Happy Birthday to this Busy Girl!!!

June 1, 2012By 1 Comment
9 years old going on 31

9 years old going on 31

No, it’s not my diabetes birthday (although I do celebrate that day with a piece of cake as well) it’s my 31st birthday.  Thirty-one is not a special number.  This is not a major milestone by any definition, but every birthday to me is a milestone.  I know I will live a fairly long life, that is, as long as my life is in my control.  However, just as dog years are measured differently than human years, so are diabetes years.  I was 9 when I was diagnosed, and I don’t remember much at all before that age.  The one memory I do have, is being very young, and constantly putting on a performance of some sort for either my family or an audience of Barbie dolls and Carebears.   I was missing my two front teeth, and when my mother would ask me, “Who do you love Regina?” (expecting an obvious answer of “I love you Mom”) I would confidently answer her without hesitation and with a lisp, “I love mythelf.” Every year since my diagnosis, I have fought my way out of every dark cloud that has drifted over me, not without blood, sweat and a whole lot of tears because I love mythelf.  There are many people who believe that your age defines your life experiences and thus how old you are is supposed to be directly correlated with how wise you are.  This theory makes me laugh out loud and shake my head.

I am not looking for sympathy or pity and I sure as heck don’t feel sorry for myself, that has never been my style.  I just like sharing my story in case there are others out there who have the same thoughts… lingering on the tips of their rough fingers or in a midnight bathroom break when you realize your pump tubing has been clipped in the pump clip for hours and you are 400.  The feeling I get when I jump on my diabetes awareness soap box, like a robot, and start the usual explanation to the person behind me in line at the store when they see me testing my blood sugar and they’re just dying to ask questions.  That feeling we all got the day we were diagnosed, whatever age it was, and wondered how many birthdays we would have.

For the longest time, many years, I had the number ’30’ stuck in my head.  Somehow I just didn’t have an idea what or how life would be after 30 after having diabetes for 22 years.  I was so busy making the most of everyday, cramming every experience and every mistake I could into such a brief pile of years so that I wouldn’t have to face that black-out that was in my mind after ’30’.  While I share the same birthday, June 1st, with Marilyn Monroe, I am thankful that my self-awareness and internal fighter will keep me from her unfortunate demise.

At 27, I was a divorcee diabetic with 3 cats who looked like a train wreck on paper (saying that out loud always makes me laugh, which always reminds me things aren’t so bad). Today, at 31 I am a very happily married, still-diabetic with an amazing A1c, still a 3-cat-lovin’ lady, and better yet, I broke through the black-out that was the dreaded ’30’ and I enjoy the blue sky above me a bit more each day.  While I don’t want to say it’s all in my head, this emotional tug-of-war that I play with myself taking internal bets on how much my body can take, I do know that I do have control over how I approach the negative thoughts when they come creeping in.  Thank you to my wonderful husband James, who I lovingly call ‘Positive Polly’, for helping me get to a very happy 31st birthday.  I love you just as much if not more than I love ‘mythelf.’  And that is how I make it through each day folks, with the cards that I’ve been dealt.  I thank God everyday that I have a disease that is manageable (for the most part) and that I have the right to have control over.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years” -Abraham Lincoln

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  1. Kelly Pheulpin says:

    Happy Birthday Regina! this was so inspirational!!

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