Around this time last year, I remember lying on the couch, my hair still wet from the shower wondering if I would ever feel well again. I had rolled out of bed at an extremely early hour to make the 1.5 hour commute to my new job and stumbled down to the shower. My stomach was turning the whole time, I was thirsty, I was exhausted. When I stepped out of the shower, I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I started throwing up.
At that point, I told my husband that I was going to stay home sick and he asked if I would call the doctor yet. I responded that yes, I would call when the office opened in two hours. He kissed me goodbye and left for his new job.
When my alarm went off two hours later, I considered just turning it off and sleeping more. But I called the doctor’s office, luckily they had an opening in 30 minutes. When I got up to go change I realized that there was no way I would be able to drive feeling like I was, so I called my mother-in-law who hopped in the car and picked me up with no questions asked. In the waiting room, she asked me how long I’d been sick and was shocked to hear it had been days. We’d gone to a family movie and dinner with my husband’s extended family and in the craziness of the family dinner, I couldn’t choke down more than half of my chicken sandwich and felt like I was going to throw up the entire time. We’d kept the fact that I felt sick a secret because we didn’t want anyone getting suspicious that I might be pregnant, especially since we thought I might be too.
I’d lost 30 pounds and we hadn’t really noticed because of dedicating more than 12 hours of our days to working and commuting to work. I noticed that I was down a lot when the nurse put me on the scale and let out a breath and said, “Honey, you’re down a lot from January.” While I waited for the doctor, I noticed how thirsty I felt and that my lips were dry. I wanted water and Chapstick. I wanted to lay down.
The rest of my day was a whirlwind of peeing in a cup, being handed a diagnosis of diabetes, being sent straight to the hospital, admitting, calling my husband, calling my boss, calling my mom, being hooked up to a heart monitor and only being allowed to have liquids before they realized that they were giving me sugary liquids. More of the story is here.
At this point last year, my life was in utter turmoil. I was sick, incredibly sick. I was stressed, overwhelmed and then my dad lost his battle with cancer a few days later. I was trying to grieve for my father, fight for my health and become myself again.
I know that in the diabetes community, people celebrate their “diaversaries” in some manner. They celebrate living successfully with this condition and they treat it a little like a birthday party.
I can’t do that. I can’t celebrate this. At least not now.
I’m happy to be alive. I’m thankful that I fought my way back to health sooner rather than later. But just because a year has gone by since I asked the doctor, “What type of diabetes do I have?” And he responded with surprise, “You’re type 1” doesn’t mean I’m ready to celebrate a year of being a person with diabetes.
It’s no secret that I am much, much healthier with diabetes than I was before, I’ve also met many supportive people and gained a lot of knowledge about overall wellness. But I’m not ready to party on August 11th.
It’s been a year. I fought through a year. And I plan to fight through many more.