Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The 25th Anniversary (& More) Award

While the 2009 calendar is nearly at its end and this is long overdue, it's time to take note that this is indeed a special year.

This isn't a reference to our new president. Not symbolic of the classic baseball season we've just endured. Nor is it an ode to the last year of the new century's first decade. Quite simply, it's the year I've celebrated my 25th Anniversary as a Type 1 diabetic.

(Applause from the audience.) Thank you, thank you...

This isn't new. I've written about it before - back in a January post. But it's worth noting again, maybe as a sort of followup.

My adventure with the D (not to be confused with my hometown of Detroit), began in 1984. I was 5 years old, the only child of a Type 1 who'd been diagnosed herself at the same young age. Her instant recognition and lifetime of dealing with diabetes helped during the diagnosis phase, and has stretched through the years without fail. She recently celebrated her 50th Anniversary, even more notable than my measly 25...)

(Standing ovation. Cheering. Whistling. Hooting.)

We both have initial signs of complications, but nothing hindering (it's still scary) and we have been blessed overall. Anyhow, to the point: my D-mom told me early in 2009 that there's cool special awards and medals for those who've reached these milestones. - Joslin and Lilly are two. You can apply, supply documentation or proof of your diagnosis, and wa-la - You're an Award-Winning Diabetic.

Of course, as daily life went on, I soon forgot about this. Until today, when reading a fellow D-blogger here. And an even funnier post he wrote on topic, here.

In reflecting on this, I've decided that there's no need for a special certificate, metal, plaque, or award. Knowing I'm here and blessed is an honor in itself, as is the ability to live on and manage my diabetes as best as possible. Really, in all of my 25 years of living with the D, and my overall 30 years, looking around and seeing where I am is the greatest award in itself. I thank Him for it all, as often as possible these days.

But specifically, I already won my award: my wife, Susanne, is my lifeline and the reason to do my best every day. While the D sometimes haunts our lives and throws unwanted monkey wrenches into great days, she co-exists incredibly and learns to live with "George" (a name that's apparently given to my pump, without my knowledge until very recently). Anyhow, Suz is my reward and I wear my badge of honor proudly.

That's not to say she doesn't deserve an award, though, for putting up with me. So, in a year that brought a 25-year-anniversary celebration and our 4th wedding anniversary (Sept. 24), I say thank you to her and look forward to many more anniversaries, no matter what they bring. (It's only 788,923,149 seconds - another 25 years - til the next one!) Regardless of how many there are, I welcome them. Just one is an award in itself, everytime.

(I'd like to thank the academy... the docs and endos, the dog, the cat.... ) You get the idea.

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