Diabetics Running Amuck in New Haven.
I'm a road warrior ... or at least I was this weekend. And it all started on Friday night, when I met Manny Hernandez for dinner in New Haven, and we were joined by Adam.
Plenty of wine, beer, and coffee later (coffee was me - had to drive to Rhode Island after dinner), the three of us were knee-deep in discussions about Dexcoms, diagnosis dates, and our first low blood sugars. These guys are true kindred spirits and excellent dinner dates.
One thing that came up was our "before" and "after" with diabetes. For Adam and Manny, they were both diagnosed in their late 20's, early 30's, respectively. For me, I was diagnosed when I was in second grade. Their "diabetes before" included decades of memories and a certain sense of self, not to mention memories without the disease. My "diabetes before," for better or worse, doesn't include more than a handful of childhood memories without the disease, and my sense of self is coiled around some aspects of diabetes.
"What's better, though? I mean, there are pros and cons to both and I don't see a definitive 'yay' to either, honestly." I drank my second cup of coffee and let the caffeine spin around in my brain.
A lot of the people I'm in contact with that have diabetes were diagnosed in their childhood years - Howard at dLife, Christel, most of the Fairfield County dinner ladies - so they are dealing with the same "lifelong" diabetes as me. But I've also met many late-onset type 1s - the LADA crew, as I fondly call them and then subsequently picture a fire engine - and their life-altering diagnosis must be so jarring, coming into their lives later. Adjusting to diabetes wasn't much of a challenge for me because it's almost always been there. I only had a year or two of elementary school before I was diagnosed. I can't imagine finishing college and then being forced to change everything midstream.
But I will admit to a bit of a pang of envy as I tried to remember my first low blood sugar while the guys described the recent memory of theirs.
"I'll have to ask my mom," I said. "She'll remember."
It's not a debate, believe me. It's not a question of "Who has it worse?" Type 1 diabetes, regardless of it's arrival date, is its own cyclone of discovery. But the discussion made me realize how long I've had this and how old I'm not. And when people talk about cures, how lives will be changed when a cure for diabetes is found, and even though I don't often think about a cure, I can't help but happily muse about "diabetes after."
I've kept the tags on for 22 years, just in case I need to make a return. ;)