Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Count me in.

With the New Year I see a theme of, “hopefully this will be the year they find a cure,” and all I want to do is take it with a grain of salt and move on. I don’t know what I would do if there was a cure, and I can’t spend too much time thinking about it. To tell you the truth, I don’t really think it’s coming soon. Call me crazy, call me a fool. I don’t think this is pessimistic. I’m just not putting more than a few eggs in the cure basket.

For the most part having Type 1 Diabetes does not bother me. I check my blood sugar, count carbs, and bolus, just like I breathe. Lows don’t faze me or make me crumble. It’s all automatic. Sometimes I am even thankful for it. I know for a fact my diet would be out of control if I ate the way my other teenage friends eat. Diabetes makes me feel smart. I can figure out a dose faster than my pump, I have a lot more knowledge of nutrition and general health than the average teen. Plus I have so many amazing new people in my life because of it.

But then sometimes I get to thinking, and with this disease having too much time to think is never good.

I think of the phone call I got from a friend before my sister and I were heading to pick her up. While she was on the other end, my hip was bleeding from a botched site change. I just wanted to be sitting on my couch talking to her about the silly boys we hang out with. Not holding gauze to the bleeder, and wiping IV prep on my stomach, while she was completely unaware.

I think of Kerri, and the fact I don’t want my wedding dress to have a pump pocket, or for that pump to be my something blue.

I think of the night I spent bowling with friends. While they downed Cokes and heaps of pancakes, I had only a quarter of what was on my plate. Then as I went up to for my turn to bowl, my tubing got blocked and my pump started beeping. I finished my frame, and off I scurried to the bathroom to fix that, while everyone else continued to laugh and joke.

I think of my older great aunt who continues to try to give me sugar free everything, because she believes it is the best thing for a diabetic. She will announce this in front of an entire restaurant. Or my aunt who is even a nurse, and doesn’t understand why I have to check my blood sugar when I drive.

I think of this next summer. How will I wear my pump and swim every day? What will it look like on my bathing suit? I’ve given up the freedom to just jump in, for disconnect boluses and better control.

I think of how I’ve given my parts of my childhood away to diabetes.

I think of my sister, who calls me a soldier for leaving in infusion sets when I say they hurt a bit. She says she could never do this, but I have had no choice.

I think of myself in the future. What will it look like? Will my diabetes still be there? What will that mean when it comes to relationships? Marriage? Motherhood?

I think of the little faces who are yet to know this disease, and of those who already do.

I think of my mother and the mothers of those other children who are just like me. They choose to have these children to care for, love, and embrace them, not a horrible disease.

I think of my fears.

Thoughts like these.

Make me wish for a cure this year too.


Naomi said...

Wishing and wishing and wishing for a cure, so that in your beautiful future your wedding dress will not need a pump pocket and there will be no tubes on your nights out (unless you are inner tubing) and you can jump in the water without a second thought. So that your purse is an accessory, not a necessity and that everything on your plate is there because you wanted it, not because you counted it.

Happy new year, Jillian! ((hugs))

Seonaid said...

I know all these feelings and, though I do believe there will be a cure someday, I'm not counting on anything too soon either.. we'll both be more surprised if there is one within the next year, and not so let down if there isn't though, right? :) anyway, I wish you a happy new year and i'm so glad to have met you through this!!!!

Jillian said...

Naomi, thank you! I hope those wishes can come true.

Seonaid, I'm glad I'm not the the only one who feels this way. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes these feelings hit you like a truck. I'm glad to have met you too!

Hannah said...

Hugs and best wishes for the year ahead. If you read my blog today, you'll find I'm a little blue for similar reasons. Even if it's not this year, let's hope some year SOON we won't have to stop to think about every carb we eat and every inch of tubing hanging out of our pockets. :)

Donna said...

Hi Jillian,
I do hope there is a cure this year. But I've been hoping for a long time - 37 years. But along the way, even though there hasn't been a cure yet - things are getting better. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what I would do if there was a cure. I guess I'll just wait & be surprised. Hang in there. We'll all get through this together.

Minnesota Nice said...

Hey Jillian,
I just read your response on Scott's blog, saying something like "not needing advice from a 16 year old".
Don't sell yourself short, my dear. For a 16 year old you have an immense amount of wisdom and insight, as this post just confirms.
We are all in this together - young and old, veterans and newly diagnosed.
I wish you good days ahead.

Sandra Miller said...

Count me in, too.

Even though it hurts to hope-- I just want it so damn much.

This entry really got to me, Jillian. Hard stuff, this is. And you write beautifully of it.

Best wishes to you in 2008!

Penny said...


I went through a "hope slump" a little while ago. So, while you're going through yours I will just hope extra hard for you and for Riley and all the others.

I have to hope for a cure. I have to believe that Riley will not have a pump in his tux pocket at his wedding.

But, I have also come to a peace that if that cure does not happen Riley will be fine too.

Jess said...

That was a gorgeous post. I also have been thinking about that cure. I really don't think there will be a cure but I'm sure there will be better care and more advanced technology. This is what I am hoping for.

I really like your blog. If you don't mind, I'm going to add you to my "Gotta Read's" on my blog. Keep it up. As soon as I think of a question for you to answer, I'll toss it to you.