D-blog week Day 4: Accomplishments Big and Small

Diabetes Blog Week topic: So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes.

I saw the movie Steel Magnolias when I was 16….I was healthy and active, with not a care in the world (except, would my friends and I go cruising that night and scope out the cute guys who were also cruising in their cars along the downtown strip? Sigh.) Imagine my surprise when, 5 years later, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. When I asked my doctor how this would affect my life – outside of having to take shots, monitor sugar, etc – she said, “well, you can probably expect to live 10 years less than you would have without diabetes, and depending on when you decide to have children, it may or may not be a good idea.” Ugh, that didn’t sound hopeful or inspiring at all.
Of course, my thoughts went back to Steel Magnolias and how complications caused by diabetes post-child-birth led to Shelby’s untimely death. The movie is so old, I hope that wasn’t a spoiler for anyone. Also, many of us diabetic women sort of hate that movie. It’s a downer, and shows one of the absolute worst possible outcomes of a woman not in control of her diabetes having a baby.

Long before my diabetes diagnosis, there was one thing that was a constant desire in my life – I wanted to have a family and be a Mom. I always loved children, loved spending time with my friends who had babies, and could never get over the joy of teaching a young child something new, and seeing that sparkle of wonder in their eyes. I longed to share that with my own child, and experience parenthood with a loving partner. I hoped and prayed every day that having diabetes now would not steal that joy away from me.

I was 35 years old before I married my husband, and we started working on having a family. As a woman of “advanced maternal age” (the doctor’s words, not mine), I faced many hardships and risks because of that, never mind the silly little body-debilitating disease of diabetes. Through close to 3 years of fertility treatments, IVF, and a roller coaster of emotions and hope and pain and everything you can imagine…the light at the end of the tunnel became my wonderful, perfect and amazing little girl. Screw you, diabetes. I did it. Joy

9 thoughts on “D-blog week Day 4: Accomplishments Big and Small

  1. I got chills! When my daughter was dx’d 12/20/2010…I kept thinking of that stupid movie (or as I now call it “the movie that shall not be named”) and thought “d#%m it! I’m not M’lynn and by God, Kate isn’t Shelby!!” You have achieved the greatest accomplishment in the world–one I hope my daughter achieves as well! You go, girl! Screw diabetes is right! P.S. I was “advanced maternal age” with Kate….pooh on that! And your little accomplishment is ADORABLE!

    • I think all of us sharing our accomplishments – like having healthy and wonderful babies DESPITE stupid diabetes – only helps to let everyone know that our world is NOT the world of Steel Magnolias, and having diabetes is not a death sentence. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 With your wonderful support (and many others, I’m sure) your daughter can kick the butt of diabetes, and if she wants to have kids, she will be able to do it and do it safely and in good health for all involved. The power of positive thinking and positive actions goes such a long way!!!

  2. Hooray! Hooray! And she is gorgeous! (And I hate Steel Magnolias. We stupidly did not know what it was about when my mom and I went to see it. We thought it was a comedy – come on, Shirley McLaine? Sally Fields? When she was sitting there having her hair done and got that look on her face, I knew. And I sobbed through the rest of the movie. I want a movie about healthy diabetic women!)

    • Me, too! I can’t think of a single movie that shows a positive diabetic example. Panic Room was ridiculous – you have a diabetic daughter, and don’t put a glucagon kit in said panic room? You have MRI foodstuffs that probably have carbohydrates them and would raise her sugar, but instead of eating them, you have to risk life and limb to get stuff outside the panic room. Just dumb. Oh, but Nat Strand on the Amazing Race was truly amazing!!! That’s the one positive example in the mainstream of TV/movies I can think of.

  3. I love this post. And your attitude. And your kid. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Gimme Some Sugar… | theperfectd

  5. I agree. Screw you Diabetes! You have a gorgeous little girl.

  6. Love this post! Your baby is so adorable. I love hearing great stories about T1D and babies since I’m getting to that point myself-will be trying once my A1C is lower 🙂

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