Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Diaversary to Me???

Today is my diaversary.  Maybe.  Or perhaps it was yesterday . . .  or maybe it's tomorrow.  It could have been last week or the week before.  The truth is, all we really know is that in December of 1979 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  The exact date has been long since forgotten - or maybe blocked out, in the case of my parents.  The hospital has destroyed the records.  My doctor at the time passed away long ago.   My exact diagnosis date has been lost to the past 30 years.

I myself remember very little of that day.  I was 11 years old.  I have a vague and cloudy memory of being wheeled down the hospital hall on a gurney by several doctors whose lab coats fluttered out behind them like the capes of super heroes.  I know I was close to lapsing into a diabetic coma.  I guess I was in ICU for a few days.  I remember later being in a room with a girl who loved to watch Benny Hill - but the English humor was lost on me.  I suppose I learned to give injections on an orange but I actually don't remember doing that.  I do remember seeing the nurses bring a cake to another patient who was celebrating her birthday - and I told them that I couldn't have cake on my birthdays anymore.  (They assured me that I could, but ONLY on my birthday.)

Once home, I remember testing for sugar in my urine with little tablets that fizzed hotly in a test tube.  I remember cloudy insulin that got rolled in my mother's palm before it was mixed with clear insulin in my syringe.  I remember having my exchange list and meal plans secured to the side of the fridge with bright magnets.  I remember doing my injections on my own . . . . until the day I froze up and couldn't do them.  My mom had to inject me for months and months before I built up the courage to do them myself again.  I remember shaving off little slivers of luscious banana cake when no one was looking and eating them quickly before anyone saw.  Sometimes I shaved off too many slivers and my brother would get blamed for eating all of the cake.  I also remember thinking I wouldn't live more than 15 more years.  And that by that time I'd be full of complications.

But here I am, 30 years later.  Give or take a day or two.  I'm very sad that I'll never know when my real Diaversary is.  I so wish I knew my exact diagnosis date.  But in the grand scheme of things, I guess it's not really important.  What is important is how far we've come in 30 years.  Exchanges and R and NPH have been swapped for carb counts and fast acting insulin.  Cake is no longer taboo on every day except my birthday.  The urine test tubes were replaced by finger sticks and my CGM.  I punch buttons on my insulin pump instead of injecting with syringes. And my only complication so far is a small leaky vessel (or two) in my eye.

Happy Diaversary to Me?  Yes.  Yes indeed.


  1. Happy Diaversary!!!! Wahoo!!!

    The Girl Who Gets Really Excited By Things

  2. I'm so sorry you have lost your diaversary date. :(
    But I'm glad you are here and I'm glad you are celebrating anyway! :)

  3. Thirty years? You're my freaking inspiration, Karen. I remain impressed by how you've handled everything over the last three decades, and I'm hoping that when I mark my 30th diabetes anniversary, I've got the same outlook that you have now.

    (And - in a bizarre coincidence - I also went through a phase when I couldn't give myself my own shot. So odd, and my mom and dad had to do it for me for a few months. What causes that??)

    Much love to you, from all three Sparlings. :) xoxo

  4. Sounds vaguely familiar ... much like my experience. I was diagnosed and put in a pediatric ward, a big room full of sick kids, and one kid had a birthday and I was not allowed to have cake. Bitter(sweet) memories? Maybe not. Some events are not really worth celebrating, maybe only commemorating!

  5. Happy Diaversary, whatever day it may be. I'm glad you just picked one! Hope you had a great BG day as you continue to live life fully!!

  6. Happy Diaversary. Wow, that was a long time ago. I had my Bat Mitzvah that year. You are a hero, Girrrl!

  7. Happy Diaversary. Like others have said, whatever day it may be, the main thing is that you are still here to talk about it.

    You've come a long way baby! Continue to celebrate all you've accomplished and all that is you- and we will 2!

    PS: I had shot issues myself the first few months. My parents and sister had to give them to me when I came home from the hospital - Right of D passage I guess.

  9. Karen-

    Happy D- Anni! 3 decades? Wow! that's an amazing blessing! You are amazing and you rock! Btw, you was dx'd with diabetes a month shy of me being born---please don't kill me for that comment:) I wanted to make you smile

  10. Happy Diaversay we have the same
    month and year sometime In Dec 1979So many changes in all those 30yrs.
    HAPPY DIAVERSARY to you and me.
    Best wishes for Christmas and the
    New Year.


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