One Year Since…

Today marks one year since possibly the scariest day I’ve ever faced in my life of living with diabetes. It has been an emotional week leading up to it and I’m sure I may catch myself having moments today as well. As I look back, I remember and feel the fear and the feeling of failure that I faced that day just as raw as ever.

It was the day I woke up and couldn’t see anything but light and darkness out of my left eye.

Since then, I have gone through dealing with three different diagnosis’, with the final one being a macro aneurysm that dissipated before the vessel could burst. The fluid from the swelling was what caused the temporary vision loss, and without it, I would have never known it even happened. The final diagnosis was both a blessing and a wake-up call. I was blessed in that it didn’t burst, it was a wake-up call that I needed to (1) find a new doctor and (2) stop getting so stressed about everything and to be thankful for everything.

image (3)I’ve been one to try to be positive about things in life, especially my diabetes. The Serenity Prayer says it best – “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”. I cannot change the fact that I have diabetes. I cannot change the fact that after 26 years, there is a much higher risk of developing complications. I cannot go back in time and change how horribly I took care of myself for so many years – especially those teen rebellion years. BUT, the next part? “…Courage to change the things I can…” – Yes, there are things I can change. I can continually do my best to take the best care I can of myself. And lastly, “…and Wisdom to know the difference”… We have to know that there are things we can and things we can’t change. There are sometimes things that no matter how much we try, will never make the situation better. We have to recognize them and learn to let it go.

Not too long ago, a post I had written was syndicated to DiabetesDaily about if I were to be cured, what would I miss? A few commenters on their Facebook page called me crazy for even thinking I’d miss anything about diabetes. I don’t blame them – if I hated diabetes as much as some do, I’d think the article was pure craziness. But you know, after all of this time, it’s one of those things I’ve had to come to accept – I cannot change that I do have diabetes, so while I do, I have to embrace it and try to find the positives from it. Is it hard? Yes. Do I have moments of utter anger and resentment for having this disease that I know will progressively cause damage to my body? Yes.  I still get angry. I still get upset. I still cry when no one is watching because I’ve taken all I can take for the time being and I need a break. But you know what? I also realize that I cannot stay in that mindset. I have to have it and move on because I cannot change the fact that I have diabetes.

What I can change, though, is my attitude toward it. And I can continually work on knowing when to just let go and move on.

It’s been a rough year, to say the least, but it’s been one filled with blessings. I can see, my eyes are healthy again, and most of all – the thing I thought would no longer be possible for me – I’m carrying the most precious gift God could have ever blessed me with, and we’ve continued to be healthy throughout the pregnancy.

Hope, Courage, Prayer, and Faith. It’s what it takes.

 

(I turn to music for a lot of things. This song helped me through some pretty dark times. )

2 thoughts on “One Year Since…”

  1. I love this perspective, Sarah!! I also have spent way too much time wishing I could go back and change how poorly I took care of myself during my teens/early 20s. But I constantly try to remind myself that I cannot change the past- only how I take care of myself today and going forward. LOVE that you compared it to the Serenity Prayer, though. 🙂

  2. Your article is very inspiring! Your statement about wishing you could change the horrible way you took care of yourself especially during your teen years really stood out for me. My daughter is 16 and has been living with T1D since she was 12. There is no good age to have T1D, but age 12 poses unique challenges. She was old enough to know what life without T1D was like, but at the same time too young to fully comprehend what poor management might mean for her in the future. Then add to that all the hormonal stages going on can create a whole new kind of teen rebellion! Her first two years or so she handled everything like a champ. She checked her sugar regularly, researched and counted carbs for everything she ate, ran and checked her pump logs constantly and made appropriate adjustments as needed. However, as monotony set in and hormones increased, her A1C’s began to steadily rise (latest one was 10.1). Today, at 16, she checks her sugar sometimes once or twice a day or not at all! She guesstimates carbs (usually not good guesses), or simply justs forgets to take insulin at all. Her dad and I have been hopelessly unsuccessful in convincing her that treating herself this way now, will likely lead to serious complications later. Most often she ignores what we say and says that we just don’t understand what she has to deal with. And she’s right, we have no idea what it’s like to be a teen with T1D. With this said, and as someone who truly can fully understand what she’s going through, and someone who can offer 20/20 hindsight, what advice/change would you give your younger self if given the opportunity? I don’t know if she would listen, but anything that comes from someone who has been in her shoes would have a far greater impact than anything her dad or I could ever say.

Tell me what you think!