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In just over a week, I'll be marking 32 years since you came into my life. 32 years is a long time. I know you couldn't help yourself, making your home in my body, but I still kind of hate you and all you bring with you. You're like the brother-in-law that loses his job, moves in just after the honeymoon, eats too much food, makes a mess of the bathroom and leaves your boxer shorts on the floor for your new sister-in-law to pick up and wash. You're a mess.
Over the past three decades I've noticed you've got some terrible habits.
Like that tendency to lie in wait, letting me think I'm going to have a great day, then springing some mind boggling low or high bloodsugar on me just before I rest my head to sleep. Usually that kind of bologna keeps me up all night.
Or the habit you have of giving me a few days on a new insulin regimen, where I think the changes or adjustments I've made are working just fine. Then, pow! You throw in a series of highs or lows just to remind me I haven't got any real true control. It's all up to you. Unfair.
I guess you haven't been all bad. I've met some really great people that I might not have otherwise met, all because you came into my life. My lifelong gal friends from the Clara Barton Camp, lots of online friends, friends I met during hospital visits as a child that are still great pals - these are the unintended gifts of camaraderie you have given me.
My natural reaction to your presence in my life has also been a blessing. I know that life is challenging, but I know that if I persevere I will be alright in the end. I know that living with you isn't easy, but you make life's other challenges seem like a walk in the park. I am stronger, more disciplined, more independent because you are in my life. I won't thank you for those things, since those are more related to choices I've made about how I will react and respond, but I know that you were the precursor to those choices.
I've thought a lot about how I might mark the day next week, on the 24th of June. I think I've decided that I'll simply take a moment in the morning to reflect on the good. The things listed above that have come along with your residency that have made my life better in some way. I may meditate or do some yoga with the following mantra: "It hasn't all been bad."
I will call my mother and express my gratitude for the years she managed my diabetes like a superhero, tell my dad I am thankful for his tough love, tell my brothers I am grateful for their love and support, give my best friends small gifts for their help in managing you today. I will whisper an intention, "May those I know with diabetes have a quiet day today." I will live another day, cleaning up your boxer shorts. And I will be hopeful for the decades to come.
So I guess, kick your feet up and enjoy the cake I'll be eating next week, diabetes. Here's to 32 more years.
Megan was diagnosed in 2009 with Type I. As an RN, she was familiar with the medical side of her diagnosis; learning to be a good patient on the other hand, was and continues to be the challenge of her day to day life. (Read More)
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)