Sunday, February 19, 2017

October 27, 1999

I wish I could remember exactly how October 26, 1999 occurred. It's the day before my life would change forever. 

On October 27th I was diagnosed with a life threatening auto immune disease which immediately required daily injections, sleepless nights, quarterly appointments with specialists, a strict diet, unexplained highs and lows and routine battles with insurance companies. It's a disease many do not understand. It's a disease where if I was diagnosed with it just 100 years ago, it would be a death sentence and unfortunately in some parts of today's world it remains as such. It's an exhausting disease. It's a shameless disease. It's a disease where you can do everything "right" as outlined by medical professionals, and it is literally a luck of the draw as to what will happen. It's a disease where I've purposely left the name out because too jump to a conclusion. 

At ten years old, on October 27, 1999 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after experiencing clear signs and symptoms for one month. I was 20 pounds underweight, dehydrated, urinating frequently and so sick. So sick, I had to miss school - I absolutely adored school so this was a huge red flag. It took three attempts by my Mom to get the pediatrician to test for what was wrong with me after blindly sending me home to "rest" several times. 

From a very young age I had this innate understanding to be strong despite this terrible disease, to do everything I could to take care of myself to avoid complications, to not allow it to get in my way. So I haven't. It has been over 17 years of battling this disease 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It doesn't rest, it is tireless; so am I. 

That same determination has not allowed as much of the "scary" of this disease to be visible to those around me. See, every morning, I wake up and put a shield on because I want to do what I want to do with my day and I don't want diabetes to think it can interrupt my plans. It still tries, hard at that, daily, sometimes hourly. 

I've been very fortunate to create a growing platform over these past 17 years of turning this disease into something relatively positive. It's this very platform that has lifted me up when I've needed it. 

I envision this blog to be a reflective space for myself, maybe a bouncing pad of ideas or a place of acceptance for others but hopefully also a hub of passion and empowerment. 

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