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I Choose to Live

Do you remember your diabetes diagnosis anniversary? Is it something you ever ponder upon? How does it make you feel when you ponder upon the day you were diagnosed? Were you ever formally diagnosed, even?

For people with different forms of diabetes, such as type 1, these might all be simple answers. Most type 1 cases of diabetes are diagnosed rather quickly, with the patient often landing in the hospital, and potentially having their life in the balance. It is typical for a person with type 1 diabetes to want to remember, or celebrate their diagnosis day, as the day they looked death in the eye – and told diabetes they weren’t going to go down with it.

I can’t pretend to speak for my friends with type 1, but I know many see the day as one of enormous gratefulness at being able to have another year of life, another year of insulin, and another year to hang on – especially when the condition can be so immediately life-threatening to many.

But the dynamic is often different for type 2. Type  2 often goes ignored by many clinicians, is a more silent condition which often goes undiagnosed, and when it does get diagnosed… it can be dumped on the patient as great moment of personal failure. There is often a great moment of shame, failure, anger, and maybe even deep anxiety as to what the future will bring. Complications and the threat of a painful death, are like an ever looming angel of doom. Uncertain, and unplanned for.

I don’t know that many think of celebration, or even thankfulness when it comes to being diagnosed with type 2. Who could ever be thankful for such a tragedy, after all.

But perhaps we can find some room to be thankful:

  • We still have our lives before us. We were given a warning, and plenty of time to heed it
  • We were given a chance to rethink our live’s choices, the quality of those choices, and to examine the reasons why we even make them
  • We were given the chance to rethink what we see as quality of life, as time spent with friends and family
  • We were given a chance to try to appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle
  • We were given the chance to see every year that we are alive, that we thrive and fight, and make the series of baby steps, as celebrations of the success of our own life – and of telling diabetes it can stuff it

Being diagnosed with diabetes should never feel like a thing of shame. There is not one of us who hasn’t made unhealthy choices before, and there will not be one of us who, as we age, eventually gets diagnosed with a chronic health condition of some sort. While diabetes is very serious, indeed, it gives us some time to be able to own our lives, and keep taking ownership of them year, after year, after year.

My diabetes anniversary means to me: This year, I am owner of my life, and my own choices. I choose to live. So should you. Let us celebrate!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.