I started crying in the car thinking about my birthday. I know it’s still two weeks away, but I never thought I’d live to see 40. I was sure I’d be dead by now, and I don’t know how I’m not, but here I am.
Lee Ann Thill wrote this on her FB page this week.
My heart broke. My eyes teared up also. It reminded me once again that, even as a parent, we have no clue what goes through the minds of people we know and love who battle diabetes. We really do not know.
Now let’s be clear: Lee Ann is a powerhouse in the online community and for that matter in the diabetes community as a whole. She is not a woman who snivels in the corner about how crappy her life is and Diabetes Art Day is a brilliant example of a woman who just will not let diabetes win.
How many people with diabetes feel the way Lee Ann did this week?
I still remember years ago when Kaitlyn was about 6 (and with diabetes for 4 years already); I was with a Doctor (not her regular ped-endo, to be clear) who, as we walked down the hall of the hospital he placed is arm on my shoulders and said, “Now you need to know that it is best to take one day at a time. Don’t think college or marriage, and I am not saying they won’t happen but take each day as it comes. Diabetes is a devastating disease. It’s best not to plan.”
As Kaitlyn received her degree last Spring, I looked up, closed my eyes, and cursed at that doctor wherever he is. Best not to plan. Really?
I recently heard Jeff Hitchcock give a presentation, and he noted a study that stated kids today live as long a life as those without diabetes (of course tragic exceptions are in this equation as well). That really hit home with me. The dial has certainly changed.
There are too many who have touched my life that I would be so empty had I not known. Let us know if you also felt as Lee Ann did?
Lee Ann, I look forward to hearing about your 80th birthday party bash—-I’m glad you are still here also; ….and so is the world.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.
0 thoughts on “Diabetes….Does One Really Plan for Future Birthdays????”
I can’t believe people still think this way. I’ve had diabetes almost 41 years and if wasn’t for the 5 shots I take a day; I’d forget I have it! I have the carb counting and insulin mathematics down to a science now and barely think about it. I have a 401K and an IRA for my retirement. I plan vacations a year in advance, and the thought that I’m a type 1 doesn’t cross my mind; I simply add my supplies to my packing list. I find it very fatalistic and negative that people put so much stress upon themselves regardng this disease. Embrace it; live with it, deal with it as it’s a part of you. Until they find a cure you can’t fight it., Work WITH it.
Lauren M. says:
I posted yesterday that I pray every night that my son will wake up the next morning. The next, much more lengthy part of my prayers is that he will continue to excel academically, that his batting average will stay .900+ (not likely!), that he will find success in his life (I define “success” as having a fulfilling life doing what you love surrounded by people you love. Though if he can take care if us in our old age…). We use every tool available to ensure that the first prayer is granted so that the second part of the prayer will happen. We plan for our boys’ (d and non-d) futures and plan BIG…and will continue to do so.
Lee Ann Thill says:
Wow… now it’s my turn to tear up. Although there is a considerable list of ways that the DOC has brought rays of light into my life, learning about the parent experience and perspective is high on my list. It always gives me pause, and more importantly, hope. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your hope.
Sam Martin says:
I plan for my son’s future with every finger poke, every correctin, every bolas, every carb counted, every low treated, every site change, every Dr visit, WHATEVER is needed. He is unable to care for himself at this time, it is my job to be a positive example on what he will need to do one day and teach him as we go forward. It is the thought of him having a bright future that makes it all worth doing.
Minnesota nice says:
I as dx/d 39 years ago at age 21, and from that day forward I never planned for another birthday. I cancelled my engagement, considered dropping out of college (but didn’t) and spent my days walking around with what Ii call “the black umbrella” over my head.
I distinctly remember watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics, thinking “where will I be at the next one, 4 years from now? Four years is a long time and I’ll probably be dead.”
I come from a big extended family of pwds. I guess it’s be the generation of my second cousins that were afflicted. So I grew up watching people die long slow deaths from horrible complications. When I was diagnosed, I was sure that would be my fate also, so didn’t bother to take care of myself – what difference would it make?
Flash foward to today. Yes, I have complications, but I am living an amazingly enjoyable and productive life in spite of them. And they are all stable.
Yes indeed, if I’d known I was gonna live this long, I’d have taken batter care of myself, but that wasn’t the case.
I feel I’ve built up a great deal of emotional resilience, and that’s not all bad.
Best wishes to you!
What a fabulous insight frome someone giving a REAL response from ‘the trenches’. I thank you for your honesty and your words.
We plan for the future, we have hope. But the fear lurks in the background. Always.
So true for us, too.
Mary Benoy says:
I have been a diabetic for almost 40 years now; diagnosed at age 8. I can honestly say that I don’t remember a time that I was afraid for my future because of my diabetes. How can you not plan for your future? How can you not have dreams? How CAN you let diabetes have that kind of grip on you? I cannot imagine what that must be like. “Minnesota nice”, who commented above, must have seen some terrible things to be scared enough to cancel his engagement when he found out at 21 that he had diabetes.
Diabetes can be a cruel disease that attacks even the people that play by all of the rules.I try to live 1 day at a time an if something terrible happens because of my diabetes, I hope that I am able to deal with it without having to stop planning or dreaming.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those that have complications and are fearful for the future.