Twenty five years. Wow. That’s most definitely worthy of a Tiffany’s bracelet, don’t you think … say, one that looks like this 😀
I still remember it as though it were yesterday. It was my sister’s 18th birthday, and I was super excited for the black forest cake (her favourite) we’d surely be having later that day. What kid with a sweet tooth like mine wouldn’t be excited?
But first, I had a doctor’s appointment. I’d been dealing with a nasty flu virus that just wouldn’t go away. Everyone else in my family had had the same virus, so my parents didn’t think much of it – at first – and given that I’d always been a sick kid, the fact it was taking me longer to overcome the flu nasties was no big deal – at first – but I was losing a lot of weight, I was skin-and-bones, and yet, I was eating and drinking like crazy! As the story goes, I ate half a roast and drank a jug of lime Kool-Aid in one sitting while looking like a malnourished Ethiopian kid! It soon became apparent something was most definitely not right.
My parents were both at work that day and so my uncles offered to drive me to my mom’s office in the community next over. They loaded me into the back seat of the car, and we were off. Not even five minutes in, though, we made a pit stop at the side of the road for one of my uncles to, ahem, relieve himself (hey, I lived in the country, this stuff happened). And because my doctor’s appointment wasn’t until later in the afternoon, my uncles decided we’d make a second stop at my auntie’s who happened to be hosting an afternoon barbecue.
As soon as we got there, I flopped onto the couch in front of the TV. My body felt heavy, my eyes were droopy, I was tired, oh man, was I ever tired. There were people around, chatting, laughing, running in and out of the house, but I could barely lift my head to acknowledge their existence. My auntie (one of the best bakers EVER) swung out from the kitchen with a plate full of sweet treats in her hands. There were cookies, beautiful looking cookies, cookies I would have snatched up in a heartbeat in past outings, but that day, I looked at them, longing for one, desperately wanting one, but knowing my belly would not sustain one. With the saddest puppy dog eyes I could muster, I shamefully shook my head.
Maybe something in me already knew my sweet life would forever be changed that day, maybe it was preparing me for the restrictions that would soon come my way, maybe it was just being damn evil, I don’t know, but to this day, 25 years later, I am still bitter as hell for not taking that last cookie, essentially my last supper – pre-diabetes.
Today is the 25th anniversary – diaversary if you will – of me being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I wasn’t sure if I should celebrate the milestone or punch and kick the walls in absolute fury of being dealt this hand. Twenty years ago, I rebelled against this disease. Fifteen years ago, I feared I wouldn’t survive this disease. Ten years ago, I for sure would have thrown an epic tantrum at having this disease. Today, while it still pisses me off to no end that I never got that cookie and that I never had that beloved slice of black forest cake (even though there have been many others since … thank goodness the once stringent rules of diabetes have grown slack over the years) I am still proud of what I’ve overcome and done with this disease.
But no, I will not celebrate this disease, not today, not any day. Today, I celebrate my big sister, who I love to the moon and back, and whose birthday I stole 25 years ago. So Jules, I think it’s high time we go have that cake, don’t you 😀
And this is my big sis cheering me on and chasing after me at the 34 km mark of last year’s Run for Water marathon, which makes me giggle every time I see it 😀