29 Years Today

I finally received my discharge records, and now have “My Date”.  Saturday, April 26, 1980.  That makes today my 29th year of living with type 1 diabetes.

First and foremost, I want to thank my dad, who picked up the ball for me.  In my search for my discharge records, I got frustrated from running into dead end after dead end.  He picked up the phone and started making some calls, thought about alternate paths to find information, and came up with some really great ideas on what we could do.  It worked!  Thanks Dad!

I had been in good health until the first week in April when I had a week long illness.  My mom thought it may be the measles (even though I had my MMR vaccine).  Low grade fever, red eyes, barking cough and 3-4 days of a fine scattered rash on my neck and trunk.

I recovered from that episode and appeared well until about a week prior to admission, where I again developed the cough, along with a fever, runny nose, nausea, poor appetite, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain.  Urine analysis at the clinic showed 2+ glucose and 3+ ketones, and I was then referred to the hospital.  My routine preschool exam on April 11th showed a normal urine analysis.

According to the discharge records, I was in the hospital for six days.  My initial lab results showed a glucose of 445 mg/dl and spilling ketones.  Docs made note of my acetone breath.  They started me on insulin and signed my family up for a week long education class and routine follow up visits with a doctor at the clinic.

I started the search for my discharge records years ago because I wanted to apply for the Joslin 25 Year certificate.  Not that it is a huge deal, but I just thought it would be something neat to have.

And it is neat to have.

Picture of the Joslin Certificate of AchievementThe certificate marks 25 years, although for me it has been 29.  I guess it is a 25+ years certificate.  Living with diabetes is no easy thing.  While this certificate is physically a piece of paper with some ink on it, it means a lot more than that to me.  It is a small sign of recognition for all that I have endured so far.  I mark each year that I have lived and learned with diabetes, and I am proud of myself for all that I do.

There is some guilt and remorse as well, for knowing that there is so much I can do better, and knowing that each day that I have not done my best may well haunt me for a long time.  But my overall feeling is one of accomplishment and pride, because I am here, living strong and well, with diabetes.

The accompanying letter says it so well, that I want to share part of it here: 

“In 1948, Dr. Elliott P. Joslin created an award to celebrate the life and good health of those individuals who had achieved twenty-five continuous years of insulin use.  We now extend this tribute to you for your conscientious and courageous attention to the many difficult details involved in successfully living with diabetes over these many years.” (emphasis mine)

Next year will make 30 years, and I am hoping to plan a great big party to celebrate.  You are all invited, in person, or in spirit.  I hope you’ll share in the celebration with me.

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38 thoughts on “29 Years Today

  1. Scott,
    You are truly an inspiration to me, and the many people who read your blog! I hope that after 29 years of living with diabetes, I’m able to look at life as you do. Thank you for sharing it all here 🙂

  2. WOW!!! YOU ROCK!!!!
    I’ll bet it was strange to read through that file…kind of like taking a step back in time.
    Keep living strong…and inspiring the BLOG WORLD 🙂

  3. Scott,
    I’m so happy for you! I met you at Carribou on Saturday with my wife, Bea, who is a type 1 pumper. We had a wonderful time with everyone, learning about how each person deals with their diabetes.
    My congratulations!
    Matt Anderson

  4. 29 years, wow! Congrat’s! You rock and rockin’ with the bete’s is sometimes a hard thing to do! You are blessed. Keep telling your story, inspriring and being you.
    Your Friend

  5. Congrats Scott.
    Even though I congratulated you last night, I did not see this post over the weekend. Nice weather gets me away from my computer.
    Either way, Wow.
    Congrats Congrats.
    Since I found my “paperwork” I should try to apply as next year will be 25 years. Wow again.
    Here’s to 29 more!!
    Best wishes to you and yours! 😉

  6. I know what you mean about that Joslin certificate. Sometimes when I’m feeling very bummed out about diabetes, I think about that simple piece of paper and how much it truly represents.
    Congrats on 29 inspiring years, Scott. You’re a true inspiration, in so many different ways.
    xo – K

  7. Scott,
    As always your post has left me with an optimistic view of Riley’s future. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Because of you I know my little man is really going to be OK.
    Congratulations on 29 years!!

  8. wow! Happy Dversary! You are a true inspiration to me and it was such an honor to meet you in person on one of my first D-meetups…
    I was recently trying to track my records from 12yrs ago and did not get far at all, most said they destroyed the records some after 3 years some said 7 years that is amazing you were able to go back that far! was it not a normal route to find the records?
    You’re amazing Scott! Keep pressin’ my friend! big D hugs!

  9. Hey Scott, congrats on the 29 years of health! The Joslin recognition is really cool – I’d never heard of it. I was diagnosed 8/10/1987, at 6 years old, so it’s been 22 for me this year. Hopefully in 3 years we will all be living without supplemental insulin, but if not, I’ll try to remember to contact Joslin for my certificate 🙂 Thanks for bringing it to my attention, and keep on chuggin! Oh, and for your party, I’ll bring the cake with buttercream frosting (my favorite) because I wasn’t allowed celebratory cakes for so long, as I’m sure you weren’t. Let’s indulge!

