Celebrating Diabetes Anniversaries

Ginger Vieira Health Guide
  • March 23rd of 2007 marked the eighth year since I was diagnosed with diabetes. On March 23rd, however, I completely forgot! It came and went and I completely didn’t notice! I didn’t celebrate with a carb-free dinner or a bottle of diet soda. I think I spent that night with my friend watching movies and laughing hysterically over nothing at all significant during dinner AppleBees.


    And I’m glad I forgot. And I’m glad not because I don’t want to think about eight years of life with diabetes, but because it means I’ve truly accepted this disease as part of my everyday life. It is a part of me. If I were to make a list of things that describe me and describe my life, diabetes would be on that list.

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    I am:

    1. Lousy at math
    2. Obsessed with doing handstands
    3. A big fan of Fuji apples and Cheddar cheese
    4. A person with Type 1 diabetes
    5. Very loud when she laughs in public places


    Some people wake up in the morning, turn on the coffeemaker, take their vitamins, walk their dog and go to work. When I wake up in the morning, I brush my teeth, turn on some music, check my blood sugar, take a shower and go to class. That’s my routine. Diabetes is not a special addition to the formula, it’s simply become an everyday act that is part of my life.


    I often hear people say “I’ve had diabetes for fifteen years” and the way they say it seems to imply an invisible burden on their shoulders. Fifteen years. They say it as if they themselves are surprised they’re still around. I wish it sounded more like, “Fifteen years! WOO! If I’ve made it this far, I can make it another fifteen! And another! WOO!”


    My “Diabetes Anniversary” is not a countdown or a “count up”…I’m not keeping track. In fact, I think I’d like to erase the whole idea of a “Diabetes Anniversary” entirely. It’s not important how long you’ve had it. It’s not important how many years you’ve been poking your fingers four times a day and taking insulin shots. I think what really does matter is that at the end of every individual day you can feel as though diabetes is not something you spend every day fighting or suffering from. Instead, diabetes represents a large part of your life that challenges you, and every day is another day you step up to the challenge and succeed.




Published On: April 23, 2007