23 Years of HEALTH!

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Today, April 4, marks my 23 year anniversary of being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.  No, no. Diabetes is not just for over weight people who drink sugary soda all day, and people who have diabetes don’t all look like Wilford Brimley.

Only he can pronounce it like this. Everyone else, get it right! 

Long story short, when I was 11 months old, my parents thought I had the flu due to excessive thirst, urination, and lack of hunger.  After going into a coma, the doctors realized this was no flu! This was an autoimmune disease attacking my pancreas.  Yikes!

For the first 11 years of my life, I could eat ZERO sugar. I mean it.  I didn’t have my first cookie until I was seven-years-old, and forget Halloween candy!  My day was more strictly regimented than a U.S. Marine.  I took three to four shots per day, ate three very strict meals, three snacks in between said meals, and was as healthy as could be.

On the 11th anniversary of being diagnosed, I was hooked up to the insulin pump.  What this meant is was the diabetes no longer controlled me.  I told the pump how many carbs I was eating, instead of allowing the insulin shots to do the regulation.  Finally I had the freedom to live my life as a more normal child.  (Side story, I’m allergic to my insulin. What?!?  Before being hooked up to the pump, I went through a series of shots to desensitize me to the insulin, so I could, well, basically live without being allergic to the one thing that could keep me alive.)

Of course, there were days where my body took over.  There were mornings where I simply didn’t wake up and was revived back to consciousness by my mom or an EMT.  Yes, there were days where I was throwing up unable to eat due to high blood sugars.  Yes, there will still be days where that happens.  However, I do everything I can to be on top of every high and low blood sugar and to prevent them before they can sneak up on me.  That usually results in lots of site changing and needles, but don’t worry! It’s not too scary!

Now, 23 years later, I am in complete control of my life.  I still take my diet very seriously.  You’d better believe each meal has protein, whole grain, fruit, and veggies.  Well, I take it back. I don’t typically eat greens for breakfast.  But I do eat double for lunch and dinner! I exercise and stay healthy.  I prefer fruit to candy and ice cream.  While I can eat those, it’s just like anyone else: to be eaten in moderation.

For me, choosing to eat healthy and exercise vs. eating like a freshman in college is the difference between alive or a person who is blind with missing limbs, gangrene, and talking to Death at the age of 30.  NO THANK YOU! I am in complete control of my life. It is not in control of me.

As my best friend Laura put it:

Why yes. Yes I did.

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One response »

  1. April 4, 1989…the day I feared I would lose my baby girl. The weeks she lost in development caused by the physical trauma her little body endured. The months I bargained with God to take this affliction from her and give it to me. The years I feared would be stolen from her if she succumbed to one of the long-term complications of a disease that will last her a lifetime. The begging I still do that a cure that has been "just around the corner" will be found, if not today, then tomorrow. The tears that roll down my face with pride because she does not let this define who she is. The joy I feel knowing she is healthy because of the choices she makes every day. The love that fills my heart to overflowing just to have her in my life. Perhaps I am biased…certainly it is deserved.

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