Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Very Long Time . . . .

Nope, this post isn’t about how long my new computer was broken.  (Almost two months, until we finally got Dell to send a tech to our home and he replaced the faulty motherboard and had it up and running in about an hour.  But who’s counting.)  It also isn’t about how long it’s been since my last post.  (Which is, of course, due to being without my laptop.)  This post is about a small but weird thing that happened during my fourth and most recent trip to JDRF Government Day a couple of weeks ago.

Every year, each advocacy volunteer stands up and gives a short introduction.  It takes quite a while because there are hundreds of us in attendance, but I really love it because it helps us connect with each other and it’s inspiring to hear everyone’s stories.

When my turn came around, I stood up and spoke into the microphone.  “I’m Karen Graffeo and I’m the Advocacy Team Chair for the Greater New Haven, Connecticut chapter.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 in . . . . . “  And suddenly, for a brief second, I felt completely thrown.  It seemed like such a very long time since I was diagnosed and I felt the weight of the years crashing over me.  I had to take a slight breath before I could continue with “1979.”.  It all happened in an instant and I’m sure nobody even noticed.  But it really caught me off guard.

1979.  For the most part, that doesn’t bother me.  It is what it is, and I’ve met many people (and there were many in the room that night) with diagnosis dates much earlier than mine.  I’m not sure why it bothered me for that odd moment.  Maybe because, if I really let myself stop and think about it, 1979 certainly is a very long time.

IMG_2974Another new experience this year, I discovered The Summerhouse on a solo trek back from Capital Hill.  It’s very cool and I can’t believe I’ve overlooked it in past years!


  1. 1983 gets farther away every year too. Thanks for going to represent the tribe :)

  2. Karen I had a similar moment myself recently. I was speaking about my own experience at an event and I was diagnosed in 1980 not far behind you. I know it really so very long time ago. I know when I received my journey award I meet so many who had it up to 69 years. So now I feel kind of silly compared to others who have had it much longer than I have. It is funny how the number keep creeping up but does not seem to register at times.

  3. Since we're newbies, I can only imagine how this's what my daughter will feel someday. When we were in D.C. this winter we saw the Summerhouse too. Glad you're back in business with the computer, missed seeing your posts.

  4. I've been to Washington dozens of times, but never been to The Summerhouse! I'll have to look for it next time I'm there. Also, Frederick Law Olmstead was the designer of the neighborhood I live in now, and the landscape architect for Central Park in New York.

    Glad you have your laptop back in working order, and I'm glad you're here to tell about it after 36 years.

  5. It is a long time. Thanks for doing what you do.

  6. I love listening to ALL the stories at Gov't Day. Both the listening and the telling can be very emotional. Living with diabetes is a BIG deal.


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