Saturday, 1 May 2010Today I suppose is a day like any other, really. Nothing has actually changed. Except I find myself thinking things through a lot today.
A year ago today I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. That day, everything did change. Suddenly I wasn't just me any more. I was me with diabetes. Now I suppose that's getting a bit existential, but it's true. I didn't just have the regular, every day things I used to worry about and handle. I suddenly had this whole new set of things that I needed to factor in to my life. The regular 'every day's' of diabetes - injecting, testing, making sure I have enough glucose tablets, strips, needles, lancets. Remembering to eat at the right times. Then learning how to navigate prescriptions, appointments and GP receptionists. Then there's the big ones. The thoughts that I try to avoid by reminding myself that 'if I take good care of myself, that won't ever happen to me'. The thoughts of blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, limb amputation. The gory 'myths' of what diabetes can do to you, but they're always there somewhere at the back of the mind. But they're the ones that have been known to keep me awake at night, or wake me up at four in the morning. That and the guilt. Oh guilt has been my companion for a lot of the past year.
But am I looking past a lot of things on the other end of the spectrum? It's way too easy for me to get caught up in all the 'heavy' things that have happened, but what about the flip side? I'm now the lightest I've been in a very long time. According to the Wii Fit, I've gone from bordering on obese at the start of 2009 to now bordering on 'ideal'. That, my friends, is a huge deal for me. I'm eating better. I exercise more. I've taken up ballroom dancing, which I've been wanting to do for years. I don't know if I would have done that if I hadn't felt the impetus to exercise more, because it helps me keep my levels steadier. I've met some really amazing people who I wouldn't have otherwise known. I'm writing more. I started this blog for heaven's sakes! I was really slacking off my writing, and this has been both therapeutic and helped me sharpen my skills. I've seen some of the big issues out there and felt the need to get involved. I've helped form DiDkA. The list does go on.
One of the big things that happened was that I realised, in a whole new light, just how amazing my friends are. They've been so unbelievably supportive in different ways. So in recognition of that, I decided to throw a party today. It was supposed to be a garden party, but because it absolutely threw it down (with a few hailstones in the mix for good measure), we had to move it inside. It seems that a good time was had by all - although somebody did point out that it was a little bit perverse to mark a year of diabetes by throwing a party that consisted mostly of cake. As I have mentioned in the past, my baking skills far outweigh my other culinary skills, so the party was very cake, cookie and scone heavy.
But apart from a few moments of 'argh, I haven't got the meringues ready!' and similar, it's been a day filled with fun and laughter. This evening though, I found my mind wandering back to that first night in hospital, and how absolutely scared I was. And how determined I was not to admit it. I'll say that it's an odd experience, because I remember those emotions so strongly. That experience will be with me forever, I think. I plan to write the whole thing out in more detail soon though. Just in case I forget. I want to remember how far I've come. I was terrified then, though like I said, I didn't want to admit it. Now? I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a part of me that was on some level scared about where things will go, or what the future might hold. But for the most part? Things aren't so bad.