You Can Call Me Saucy

And heeeeeerrrrrreeeee’s Mike!

Good Monday morning all! I hope you enjoyed reading Allison and Adriana’s stories. I know I did. Today I have one last (but certainly not least!) guest post. I met Mike on Twitter (surprise of all surprises!) and I began reading his blog. He was one of the first members of the Diabetic Online Community (D-OC) that I started talking to. And what do you know, he’s ALSO on a pump hiatus! His is for different reasons but I have to say it’s so nice to not only be meeting all these new and wonderful people who I share this disease with, but someone who has been living with diabetes for 25+ years and his reactions to his body as it goes through this process are the same as mine! We’ve both looked at pros and cons to both pumping insulin and Multiple Daily Injections (MDI). I have a feeling we’re both going to end up with different outcomes but to know someone is going through EXACTLY what I am is what keeps me hanging on when I just wanna give up on all the crap. So thanks for inspiring me Mike. If you’d like to check out Mike’s blog(which, duh! You totally should!), you can find him at The Diabetic’s Corner Booth. And here’s Mike’s story 


Saucy is marking her three-year anniversary since her Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, and it’s an honor to not only read her story but to have an invitation to share some of my own experiences here. She’s asked some of us who’ve lived with this chronic condition since our childhoods to write about our own experiences, so here’s my crack at that – as someone who’s now in his 26th year of Living With Diabetes after being diagnosed at age 5. This originally was posted on my blog back in March, when I celebrated my so-called Dia-versary. Glad to be able to share it with you here. Enjoy.
The year was 1984.

No, this isn’t an Orwellian story full of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and public mind control. Though, it does have some of the same elements in a sense: perpetually battling Highs & Lows in a Never-Ending War, a need for pervasive surveillance of one’s health, and the requirement that one constantly be disciplined to control mind and emotions.

You guessed it. This was the Start Of My D-Story.

It was most likely March, but could have been early April. Clearly, it was sometime just after my 5th birthday on Feb. 1.

That’s when Type 1 Diabetes came into my life.

An exact date isn’t known, as we didn’t catalog that and any diagnosis records from Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit have long since been destroyed. However, we know it came on the heels of my birthday following my maternal grandfather’s death in late January that year.

However, despite the exact date uncertainty, I’ve now made an executive decision that March 10 is going to be the actual Dia-versary for me. The reason is that today I received a 2-day rush delivery from Minimed – a replacement Paradigm 722 pump that is being swapped for my current Paradigm pump that had been sucking up too much battery life. So, this package arrived and made the day. That arrival seemed like a perfect anniversary gift to mark my 26th year, so that’s what I’m using it as. March 10 will be the day, from now on.

But in marking that yearly date on the calendar, it means looking back to that time in the 84 – a year when Ronald Reagan was our country’s leader, when we saw movie classics like Terminator, Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, Temple of Doom, and Sixteen Candles. Of course, it was also a month when the NFL’s Baltimore Colts packed up trucks and moved to Indianapolis in the middle of the night.

My Diagnosis Tale: An overnight visit to the paternal grandparents’ home wasn’t uncommon, as I was the first grandson and had many spoils as a result of their love. But the unfolding of events that day were anything but common, at least up to that point in my life. The symptoms were what so many experience in their own ways at this diagnosis stage… Awake often during the night. Excessive thirst. Frequent bathroom trips. Moodiness (for a 5-year-old). My grandparents explained these symptoms to my parents, who instantly knew there was a problem – as my mom has been a Type 1 since she’s been 5.

Urine tests, which were mostly all that was available at the time, showed results that were very high. A quick visit to the pediatrician’s office had that doc pointing to diabetes, but him wanting to send me for blood tests and admission at Children’s. My mom recalls standing in the hallway crying, and having a staff member at this doctor’s office saying to her, “Don’t worry, it’s not that bad.” Her response: “You obviously don’t know what is involved in this or what it is, or you wouldn’t have the nerve to say that to me.”

Once at Children’s, tests confirmed the suspicions and I stayed there for three days, since I’d been diagnosed early in the “honeymoon” phase and since my parents already knew most of what they were instructing – diet, injections, other management aspects.

Once out of the hospital, memories aren’t many as I was so young. There’s one I do remember, and I’ve catalogued in my mind as: “My first injection.” This may not be the case, but it’s good enough for me as that’s how I recall it. At this time, I was sitting on the couch in my grandparents’ house and refused to let it come near me. There was an orange. Their Brittanies (family dog, up til my time) were present. I didn’t want the shot. But, ultimately, the reality prevailed and I ended up with my pants down and the needle going into the behind. The first of many injections, which would last for almost two decades until the time when an insulin pump came into my life.

Once, I was a Kid With Diabetes. Now, I’m a Kid Who Grew Up With Diabetes to become an Adult With Diabetes. (great titles, huh?)
Despite some incredibly scary high A1C tests during my teen years and rollercoastering management styles through my 20s, I’m still here. Reached the big 3-0 and Beyond. Married, still alive and kicking without any hardcore complications interfering. Yes, there’s some neuropathy and retinopathy that are at early stages. Then, again, some issues may just be coming with “older age” (HA!)
There really isn’t much that I remember from the days before diabetes. It’s been a regular part of my life for as long as I remember, and it’s become pretty much “routine” and “normal” in my life. But don’t get me wrong: every day can be a challenge and a struggle, balancing life-sustaining diabetes tasks with those of any normal professional and personal life busyness. We take it one day at a time, embracing it as needed but not letting it dictate or control my life or prevent me from doing whatever I may want.
The D-Adventure continues, now that I’ve passed the Big 3-0 in age and am settled at the uneventful 31. I’m thankful for how much stronger the experience of these 26 years has made me, but I’m also eternally grateful for the online support of other PWD and those who simply want to educate themselves or others. Here’s to celebrating that, and hoping for many more Dia-versities and hopefully a cure during this lifetime. So no more kids or adults have to endure Type 1 diabetes.

What a story! I hope everyone’s enjoyed these guest posts. A HUGE thanks to Allison, Adriana and Mike. You guys have simply been amazing. Thanks for being part of my online family and for the first time in three years, making it so I don’t feel alone with this. You all rock!

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