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D-Blog Week: Letter Writing Day.

All the shit I wish I had known.  I mean, the stuff I wish I had known.Dear Littler Me,

I wish you'd known you weren't alone.  That even though you didn't have a bunch of friends with diabetes (YET) when you were growing up, you still had lots of friends.  And a family that loved you.  And people who didn't understand exactly what it meant to be "low" or "high," but they wanted to, and they tried.

I wish you had known that there were other kids just like you.  It wasn't until you spent your summers at Clara Barton Camp that you realized just how normal diabetes was for some families.  That some kids woke up every morning, just like you did, and shot up.  Or that some kids were hounded by their parents to "just let me check your pee for ketones, okay?"  

I wish you had known that doctors lie.  That when they said, "This won't hurt a bit," it was going to hurt anyway.  That when they promised not to draw blood from your arm unless your parents were there, they lied and instead stole into your hospital room at 1 am and woke you up with their midnight vampirism.  I wish you had known that when they said, "Kids may not be in your future," you didn't have to believe them.

I wish you had known about the impact of sorbitol and other sugar-substitutes on your little kid tummy.  Dude, that stuff will wreck you up right proper.  And for days.

I wish you hadn't written those notes on the backs of school quizzes and then stuck them into your Bible for safe-keeping.  The ones that included long diatribes about how some girls in your class didn't understand.  Or about how you were 385 mg/dl and you had eaten the cupcakes you claimed to have ignored, and you wish you felt brave enough to confess to your mom.  I wish I didn't find those notes 18 years after the fact.  I wish I hadn't remembered how isolated and guilty and scared I felt at those times.

I wish you had known that, despite the excuses you wanted to make, that every day matters.  I'm glad you know it now, but I need you to remember it more.  Every day matters, Kerri.  Yesterday may not have been the best diabetes day, but today can be better.  Stress and work and vacations and traveling and motherhood will always be there.  You need to learn how to dance between those raindrops and still give your health the attention it deserves.

I wish you had known that pumping insulin was going to be an easier transition than you thought.  I know you were scared about having an "external symptom" of diabetes, and worried about the implication of "robot parts" on your dating life, but it wasn't an issue at all.  (Your husband hasn't ever known you without the pump - who would have thought?!)  

I wish you had known, in that moment of diagnosis, that it was going to be okay.  There are ups and downs with everything, and diabetes is part of that ebb and flow, but there is life to be lived - a good life - even with diabetes.  You have some extra issues to deal with as a result of this disease, but you will be okay.  Remember that, especially when you feel overwhelmed now, as an adult.  Don't lose hope, even in that cure that's been promised to you five times over now. And don't, for crying out loud, let any kind of pity party overtake who you are.

I wish you had known that you CAN eat that, and you CAN do that, and you CAN work there, and you CAN love him, and you CAN be loved back, and you CAN be happy.  So go DO and BE, child.  Enjoy every minute, because it goes by in a blink.

Love,
Future You

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(This post is part of the Second Annual D-Blog Week.  To participate, check out the details on Karen's blog!  And thanks, as always, to Karen for organizing such a great advocacy effort.)

Comments

Beautiful. And very true.

Love it! Well done!

Love this Kerri.

I think our Little Selves should have had a group session. We needed to hear a lot of the same things. :)

Beautiful post.

Couldn't have said it better myself. I love love love that last paragraph!

Great letter, Kerri! Love all the points to your Littler Self, especially the one that says: "Doctors lie." That one made me smile. And great point about D-Camp... That'd be in my letter to Younger Me - to actually go and take part in D-Camp to know that I wasn't alone. Thanks for the overall message.

I know 15 years ago if I guessed where I'd be today, I would have sold myself short. I'm just a normal guy with diabetes as part of my life. Treating it is just part of my new normal. I CAN live that normal life. Thanks for your post.

The tears are streaming. I can only hope I do everything in my power so that Justin knows these things. Thank you for sharing Kerri. I think I have a few things to work on.

I hope Lauren reads this. It's wonderful.

DAMN...the oscillating mascara DOESN'T come in "Waterproof"!!! Funny, since joining the online community, I realize Joe CAN do anything too...and he WILL.

