I'd like to place a trigger warning on this post for sexual assault. Also, this may be gibberish at some points.
It's my diaversary today--ten years with this.
My mom took my to the ped on this date in the evening, ten years ago, because she knew. She recognized the symptoms, especially after I chugged a whole container of apple juice and a gallon of milk in one evening.
We just did the "pee on a stick" test, one of the old ketone strips that also checks pee glucose. The colors instantly changed and went as dark as possible within seconds of being placed in the cup of my pee.
I was thirteen years old. I knew what this meant. I mean, I'd been watching my older brother be T1 since I was eight.
We went home later that night, knowing that I'd be going in for "official lab work" the following day, since an insta-changing pee stick test apparently isn't good enough for some people (AKA insurance). My parents held me down as they did a finger stick using my older brother's meter. It was one of the "new" One Touch meters, much better than the One Touch Basic that he used to use (mainly, this thing could fit in a normal person's pocket). My mom hit a nerve in my finger when she pressed the button on the lancing device. I think this is the reason I really really prefer alternate site testing, besides playing the violin and needing to save my fingers for that.
The meter read HI.
We all cried.
I was remembering what I'd seen my older brother go through: the screaming from getting shots, the horrific bruises from the Medijector, him punching a hole in the wall when he was low, people being jerks, seeing the pump and knowing it was an option, watching him miss a semester of middle school because he was just so sick...
Was that going to happen to me?
I refused to use the same meter as him--I wanted something that took less blood. I got the new Freestyle meter. I was put on Humalog and Ultralente. Two weeks later I would have the new MiniMed Paradigm. I would have to miss my friend's birthday party sleepover because my parents were paranoid about me going low.
I was initially incredibly ticked. I hated needles, and this only made me hate them more. My friends started dropping like a nuclear bomb had gone off.
It was only a later did I realized that this was a very sick stroke of luck. I mean, I started feeling better after not being in DKA and not drinking my volume in liquid. But when I look back on this time, I can't help but place my diagnosis as what stopped my being abused.
It started when I was 10, before i started 5th grade. About 2 1/2 years later, it stopped. He was diagnosed when he was in fifth grade. I don't know, maybe I'm reading to much into it, but the timing just...gets to me.
Things have gotten better since then. The meters have gotten better and smaller. More meters are on the market that require less blood. We have CGMS now that aren't the glucowatch that zaps you. We have better pumps with awesome features, like doing the math for you and food data bases and smaller increments. We have newer insulins, like Lantus and Apidra. We have new medications to help with management, like Symlin. We have new types. I honestly don't think anyone I knew 10 years ago knew that LADA or MODY existed.
I obviously deal with depression on a daily basis, and I'm doing better than I used to. I have a wonderful husband who puts up with my super depressing days, my diabetes confetti, my heart problems, and all my other less than desirable quirks. Oh, and he loves me and is my bestest friend. We have an adorable kitten who attacks my pump when it alarms. We share our hatred of a beeping pump disturbing our sleep.
Who knows what the next ten years hold. Will we have a cure? I honestly doubt it. (Okay, I'm cynical and have been hearing "5-10 years from now!" for the last 15 years...) Will we have new tools? I hope so. I hope the meters become more accurate, that the CGMS continues to become more accurate and less intimidating. I hope we have a better grasp on the actual causes and the effects of all types of diabetes on the body. I hope we have a better grasp on insulins and pumps, and maybe the A.P. will actually be more than a neat trick. I hope that the understanding between chronic conditions and depression increases and that there is more support and more compassion. I hope that no one will have their lunch slapped out of their hands because they are diabetic. I hope that the media and the general population will start fact checking on all chronic conditions and stop misrepresenting them. I hope that there won't be discrimination. I hope that no one has to defend loving someone with a chronic condition.
I hope that these next ten years will be even better.