It was 15 years ago this week when J was diagnosed. Instead of dwelling on the garbage that comes along with this disease, I’d rather focus on the amazing life we were/are able to have despite diabetes.
Because even though diabetes has been there every single year of his life, J has had a pretty good life, (sans most of last year.) Diabetes may have come along for the ride, and once in a while it may have tried to grab the steering wheel, but really…J has always had control on how he handles Our Diabetic Life.
Every. Step. Of. The. Way.
His first year he was woefully too skinny and his diaper was full all the time, but he found happiness regardless. This badass kid was at Disneyland two weeks before diagnosis. DKA could suck it...he was going to smile anyway!
His second year he realized finding a big stick on the beach and poking things with it was way more interesting than diabetes.
His third year he was more concerned about child labor laws as he cracked eggs for hours at the bakery. (He begged to do it. I swear.) And when he wasn't helping out his dad, he was helping keep his mother busy by finding as many messes as possible to get into.
His forth year was about finding adventure. Sledding, and dancing the day away at the Oktoberfest in the big city.
His fifth year he realized attitude was everything, and sports made life more fun. He was far too busy to lament diabetes.
His sixth year he received his pump and realized scheduled meals were a thing of the past. This smile was his way of flippin' the bird to the big D.
His seventh year was all about school, and friends and his first part in a school play. He checked his own sugar and bolused himself like a boss.
His eighth year he realized how fearless he really was. Look at that face. Does he look scared of what his future brings? Does he look scared that he is going to need a set change an hour after this pic is taken. Hell no!
By his ninth year, he already found peace in his circumstance. How many nine year olds can say that? What do you think he's thinking about in this picture? I'll give you a hint...it's not diabetes. I'll give you another hint...it's fish.
His tenth year he was WAY more concerned about his broken arm than he was about his diabetes. Diabetes wouldn't stop him from playing soccer, but his broken arm would.
In his eleventh year both his competitiveness and his ability to love reached all time high.
When he was twelve, he hated his clarinet way more than he hated diabetes.
In his thirteenth year, in his mind, kicking my bahookie in "Guess Who" was the most important thing he accomplished that day. Forget all the bolusing he did. Forget all the carbs he counted. Forget the set change he did on his own. He beat me. THAT's what was noteworthy.
When he was 14 he started High School. Grades, his peers, and his father moved up on the ladder of importance, and diabetes was kicked down a few rungs. Maybe a couple too many rungs, but he figured it all out. He always will.
And this year? Well this year when I told him it's been fifteen years that he's had diabetes...he shrugged. No biggie. It's just part of life. When he's grumpy it's because he chooses to be, not because of all the obstacles in his way. Which makes me wonder if I got this blog name all wrong. Looking back at these pictures, I don't see Our Diabetic Life at all. I see Our Happy Life.
And I suspect, the next fifteen years will be just the same.