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Onto The Street Blog

I Don't Celebrate My Diabetes

I Don't Diaversary
Something I have never understood is why some people with diabetes celebrate the day they were diagnosed. I’ve never seen having a “diaversary”,  a day that “celebrates” diagnosis, as a positive thing. Diaversarys seem to be an especially big deal for people like me, who have type 1 diabetes. There are medals given out depending on how long a person has lived with diabetes and even greeting cards to mark the day. I will tell you wholeheartedly that I NEVER want a diabetes medal or want to celebrate anything about my diagnosis. For me, diabetes is not something I celebrate but instead, something I deal with. 

I'm Not Hercules

Personally, I believe these celebrations imply that having diabetes is a herculean task, that managing diabetes is something special. I will never say that I enjoy managing my diabetes but since I have it, I manage it. There are certainly days when diabetes sucks, but I see it just as I see any other chronic condition, I simply manage and put up with it.

I have completed four marathons and now nine Olympic distance triathlons (1.2-mile swim, 27-mile bike ride and 6-mile run) and have earned medals from each. I have led three successful businesses, I was married for 30 years until cancer took my wife, I have two outstanding children and now three amazing grandchildren. I choose to celebrate these things instead of celebrating a chronic condition.

Celebrating Diabetes Advances, The White Sox and Grandbabies
I have said this before and will say it again because for me it holds true, managing diabetes today is far easier than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Today we have some of the best technology and medications to help manage diabetes, things that were not even thought of 20 or 30 years ago. Soon I will be using the OmniPod 5 insulin delivery system, a hybrid closed loop insulin delivery system which combines insulin pump, continuous glucose monitoring and dosing technology. This is an advance in diabetes not even thought of when I was first diagnosed. 

All the new gadgetry sounds way cool and whiz bang, which it is. It’s incredible to think the system will do most of the heavy lifting and manage my diabetes better than I do. This technology, along with so many newer diabetes medications and devices didn’t even exist 30 years ago. I cannot think of any aspect of diabetes management that is not far superior to what we had 30 years ago. I’ll celebrate the advances but I won’t celebrate my diabetes. I simply try to manage diabetes to the best of my ability with the tools I have available. 

It’s certainly ok if others want to celebrate diabetes. But, for me, I’ll save the celebrating for important events like when the White Sox win the World Series, the Bears win the Super Bowl and for the day another grandchild arrives.