months later at your next appointment changing to instant results, insulin pumps, CGM sensors, improving technology all the time. (These are just a handful of things I’ve mentioned) How things have changed since I was 3 years old!
After all back in the sixties way before I was born when I was a twinkling star Bob Dylan sang ‘The Times They Are A Changin’. They certainly are. Changing for the better for diabetes technology and management so here’s looking forward to continuing positive steps for us all and a delicious slice of cake for me. I would normally share but as it’s my diaversary I’m going to scoff the lot!