You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View
Latest Motivation Articles
Popular Motivation Articles
Highly Recommended Motivation Articles
Send a link to this page to your friends and colleagues.
My four-year-diabetes-diagnosis anniversary is almost here. It falls on March 24th, a day just like any other to most people, but a day full of sadness, loss, and victory for me. Will I celebrate? I'm not sure if reflection is a form of celebration. I'd much prefer a birthday-like affair featuring balloons, cards, and, of course, something sweet to eat. But I also feel as if the impending date is much like a funeral on the calendar, a time for mourning as well as reflection.
Many people who have suffered or are suffering from chronic medical conditions never forget their D-day, the anniversary of diagnosis. I remember exactly what the doctor said to me as I lay bone-thin, dehydrated, and freezing in an emergency room bed: "No wonder you don't feel well. Your blood sugar is 700. You have diabetes." Those words changed my life.
The remainder of that day was spent in the ICU, where I was pumped full of insulin, fluids, and potassium. I couldn't use the bathroom without supervision, wearing a hospital gown made for someone ten times my size. I had to sleep on my back (not pleasant for a stomach sleeper), wake up every hour for a blood sugar and blood pressure check, and meet a dozen doctors and nurses who asked me the same questions over and over. I was looked upon with fear or pity by every person who entered my room. But despite the sterile surroundings, the lack of sleep, and my paper-thin gown that couldn't disguise all the wires stuck to my body, I was surprisingly calm and, dare I say, happy. I had an answer to my year-and-a-half journey of pure illness: chronic thirst, unbelievable fatigue, drastic weight loss, and, naturally, devastating depression. I had already hit rock bottom, and the only place left to go was up.
My diagnosis day was the beginning of a long, slow, and difficult crawl out of my grave. I am reminded of the first visit I had with a diabetes nurse educator. I was lying angrily in a hospital bed with my arms crossed and my eyes full of tears. The nurse educator said to me, "You realize that you could have died. Your A1c of 16.9% and your DKA condition was life-threatening. The nurses couldn't believe you weren't comatose." It started to sink in that my diagnosis wasn't just a victory, but an answer that had saved my life.
Knowing that I have conquered something as serious and scary as a death sentence is empowering. Now, four years later, I feel that anything is possible with enough determination, prayer, and conviction. I am passionate about saying "yes" to the right things and "no" to what isn't healthy or beneficial. I live my life with careful control but also with a newfound sense of freedom. I am no longer held captive to an unknown ailment that tried to take my life. I have a diagnosis, an answer, and a hope.
March 24th is a day I dread and a day I celebrate. Yes, I have an insulin pump clipped to my jeans and calluses on my fingers. But the pump is a symbol of control, and the calluses are battle wounds that remind me how far I have come. The test strips sprinkled at the bottom of my purse, the glucose tablets on my nightstand, and my medical bracelet say that I'm a warrior, not a victim.
I'm not sure what the next year, or twenty, or fifty, will bring. But I hope that no matter how long I live with this disease, I will never stop congratulating myself on another year of surviving, fighting, and pressing on.
28 comments - Feb 26, 2010
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.