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Why is Independence so important?

October 1, 2010

Every diabetic I know tries to live a life with an invisible illness.  In other words, having diabetes isn’t the first thing you notice about them.  For me, these are things you’ll notice first: I love children (hence why being a nanny is the perfect job for me).  I am very emotional – not erratically – but enough that I’m pretty transparent.  I’m an eternal optimist (it even annoys me sometimes).  I like to be active (skiing, tennis, swimming, running) but I love my lazy activities (reading, watching football, a good cup of coffee with  a good friend & an overplayed movie).  So where does independence come in?

My diagnosis date.  It’s that simple: July 4, 1989.  I’ve also been raised to celebrate my diagnosis.  It’s easy to celebrate when the anniversary is on a national holiday.  So it’s easy to celebrate independence.  But what about the rest of the 364 days?  It’s been a struggle.  As a three year old, my mother was in contact with the endocrinologist all the time.  At one point, the phone calls lessened, and eventually became rare.  A goal for me as their child was to be an independent woman who is happy & successful (but isn’t that every parent’s goal?)  So did those goals change in 1989?  Not in this family.  It might be more difficult, and there might have been more steps to achieve it, and at times it might not have seemed possible.  But I’m here, taking better care of my diabetes than I have since since high school, happier than I ever imagined, living on my own & capable of providing for myself.

Am I independent?  Yes.  Is it scary?  Sometimes.  Am I glad I’m independent?  You bet.  Can I do it all by myself?  No way.  Would I want to be to?  Not a chance.

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