Diaversary. Weird word.
What does it even mean?
I’m not 100% sure, but I think it means, “diabetes anniversary”. But, it could mean “diagnosis anniversary”.
Either way, it sucks.
It is not something I’m happy about.
I don’t even want to acknowledge it, let alone celebrate it.
I suppose it’s all about the way you look at things. Glass half full versus glass half empty kind of thing.
I know I am supposed to be positive and I usually do try to find the silver lining in every situation. I am always impressed, amazed, and flabbergasted when I read blogs, articles and Facebook posts from people who are going through significant struggles and they are so positive.
But I just can’t be that person today.
There is nothing good about my son being diagnosed with this awful disease a year ago. Nothing.
For 365 days now, his life has literally been threatened.
Veterans of this disease probably don’t think of it that way. Or they don’t focus on it that way. But I am still a newbie, and right now I feel like I will never be able to focus on anything else.
Every day is affected by diabetes.
Even if Medium is having a good day and his numbers are good, I inevitably read on Facebook about someone else’s struggle with their own or their child’s sugars that day. Or I read in the news that someone has died as a result of their diabetes.
I know it is all about perspective.
Because every day there are also millions of people living successful, happy, meaningful lives, despite their diabetes. Every day there are people posting good numbers or successful sleepovers or trips to the movies. Every day people with diabetes are getting married, having healthy babies, graduating from college, playing professional sports. The point is, they are living with diabetes. And so maybe I will be able to see things differently one day, too.
But today is not that day.
Today marks an event that happened a year ago, that changed my life forever; re-defined the word “mother” for me. But more importantly, my son’s life has forever been changed. He is forced to head down a path that I didn’t choose for him. It is a path that no one would choose. God chose this path for him, and maybe someday I will understand why. But right now, I disagree with God. Right now, God and I are going to agree to disagree on this one.
My oldest son, Large, has started talking about driving. He will turn 14 this year and in Kansas, where we live, kids get their driving permits when they are 14, so it is on his mind.
While I was driving home from work last night and driving by the hospital where Medium’s endocrinologist is, a thought smacked me across the face.
Medium will be 14 one day, too. He will want to get his driver’s permit. He will turn 16 and want to drive someday.
This is one of, I’m sure, many situations that I had not yet thought about. The questions started flooding my brain. Will I let him drive? Will I make him check his blood sugar before he starts up the engine every time? Will I ever let him drive alone? How have other D-moms and dad handled this situation?
It just sucks so much for him. I know that is a pretty immature and simplistic way to put it, but it does. It sucks rocks. Big ones.
Not only does he have to have this horrid disease which has robbed him of his innocent and carefree childhood. But it makes him feel like crap sometimes, he has to stab himself with needles 10 times a day (which if you’re counting and can do simple math is 3,650 finger stabbings since diagnosis a year ago), play dates and sleepovers at other people’s houses are almost non-existent, he has to be tethered to a device 24-7 FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, and he can never just live in the moment. He has to be one step ahead of the game at all times. He has to check his sugar, make sure he has food to treat a low, make sure he has his meter and extra test strips every time he leaves the house. He is singled out at school as a kid with a medical condition.
That is no way for a child to live.
It is so not fair.
And besides how worried I am all the time about his long term health and whether or not the life-saving insulin we give him is going to kill him overnight while we are all sleeping, I am so, so sad for him and this life he is forced to lead.
I know he will have as a great a life as possible, because I will see to it. But the reality is that he has type 1 diabetes.
And that sucks.
And so today, on Medium’s first diaverary, I will not celebrate.
Maybe next January 24th I will feel differently.
Our diaversary is September 4th and this last one was our 5th diaversary! Couldn’t believe it! However I too had no intentions of celebrating! Instead – we took balloons and blew them up, attached them to a piece of cardboard that I had made slits in….and then opened up her syringes and let her play DARTS!!! So much fun!!! So much relief and tension and grief and stress went right with those popped balloons…I encourage you to try this today!
