This week I celebrate my 19th diabetes anniversary. My mom is in town visiting so I’m taking the day off of work and spending it with her; she wants to take me to lunch and we’ll probably do some shopping. We’re going to end the day with a family trip to the zoo at nighttime. Fun!
Over the past few days, I’ve mentioned this anniversary to a few coworkers and they seem puzzled by the idea of “celebrating” the date of my diagnosis with diabetes. I’ve explained that the point is to acknowledge the years I’ve taken care of myself and lived healthfully with the disease.
As I get older, I find myself reminiscing more frequently. I suppose that’s normal as with more years behind you, there’s more to reminisce about. My experience of living with diabetes has followed a path from childhood, adolescence, and crazy college years leading up to adulthood and motherhood. My blood sugar control has gotten progressively better throughout the 19 years. My eating habits have also improved through a series of baby-steps to the point where processed carbohydrates are a very infrequent treat, which is completely different than the diet of my youth. As I’ve matured, so has my ability to manage this disease in a healthy, disciplined way.
A 19th anniversary feels like the birthdays of my late 20s which weren’t all that remarkable. Next year, however, will be my 20th anniversary and I’ve already brainstorming how I would like to mark that milestone. I’m leaning toward training for my first marathon. It would be awesome to accomplish a physical feat like that in commemoration of a living with diabetes for 20 years. Or, I may look for a special gift for myself; maybe a timeless piece of jewelry, like diamond earrings. That would certainly be less strenuous than the marathon!