For many of us, there are certain days each year that have a very special meaning to us e.g. a birthday, the day you got your driver’s license, a wedding anniversary or perhaps the passing of a loved one. For Type 1 diabetics, a day that is recognised annually is their Diaversary; the day they were diagnosed with Type 1.
I doubt this day is celebrated; however it’s a day worth acknowledging nevertheless.
It’s the day the signifies the start of a New Normal; a life of regular finger pricks and insulin doses as well as lots of new terminology e.g. HBA1C, CGM, MDI, DKA and of course Lows and Highs as well as many, many sleepless nights to come. It’s recognising that lots of time will be spent at medical practitioners including general practitioners, pathologists, clinics, dietitians, endocrinologists, ophthalmologists and without a shadow of a doubt, there will be numerous emergency room visits and nights in intensive care. It’s the start of the complex journey of what eating plan to follow. Everyone is different so LCHF might work for one person where as Low GI might be better for someone else. Perhaps its choosing Vegetarian or a LCHF vegan route. No one person is the same and this journey of eating-plan-discovery is a rite of passage for those with diabetes. It’s understanding that things will never be quite the same; that glucose management is so much more than just what one eats and what caused glucose to go high yesterday could actually make it go low today! It’s never leaving the house again without the diabetic kit and sweets.
Lows happen suddenly and can so quickly become fatal, that carrying sweets at all times becomes essential. It’s realising that, unless one knows someone with Type 1 diabetes, the general public don’t understand the condition (and why should they?) and so it’s getting used to explaining that my child did not get Type 1 because she ate too many sweets or because I ate too many sweets when pregnant, or because I did or didn’t breast feed her, or because she’s been vaccinated or not vaccinated. It’s always being at the ready to explain that my child has an autoimmune disease for which there is no cure; that yes, the insulin injections hurt but they keep her alive, that your herbal tea will not cure her diabetes (even if it helps the glucose control), and that she is allowed to eat the cake, if she wants to.
Storm Longman is the inspiration behind T1-Together and it was her 7th diaversary on 2 January 2020. The photo was taken on Christmas Day, 2019.
T1-Together was started last year with a long-term vision to raise funds for various aspects of the diabetic community, while helping to create awareness of this life-changing condition.
Storm’s Mom and Founder T1-Together