To Celebrate or Not Celebrate
Diabetes diagnosis date can be chance for reflection and change.
By Scott Johnson
April 2007 — There are countless stories from people who remember their diagnosis. They can tell you about how they felt prior to their diagnosis, and events that happened during and shortly after. Some can remember every detail about their diagnosis, and others, like me, were too young to recall much about it so many years later.
For many people, it is a time of year marked by memories of how their lives drastically changed; a life now full of needles, testing, calculations, and counting. For others, it is a time of year when they remember finally feeling better, after a long and tired period of misdiagnosis.
Many of us know that living with diabetes can be challenging even during the best of times. At first the learning curve seems unfairly steep and the penalty for not catching on can be harsh and painful. But we all find a way to do it.
We all find a way to not only deal with our diabetes, but we also find a way to continue on with life and all that it involves. We pursue careers, we engage in hobbies, we raise families. On top of all that we also find a way to deal with the demands that life itself throws at us – car repairs, appliances breaking, family emergencies, whatever.
I don't think that all of this is fully appreciated until you think about all of the intricacies involved with managing diabetes. Diabetes is interwoven into every detail of every day. Not a minute goes by where you don't have to keep at least one eye open and watchful for the ever present demands of living with diabetes, no matter what else you might have going on at that time!
We all have a choice in regards to how we deal with our diagnosis. Our decision might be one that changes day by day. We might feel powerless and victimized on a day where we battle low blood sugars or high blood sugars. On other days we are able to work everything into our day and come out with steady and predictable blood sugars, feeling confident and proud of our hard work.
April marked my 27th year with type 1 diabetes. I do think of it as a time to celebrate in a way. I don't throw a party, or even do anything outside of my normal routine, but I do take a little bit of time to pat myself on the back and acknowledge a job mostly well done.
When that time of year comes around for you, take a look at all that you do with diabetes. Give yourself credit for all of the hard work you do (and have done). Decide what area or areas you want to improve on, come up with a game plan, and start working that plan.
It can sometimes be frustrating to know that there is always room for improvement, but when you look back on your diagnosis, you might find it pretty empowering to see just how far you've come!
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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