In the span of just a few days, we’re celebrating a range of birthdays in our house. On February 26th, my diabetes turned 4 and my niece turned 2. Then, on March 6, I turn (gulp!) 31.
One of the three of us got a blowout party, featuring hats, music, and cake. Although I reminded my diabetes constantly before we arrived that the party was not for it, in true Diabetes fashion, it had to assert itself and spoil my fun. Well, not at the actual party, which was BY FAR the best 2-year-old bday party I’ve attended this year (and lord knows I’m constantly at those things…not), but afterwards, punishing me for eating cake by spiking my blood sugar and then crashing it all night because I over corrected.
The party was Saturday; I spent Sunday working off my low-hangover and slid into Monday (my actual diaversary) feeling very much the worse for wear. It’s basically the opposite of what I would have planned. It would have been terrific to celebrate 4 years with diabetes with a kick-ass few days of diabetes management, but instead I slunk into it waving the white flag of “I’m so sick of this and I don’t want to have to deal with it and I resent it.”
So, aggravating, exhausting, depressing, and, ultimately, fitting.
This disease refuses to let you forget about it, and once you start feeling good about your management and control, you can guarantee it will knock you down again. The fact that it chose to humiliate and humble me just in time for the exact anniversary of 4 years with this disease—over one thousand, four hundred days—is exacting and cruel in a way that leaves me bummed. I’m just bummed, guys. I wish I could write another inspirational diaversary post that’s all “dang I’ve changed!” and I do have some dang I’ve changed posts, but sometimes I have to admit that diabetes is nothing more than a daunting, vicious, never-ending hamster wheel that serves no purpose other than to instill random suffering.
My mom called me on the night of my actual diaversary to check in. She said, “I know this isn’t your favorite day,” and while part of me wanted to correct her—I’ve sincerely “celebrated” diaversaries in the past as a way to empower myself—I’ll admit she was right: this particular one was not my favorite day.
But even though it is not joyful in the way that my niece’s bday party was, it is worth celebrating. In fact, it’s probably worth celebrating this diaversary more than any other: although the days when I succeed are worthy of massive celebrations, I’d say the days when I fail are worthy of even massive-er ones. It’s easy to stay motivated when everything’s going great. Much harder when you’re miserable, exhausted, and feeling lousy.
But guess what. I still wake up, every. single. day., and do the very same thing. I open my stupid, dumb little notebook, pull out my PDM, make myself bleed, suck the blood into a tiny strip, and dutifully record the number. I try to avoid placing a value judgement on that number (“it’s just information about what to do next!” a wise doctor once told me). I try to see it as a clue, a piece of info that is helping to light the way forward. And then I think about the day to come, consider what I’m going to do, plan my breakfast, input it into my PDM, and bolus.
And if that kind of tireless commitment doesn’t deserve a celebration, then I don’t know what does.