April of 2005, a Month To Remember…

Ahhh, where do I even start. I’ve been “offline” for so long I don’t even know where I should attempt to bring you all back into my story.

April of 2005 created many memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I celebrated my 30th birthday, 5 minutes after my birthday was over my dear mother passed away and April of 2005 also marks 25 years of dealing with type 1 diabetes.

aawI do so miss my mom, but it was the best thing for her. She had been fighting cancer for about two years. My parents received her initial diagnoses on Good Friday two years ago. It was Good Friday of this year when we all found out her chemo was not working. She went into the hospital on April 2nd and spent 10 uncomfortable days fighting. She is such a fighter, and held on until she saw her mother, all her brothers and sisters, all her grandchildren, her close friends from work and until my birthday had passed. I feel good that I was able to tell her that she did a good job raising me, and that I was very thankful for all of the lessons she and dad taught me and continue to teach me and that I love her so much. She will always be with me. As the parent of a 5 year old, I cannot imagine how hard it was for my parents to take care of me and help me learn to deal with my diabetes. I have so much respect for all that they went through – I don’t even know how to express my appreciation. Not only did they take care of me, but I feel that they did a wonderful job of helping me learn to take the responsibility of caring for myself. The one message I remember most from mom was to never ever use diabetes as an excuse for anything. If I use it as an excuse to not do something then others will use it as an excuse not to let me do something.

My father decided that rather than donations to a cancer society that my mom would have wanted donations to go towards diabetes research. The best count we have is near one thousand dollars donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in memory of my mom. She touched a lot of people, and through her generosity may she continue to make a difference to those that struggle with diabetes.

I am excited to reach my 25th year with type 1 diabetes. I feel that it is a significant achievement, and I am here with no complications. Thank my lucky genes for that, because my control leaves a lot to be desired (try as I might my A1C’s are usually 8.x). I know that in times past diabetes was a death sentence. While I feel strongly that the tools we have leave a lot to be desired, I am thankful for what we do have and that it has allowed me to do this well this long. They use to say to do the best you can because a cure is right around the corner. 25 years has taught me that a cure is far from right around the corner, but at the young age of 30 I do feel that I have a lot of time left to live and would like to keep the complications to a minimum as long as I can. I don’t think I let diabetes control my life, but I do the best I can do with the tools I have. That’s all I can ask myself to do sometimes.

That’s all for now…

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6 thoughts on “April of 2005, a Month To Remember…

  1. Scott, thank you for sharing what you’ve been experiencing over the last month. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved mom. You’ve done her a great honor with your words here, and moreover with the way you live your life, which I see as infused with generosity and outreach to people in need of support. She must be very proud of you.

    I lost my dad four years ago, when I had just turned 29. That was my first experience of losing a significant person to death. Looking back, it reminds me, perhaps oddly, of the experience of having diabetes in that I found the most healing by talking with others who had shared the experience. There was too much I couldn’t properly communicate to other folks, but with people walking that same path, I found immediate recognition of much that I was feeling. I benefited particularly, when the time was right, from going to meetings at an amazing organization in St. Paul called the Center for Grief. (They’re on the web at http://www.griefloss.org in case you want to check them out.)

    Congratulations to you on 25 years of self care and survival. You’re doing a fantastic job.

  2. Hi Scott,

    What a tribute to your mom. As a mom of a 5yr old with type 1, I hope he thinks of me what you thought of your mom.


  3. Scott,
    I second the motion! Happy Birthday, and thank you for your insights. As you know, I am dealing with being a new Type 1 while being a mom, which can be ROUGH (see my post at http://amy_tenderich.typepad.com/diabetes_mine/

    It is so touching to hear your appreciation of your mom, and encouraging to know that we can charge on for many long years as “healthy” diabetics.

    All the best to you!
    – Amy

  4. Hi Scott,
    Wow! Such a month of joy and sadness. First of all I am so sorry about your mother. It sounds as though she fought a really brave fight. {{hugs}} to you and yours.

    Happy birthday and congrats on 25 years of responsible diabetes care. This was a really inspiring post. Thanks for writing it.

    Xx Martha