  10. Wow, Scott. Another reason to admire you. I can’t imagine still having any energy or pluck left after living 29 whole years of living with this thing — but you are chock full of both, My Friend!
    Many hugs from a relative newbie in D.

  11. Wow, I didn’t know that there was such a certificate out there!!!! I’m glad that you were able to get it. I can understand how it’s a big deal!!!! 🙂 Congratulations on being healthy and doing everything within your power to stay that way!!!! 🙂

  12. Scottie J
    You have and continue to do a fantastic job every day with your diabetes.
    29 years is a long time and diabetes is tough 24X7 job !
    But you never always inspire; make us laugh, cheer us up, challenge us to think, and lift our spirits whenever we are down.
    dBlogville is so lucky to have you as one of our most prominent citizens.
    I hope to attend your 30th D-Day Anniversary Party and party down with the amazing Scottie J!

  13. Congratulations!!! AND Happy D-versary! I am in AWE of you.
    Having not yet reached my 2 year date, and knowing what such a short period of time with this has been like, I truly can’t imagine 29 years. You are an inspiration, and a role model and should be very proud!

  14. Happy anniversary!! I’m never sure whether it’s really appropriate to “congratulate” someone for this; the reality is you and everyone else were promised that a cure was right around the corner (5 years, anyone?!) and it seems more like a somber occasion than a celebratory one. Still, you should be congratulated for success for managing things so well for the past 30 years!

  15. I had something inspirational and congratulatory to say, but then I read “party.”
    Let’s do this!
    On the real, 29 years is a long time. “Nice work” isn’t really what I want to say, but I think you know what I’m getting at. Now about that party…

  16. “many diffiult details” indeed………that about sums it up.
    My best wishes for 29++++ more years of good health, and may the coming days serve you with peace, joy, and fulfillment.

  17. So awesome, Scott! Happy Anniversary!! I had started to look into getting my Joslin certificate, but then didn’t pursue it. You’ve inspired me to track down my records though – assuming they still exist. I would love to know what you and your dad did to get them. I think it’s so cool to have that info. I have no idea what my BG was at diagnosis because that wasn’t a number that would have meant anything to me and my mom back then. I’m so excited for you that you got your certificate – it is cool to have and it definitely means a lot! I hope you’re celebrating today 🙂

  18. Congratulations, Scott 🙂 I got the certificate last year and there is something quietly fulfilling about it…like someone on the other side ‘gets’ how hard living with t1 is. I gave it to my parents because I think they earned it as much I as I did.
    I hope to make 29 and beyond, and you’re one of my inspirations!

  19. Scott,
    Happy D-versary!!!! I’m glad that you were able to track your records down and get your certificate. (I also got mine at year 29, instead of 25!!)
    Even though we get down on ourselves for the D-mistakes that we make, it’s important to remember that the reason we’re making those mistakes is because we’re TRYING. Not giving up. Trying. Day after day.
    Of course, I’m all for having a 30 year party! (that’s when I had my dam diabetes t-shirts made. I gave them to all the people who’s supported me along the way. Heck, I even tracked down the health aide in my elementary school and sent her one!) Start planning now 🙂
    Here’s to your 29 years of trying, and to many, many more.
    Way to go, my friend.
    Molly and Dixie (woof!)

  20. I think you should be proud of yourself every day. Few people can claim perfection. You’re living strong and you keep learning and moving forward. Still, it’s nice to have some external recognition of your efforts!

  21. That is such a cool certificate.Wishing you many more years of continued good health, with and without(after the cure comes) diabetes! You’re an inspiration
    for those of us who wonder if it’s even possible. Great job on 29 years!

  22. Great post! That certificate IS neat. And especially the wording about being lauded for all the careful attention and dedication that it takes to go 25 years. I am now 40 years with diabetes and still “learning” how to live with it. It goes by fast. Thank you for a great post! Susan

  23. HaPpY D’AnNiVeRsArY Scott!!!
    I’m so happy that you were able to pinpoint the day for your records 🙂 You deserve that certificate and MORE! You’ve been such wonderful support for us and I wish you many many manyyyyyy more years of health. I’m hoping a cure is found before Kacey ever gets her certificate 😉

  24. That’s awesome!! I had no idea there was anything like that. I still have another 13 years before I can get it, but now that I know it exists (for now anyway), I’m gonna get it when I can. Thanks!

  25. way to go scott!you have endured and you should be proud.you have come a long way and will go a lot further.i wish you continuous success heres to many more years of blogging and meet ups

  26. Go Scott Go!!!! Be proud of that “little piece of paper” – it is so much more!!!! Here’s to 29++++ more healthy years for you. And also, here’s to a cure before you hit your next 29.
    I’ll be hitting my 30 year mark some day in December. I would really love to know the exact day. I wonder if my mom still has the records some where. Probably not, she’s not much of a pack-rat. I think I inherited that trait from my Grandmother.

  27. Scott –
    I will have 31 years with type 1 in August. It’s no easy feat! It was because of my 30 years last year that I decided to seek out other type 1’s who understand this long plight of living with a trashed pancreas. A micromanaged childhood is not good times.
    You’ve done so well, maintained a remarkable fortitude, and kept your sense of humor. You deserve the accolade from Joslin. We were told we had the cards stacked against us, so this just proves how we went on despite it all.
    Here’s to many more!
    Your friend,