Thursday, December 15, 2011


Today is my Diabetes Anniversary (Observed).  Since we don’t know my actual diagnosis day, just the month and year, I pick the 15th as my Diaversary because it’s half way through the month.

So today it is.  Today marks 32 years I’ve lived with diabetes.  And I’m struggling with what to say about that.  I thought about looking at all of the changes I’ve seen.  Urine testing to glucose meters the size of bricks to tiny meters to CGMs to non-invasive measures some day.  One shot a day to MDIs of long and short acting insulin to a pump to the artificial pancreas some day.  Exchange diets and no sugar to carb counting and yes I can eat that.

diaversaryIt’s amazing to see how far things have come.  I know I should be proud and thankful to be here and healthy.  But honestly, I’m struggling with this Diaversary like I never have before.  I’m not happy.  I don’t feel like celebrating.  Pete bought me chocolate truffles and champagne to celebrate, and when he gave them to me I burst out crying. I just feel tired. I feel really sad.  It’s been too long, and there is no end in sight.

I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time this year.  It’s not a milestone like 25 years or 50 years or something.   It doesn’t mark a significant portion of time, like next year when I’ll have lived with diabetes for 75% of my life.  It’s just a random number, thirty-two years.   And deep down I am proud and I do know how lucky I am to be here and healthy.  I can appreciate the really wonderful things, amazing people and great opportunities that have been brought into my life because of diabetes.  But I still feel like I’m struggling a lot with this Diaversary.

I guess it’s just that 32 years seems like a very very long time.  Probably because it is.


  1. Big hugs, Karen! sounds like you need one of those D-Free days that Joe S down at FFL was talking about...

  2. Karen -
    You are not a random, or just a number. I know that living with diabetes is a struggle and it can be annoying and all encompassing and just a real pain in the ass at times!
    But I am so glad that you're my friend. And if it wasn't for our broken pancreases we never would have met. And we never would have shared stories and chocolate crapes or Lemonade Martinis on the West Coast.
    It's OK to be tired. 32 years is a long time for anything in life. But 32 is also the number of extra years that you've had to live and love and learn.
    So I'm going to say "Happy Diaversary," and I'm so very grateful to call you my friend!
    Kelly K

  3. I am proud of you and thankful that you are here and sharing with us all. For that, please celebrate just a tiny bit for these 32 years!

    Much love to you, Karen.

  4. I'm proud of you. You inspire me and I think you're awesome.

    Even though you may not feel like it. : )

  5. I love you tons, Karen. Even though I'm slow with email (and everything else, lately), you've been on my mind and I miss hanging out with you. You are SUCH an inspiration, clocking in 32 badass years with type 1. I absolutely look up to you.

    Chin up, lady. You're awesome.

  6. Karen,
    I've been reading your blog on and off, as well as many other blogs in the DOC. You are one of the reasons I decided to start my own blog. You are one of the reasons why I don't feel so alone with my new diagnosis. You are one of my inspirations. I know it might not mean a lot coming from some random person, but I think you are strong. I think 32 years is a long time. And I think it's ok for you to feel tired, drained, sad and any other emotion you are feeling.

    You are an amazing woman who has dealt with the ups and downs of a chronic disease... and you seem to be winning. Just remember that the disease doesn't define you. Be sad. You're allowed. But then do something that makes you happy.

    Happy Diaversary!


  7. Hi Karen. I just had my 31st diaversary on November 9th and I completely understand what you mean. In many respects it's not something to celebrate. But, in a way, I do, because I'm still alive, still living relatively complication free, and still trying to live my life to the fullest. I have more days when I don't feel well than I would like, but I try not to let that stop me. I'm 43 and currently pursuing a brand new second career as a pediatric nurse practitioner, and I hope to specialize in treating kids with diabetes.

  8. Love you lots (((HUGS))) so proud to call you 'friend'! xo

  9. You are fab. And as much as we hate this disease, it brought us together a friends, and for that I am thankful.

  10. Congratulations 32years is a long time. You are my hero!

  11. I know plenty of people who struggle more with those "off" years than the milestones when it comes to birthdays so why not diaversaries. You are definitely due a Joe Solo day. Let me know when I'm scheduled to call and tell you how amazing you are. I'll take every hour if needed, but I see there are plenty of people ready to take a time slot. Also, I believe cashmere is in order. Love to you!

  12. You're an example. I hope that when my 32nd d-day comes around I'm as positive, inspirational and sane as you are!

  13. My first thought...
    Karen's had d for 32 years? I didn't think you were old enough to have had d for 32 years. Really!
    I thank you for your support and friendship these last couple of years.
    Try to smile and enjoy the champagne while you bolus for the truffles.
    And you're right - it's been too long but we do the best we can with what we've got.
    BIG hug!