I wouldn’t celebrate either. Forgive me, but it’s like an anniversary of a death. You’re grieving the life you wanted for him. And I imagine every year you will, but it will get easier. You’ll always mourn what could have been. Hang in there, buddy. You’re doing a great job.
My son is 4 and his diaversary is in 23 days. 3 days after my birthday and 1 day after valentines day. Great my birthday and valentines day will be forever ruined. In the past months I have started to see things a bit differently though. You arnt celebrating diabetes. You are celebrating the fact that you have made it 365 days with diabetes. You, your son and the rest of your family has made it through a long hard year and everyone is still in one peice. Its celebrating that you did it! For one whole year you showed diabetes who is in charge and why not celebrate that!? Diabetes does not deserve celebration, but making it a year through no sleep and emotional meltdowns and not killing someone does! I don’t think it will ever be easy and I also have a bone to pick with the big guy upstairs, but hopefully as my sons diaversary gets closer I will remeber everything I just told you…..
I’ve never celebrated mine (though, in honesty I didn’t even know when it was until a few months ago!). But I might give it some sort of subtle thought this year. Like Jessica said, it’s about making it through 365 days (or in my case, it will be 32 years) and coming out stronger and smarter than you were on Day One!
Does Medium feel as bad about it as you do? Does he feel as if he is being robbed of his childhood?
One more thought — or perhaps maybe just a different perspective. Medium is not tethered to that device. The device is tethered to HIM. It goes where he goes. It does what he tells it to do. He’s the one in charge.
I am still going to say HAPPY FIRST DIAVERSARY! You made it. Medium made it. Your family made it. And you will continue to make it. Yesterday we celebrated Ella’s first diaversary…not the fact that she got diabetes but the fact that we survived! And that, despite diabetes, we had an amazing year. And, despite diabetes, she’s still full of joy and laughter and silliness.
Do what you need to do today – if it’s completely ignore it, go for it. If it’s cry and scream, do it. If it’s dose him for 100 carbs and let him eat all of the mac n’ cheese he wants, have at it! Just don’t let diabets win. Not today…not ever.
My daughter was recently diagnosed with t1d. Sept. 6th 2013. Merely a week before her 4th Birthday on the 15th. It just isn’t fair. I have been reading random blogs and asking for help from all of the usual places, just trying to find the strength to be the mother I have to be for her. This one is the only one I have found that makes me feel like I am not alone. Like my daughter is not alone. I have family and friends that deal with this in their families, I appreciate all of their encouragement and guidance but …”It gets easier.” Just doesn’t seem like a realistic bit of comfort at the end of the day. Thank you for helping it be real instead of so surreal, instead of another ailment that we throw band aids at and adjust to. At this moment, I don’t feel like there is any amount of adjusting that can help this situation. Hopefully like you stated maybe one day, my outlook can change…but that day is not today.
Oh how I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug, or hand you a drink, whichever you’d prefer! You are so fresh and new in this and your emotions are so raw right now. All I can say is, let it out. However you need to, cry, yell, stay up all night trolling the internet for information, over analyze, grieve, whatever you need to do, do it. And don’t apologize for it. It is a horrible disease that your daughter is fighting now. Pretending it’s not won’t help. Respect it for what it is. What it is, is a horrible disease that threatens your child’s life and health every day. But with knowledge and support, you will manage it, and it will not win. My son is 11 and I tell him, everybody has their “thing”. For some it’s food allergies, some it’s asthma, some it’s ADHD, some it’s Chrohn’s disease, etc., etc. Everybody has something, this is our thing. And just like everybody else has to deal with their “thing”, we have to deal with ours. True, our “thing” is potentially more serious than other’s, but that is life. We take the punches and we keep moving forward. BUT, right now, you need to just feel what you are feeling. Having been through that relatively recently, I can tell you that it WILL get better. You WILL adjust. But you can’t see that right now, and that is ok. Don’t let people dismiss your feelings and don’t let people make you think that you shouldn’t be so devastated. They don’t know what to say, and they don’t like to see you hurting. The DOC (diabetes online community) is what SAVED me in the beginning. They were the only people who really, really got it. Feel free to reach out to me whenever you need to! You can do this!