Did you know that the traditional anniversary gift for eight years is bronze? Tonight shortly before midnight marks exactly 8 years since I was diagnosed, in the emergency room near my college, with diabetes.
It seems like its been forever, but at the same time it feels like no time at all. When I think about it hard enough, I can remember my life before diabetes. The constant routine of (at first) shots, (then) reservoir refills, site changes, supply orders, multiple daily blood glucose tests, CGMS calibrations, and bolusing for every bite of food has robbed me of much of that memory though.
For a little over half the time that I have had diabetes I have also been a blogger. Not a diabetes blogger, just a blogger. My first post was apparently an update on my first few months living on my own 3,000 miles away from most of my family. Not a single mention of diabetes to be found.
I dont know if it is because I am also approaching a big milestone birthday next week or not, but I am feeling sentimental for the good ol days. The days when (I at least believed) people blogged for fun and didnt have thoughts of page views, ad clicks, sponsorships, disclosures, or getting invited to the next big event, and just wrote what was on their minds and hearts just because it made them feel better and because they knew they could count on the support of the rest of the diabetes online community. Perhaps it was never that way. Perhaps I was just na. Now it seems like we just jump from controversy to controversy as we retweet our posts to bring in comments throughout the day and ask people to like us and follow us on every form of social media.
Heres the other part about honoring the 8 year anniversary of my diagnosis a bit of quick math will let you know that I was never a child with diabetes. I didnt fight my parents as they tried to test my blood sugar or change my infusion set. I didn’t stage a teenage rebellion. I managed my diabetes on my own from the first injection the nurse brought me on the first morning of my hospital stay.
I tweeted yesterday that I wished I could say in public some of the things I said in private messages. I was referring to something I said at the height of the tweetfest over the CWD thread. It was (and I quote) “boo hoo! I was never a child with diabetes! You guys don’t care about me!!” Helpful, no?
Seriously, I could take that stance. Think about it, the fight was between the parents defending the cure for their children with diabetes and former children with diabetes who had grown up and wanted to convince the parents of the care, support, and technology they wish they had then and are fighting for now. Where does that leave someone like me?
I guess that depends on my perspective. Either we are a community that is in this together or we arent. Either its us against each other or its us against diabetes. It’s not about hit counts, ad revenue, sponsorships, or invitations to summits. We can’t keep fighting with each other like this.
More than bronze, THAT is what I want for my anniversary.