  14. It's completely understandable...the way you're feeling. You need to let yourself feel that way and then let it go. (easier said than done, I know). 32 years of struggle now and then but also 32 years of success! So much to be proud of and thankful for. Hugs across the country. I hope tomorrow you wake up feeling much better.

  15. Hi Karen,

    Congratulations on hitting yet another major milestone.
    The ups and downs that we deal with on a daily basis with diabetes is never easy and I for one take great comfort in the fact that on my down days I have people like you and others in the DOC to turn to...

    So Have a very very Happy Diaversary,

    may you CONTINUE to kick "D`s" sorry A$$...

    You ROCK...


  16. My good friend, I am sorry to hear you are feeling tired and worn -- we have seen a lot of changes. Diaversaries are always a mixed bag for me. I'm happy to be alive and as well as I can be, but it would be nice for just a week or a month off, wouldn't it. Know that I'm celebrating the fact that you are still around. I wasn't ready to meet you a year ago -- I'm sending you love, and strength, and hope that this anniversary will pass quickly, and you'll be able to see, again, what a gift you are to the world, and how much less joyful the world would be without you. I love you, girl!

  17. you are awesome. i am on 27 years! hope to see you soon. xoxo stacy

  18. i've been chasing my kid's lows for the past few hours and i am so freaking frustrated, and you've got 30 years on us, so who can blame you for feeling that way. i hope that you're feeling better soonest, so you can properly enjoy those lovely gifts pete got you. :)

  19. You don't know me but I'm there with you, I hit the big 40 this year and with it came 33 years with Diabetes. I've just recently begun to acknowledge what a struggle it can be to live with Diabetes ... I know it's not much help but I think I can say "I know how you feel", I give a shrug, a big sigh and life goes on.
    Thank you for sharing, I hope I can be one more shoulder out there helping to bear the weight of your Diabetic years.

  20. I don't have diabetes but my daughter does. I don't know how you feel but reading your post makes me wonder how she will cope with diaversaries in the future.
    She is only 2 and has been diagnosed for more than half her life.
    I really don't like diabetes.

  21. I am hoping they come up with a cure......praying for you dear Karen .. Love up that KC a bit when you are down..
    any thoughts on 2 kitties? It makes double the fun????????

  22. Sending a hug from Alabama! Thirty two years is incredible! You look amazing and are so healthy! Yay for you. It may be a struggle, but think about the little kids who look to you and think, wow, I can do that! You are an inspiration!

  23. Huge giant hugs from Vegas!! I hope you were able to celebrate a lil with that awesome stuff hubby got you, you deserve it!

    You are an awesome person and soemone I am honored to know. xoxoxoxo

  24. hi karen

    congratulations and great big hugs from Canada! i know how you feel. i had my 37th diaversary last month, and boy did it make me feel tired. try not to dwell on it in the negative. celebrate it as a positive! you are beating D's butt! it's okay to be tired, and frustrated, so long as you remember, YOU.CAN.DO.THIS!!!
    enjoy your treats, and look forward to next year!

  25. Hi, Karen. I just want to let you know that I've nominated you for the versatile blogger award. The rules will be on my home page after I notify everyone. Congratulations!

  26. I'm so proud of you!!! I'm proud because you have done more than just manage life with diabetes, you INSPIRE, UNITE, and SUPPORT so many others going through life with "D". I owe you big time for finding the changed my life for the better with D-Blog week. Big love and hugs to you, you are AMAZING! xoxo

  27. I'm only coming up to 10 years. When I read about you guys out there with many more decades on me, I can't believe it. I always wonder how I will keep it together for the rest of my life and then I realize we all crack at some point.
    It's only normal and we are only human.
    Thanks though, for being there and broadcasting your healthy d-life and for being REAL.

  28. I am behind on reading, but happy belated anniversary!

  29. Diabetes doesn't let you take a day off. It is a strenuous disease. I think you did the very right thing, bursting into tears and leaving the CGM at home some days later, because sometimes you have to give into a feeling before you can come out of it eased. It's like a chinese finger trap, only it's not made of bamboo but sometimes of the feeling of sorrow and give-up. ;-)
    All the best to you, Karen!

  30. Diabetes is just part of who I am. I have been diabetic for over forty years. I can't imagine leaving home without my meter, supplies, etc. Perhaps since I came so close to dying at age 15 from a diabetic coma, I celebrate every single day I live, because even if I have to take 3 or 4 shots and prick my finger several times I day, I'm alive. In all honesty, diabetes is so much a part of me, that if it were cured tomorrow, I'd still check my blood sugar for years afterward just because I know no other way. I understand that diabetes can be challenging, and sometimes you may just need to walk away, but you live. And that says it all. It's worth whatever it takes--even those occasional breaks to retain one's sanity.
    I love your blog--you're very real!!!


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