Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quarter of a century

This marks my 25th year with diabetes. A worthy feat, particularly since I'm turning 30 years old on Feb. 1. With my diabetes anniversary, also comes the one for my mother marking her 50th anniversary. We both have cause to be thankful, as we've been blessed to have no serious ramifications of complications at this point.

When she was diagnosed at 5, docs told her parents she wouldn't live past 21. That was back in the mid-50s. Obviously, that worked out. My prognosis was much more optimistic by the time this 5-year-old got the news in the mid-80s, though the looming fear of complications clouded the manageability. Years later in the teens, I heard from docs that if my poor control and high A1Cs continued I likely wouldn't live to see 30. Well, that clock is counting down on that one. Only a few weeks to go - (here's me knocking on the wooden desk...)

While alive and relatively healthy, both mom and son have encountered bumps in the road, of course. She's got her own, and I'll leave those untouched as this is my blog and my story. I have the initial onset of complications and am in by no means good control, but we must look at the positives and move forward, not dwell on the past. In the fourth year of marriage and wanting to start a family, not to mention just feel better all around, that notion of tight control is on the mind. As it should have been all along.

But I can see my wife, dog, cat, and all things at this point despite the reality that retinopathy has started. I'm able to walk with all my limbs, though neuropathy is there and the pain is sometimes shooting enough to keep me restless and awake all night. Not to mention the potential side effect of chronic foot and ankle issues, possible from poor circulation - all of which has led to the inability to walk or run or sometimes golf or run around with the dog outside. My kidneys and other internals appear to be working, so the doc says.

So, the goal for 2009 - to test 8 to 12 times daily, write down each test as I go to give myself some sense of accomplishment and initiative to continue, to accurately measure all foods and count carbs and dose for what I'm eating, and to change my pump sites more regularly than now. This is all very long overdue, and it's something that's been started and kept up and eventually abandoned, so many times before.

I'm a diabetic, and while it doesn't define who I am, it's a part of me that cannot and willnot be ignored and seemingly swept under the rug. Not at 25 years when complications are already starting..... Too much to live for to let this get me now. There's that 50-year mark I have to make it to, and beyond. It's not just possible, it can be a reality if I start NOW.

So let it begin.... (again). This time, let it last.

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