On birthdays, diabetes, friends, and Vegas

Sugar UsThere were a few awesome members of the diabetes community in town this weekend and it made me think back to the days around my diagnosis.

One of my favorite d-moms, Moira, was here to speak at an event for the local JDRF chapter. She had some free time the night before her event, so I headed downtown to meet up with her. With her book coming out in a few months, we found ourselves talking about being a young adult with diabetes. I told her about the circumstances surrounding my first trip to Vegas, which was shortly after my diagnosis.

At the same time I was unknowingly dealing with severe DKA, my friends and I were picking which casino we wanted to stay at, figuring out which restaurant to enjoy my birthday dinner, and making mix CDs for the road trip. Those same friends were the ones responsible for getting me to the emergency room and admitted to the hospital where I was finally correctly diagnosed. It may have been the brain fog from the extremely high blood sugar, but as I was lying in the hospital bed those next few days, I was upset that I would have to miss the trip and the opportunity to celebrate my birthday in Vegas with my friends.

Clearly I was an adult (I was planning a trip to Vegas after all), but as my mom sat by my hospital bed she definitely expressed her “opinion” that I should cancel the trip. I can imagine now how hard it is to consider your child going on a road trip just a few days after a doctor told you that she would not have lived to see the end of the week if she hadn’t finally been admitted to the hospital.

I’m sure she expected that same doctor to back her up when we decided that he would be the tiebreaker vote of whether or not I could celebrate with my friends. Instead he had some great advice for us that has also helped determine how I live the rest of my life with diabetes. He stood next to the bed and looked at my mom and then at me as said,

“She can have diabetes at home, or she can have diabetes in Vegas with her friends.”

And so I did.

Vegas with diabetes

This weekend I was just as happy to celebrate the birthday of my buddy George. It has been a long year for him, and I am excited to see him celebrate many, many more!


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