Thank you for being part of the pendullum of change in my mind set.

xoxo

This is beautifully written, as always, Kerri. The part about dancing between the raindrops had me in tears. It is so, so true and so well said that I think I'll always remember it.

Great job Kerri! I haven't stopped to write my letter yet today, and am struggling with whether or not I have the courage to talk to Mini Me. As much as I want him to know, there are things that I wish he didn't have to know at all. Sounds like an evening post. Thanks for sharing!

Very Nice, as always, so many things ring true for me. Thank-you.

Wow Kerri! what a beautiful letter! You couldn't have said it better. If I could have jumped forward 36yrs, 36years ago, and read your letter then, i would have done so many things so differently.

A wonderful, beautiful post, Kerri! So VERY true.

Kerri, I'm just welling up all over the place today...I think of Edward and the 5 or 6 PB&J sandwiches I found in his book bag...not wanting to be different (because we we SURE of how many carbs there were in a PB&J)...he wanted to be like everyone else else and eat the lousy school lunches...beautifully written, heartfelt, as always...

I'm loving all of these letter written by PWD to themselves as CWD. They are so honest and truly heartfelt. Thank you for sharing!!

I had no idea this was going on until I saw your post!! I just wrote to my immune system and it felt great! Within 18 months, my pancreas was killed for Type 1 AND I got diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma - cancer of the immune system. WTF?!?! but such great relief to write it a letter considering I can't take it to a boxing ring.

Wonderful, poignant letter!

Thank you Kerri. Thank you.

So beautiful! I wish I read this when I was diagnosed!!! This would have put me at ease. Just beautiful.

Beautiful. And okay, I see, you are intent on making me cry every singe day of DBlog Week? I can live with that. :)

Beautiful. A copy should be made, name changed and shown to all new dxs. It will be ok and you CAN. Love it

Love it

Tears of happiness and yet scared at the same. Having a 5 yr old with d makes these posts inspiring and hard at the same time. Hard to see the future while she is so young yet amazed to know how far she will come 18 years later. I don't want her to have to go through this but know she is so strong. I want her to know she has friends with d and that she doesn't have to wait until she is older to be a part of something bigger like the DOC. Thank you Kerri!

Sarah

Beautiful post, Kerri. And although everyone's diabetes may vary, I do think that those of you who were diagnosed as children have a whole different set of experiences, memories, etc. than those of us diagnosed in our 20's and at older ages.

As the mother of a nine year old girl with diabetes your letter hit me hard. I always try to understand how she feels, but I will never truly know. Thank you for sharing that and she thanks you also. It opened my eyes wider to her little girl feelings when I already thought they were wide open.
Beautiful post - Thank You
Yvette

Kerri,
Your letter is so poignant and wonderful. Being diabetic for 11 years now, it brings back memories of 7th and 8th grade, when I first got diagnosed, and then when I first got on the pump (and subsequently got off it). Today, though, after reading your letter, I told my husband that I would call today to get a new pump and try it again. The pump still scares me, but what scares me more is letting my diabetes "win." Thanks so much for your words of encouragement; somehow, they are always what I need to read and remind myself that I will be ok!

Awesome post. I would say much the same.(only,to a teenaged me)

Beautiful. I ended up writing to Diabetes, because I couldn't find the words to write to mini-me....but you said it beautifully. I too was diagnosed at age 6.....and I wish my 6 year old self could read your letter....maybe she'd have made some different choices.

I love the sentiment. And you points would be just as true if you searched and replaced Diabetes with any number of other diseases or conditions that people learn not only to cope with, but to LIVE with.

I'm not a diabetic...Just a lurker trying to learn more about T1 and enjoying pictures of your beautiful little one. But I am a 15 year old who needs to hear these words. this post is more universal than you think it is, Kerri. Every kid, teenager and adult needs to hear these words. I LOVE the part about dancing between the raindrops and the whole post, really. Honestly teary-eyed once again. thanks for being an inspiration to a non-D teen.

Beautiful Kerri. I'll have to make sure Ryan reads this.

Ya, this is future required reading for Jenna too. Thank you, Kerri.

Kerri
Thanks for getting my cry out. That was beautiful and so true. Thansk for sharing

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