I can’t believe it, but twenty-one years ago today I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It seems like yesterday I was in the hospital room, watching Disney cartoons for hours while my mom and my grandpa were in the pediatric endo’s office down the hall figuring out what the heck to do next.
It wasn’t always easy. It’s still not easy. But the best part about it is that I’m lucky enough to still be here, still be healthy, and get the chance to try again each day with this disease.
I feel so blessed this Christmas. I gained a husband this year, I traveled the world, and I challenged myself beyond my wildest expectations. I already have everything I need this year. I am healthy, with a roof over my head and surrounded by people I love – truly that enough to sustain on. Every year that goes by I am thankful that I am able to live well with diabetes. I’ll never love having this disease, but every year I am grateful for the unexpected gifts it has given me: passion, purpose, drive, health, athleticism, and determination. In many ways, having diabetes has made my life fuller, richer, and more inspired.
I’ll always remember one thing the doctor said that day when I was diagnosed. He believed there would be a cure in the next five to ten years for Type 1 diabetes. And although that clearly didn’t happen, and five years came and went, then 10 then 20, and now 21 and we still don’t have a cure I’m not mad at that. Because we are truly making progress and I still believe that although his timeline was off, his prediction was not. We will find a cure for this disease. We will. I know that much is true.
This year I’m grateful for family and friends, and for my new city and my new dog. I have everything I could ever need right here. Well, maybe I could use a little snow just to make our new Portland home a real winter wonderland. That’s all this furry little munchkin wants too – that and an extra big helping of kibble tonight, and maybe a few of Santa’s cookies when we’re not looking.
Merry Christmas everyone! Have a safe, healthy, happy, thankful holiday!