Reading Kerri's post today made me think about what changed when I was diagnosed, what I would change back if I could. It was interesting to read other mothers comments and other PWD's as well. Someone commented that they remembered being very sick so that having treatment when they were diagnosed was such a relief.
In general, I do not really remember what it was like before. Diagnosed at age 11, I got in a lot of running around before I was diagnosed, but it happened at such a transition age that I do not remember a before and after, it all kind of blends in. Thinking back reminded me of my first low blood sugar. I came home from the hospital on Sunday and some family friends came over to meet us and I guess to support my parents, although I never thought about it. I was doing my thing with my friend Emily and I remember pausing. I remember walking down the stairs to the first floor and thinking, 'Oh, this is what they told me it would feel like if I had a low blood sugar.' And I can just imagine myself yelling to the other room "MOM...I think I'm low." (A phrase she heard many more times over the years, especially in the middle of the night when I often asked for help. It is interesting thinking about it now. I am pretty sure that I was not "actually low" at the time.) I vaguely remember being in the 70s and knowing that it did not meet the criteria, but I was 538 at diagnosis and this was definitely my first time below 100 since then and I was probably dropping. Lows are so impossible to really describe, but with the adjectives they gave me, I knew it was it. Was that the moment I lost my innocence.
It's kind of sad to think about now, but it is interesting, I do not feel sad for me. I do feel sad for my 11 year old self. I do feel sad that I had to grow up in at least part of my life. Maybe my continued naivete about the world is holding on to some of that lost innocence.
I am still stuck on what I would change about diabetes though, because I don't think my loss of innocence is what I would make go away. I think I would try to take away the judgement and protection that other people impose on me. I would take away people's telling me that "I would probably be healthier" when I was smart enough to know wasn't true. I would take away people's fear of telling me about complications, so I could learn about them properly, not secretly by finding bad information, like I would have done for sex-ed if they did not teach it in school. (In high school I truly thought that I would be blind or well on my way by now, no matter what.-17yrs in) I would take away the feeling that I should never have questions about them because if I don't talk about them, maybe I will never get them. And mostly I think I would take away the idea that if I get complications, or even admit that I could get them, then I have failed.