Thirty Candles…

There's a story behind why I'm called Teapot. (And no, I"m not telling you.)
There’s a story behind why I’m called Teapot. (And no, I”m not telling you.)

Thirty years of diabetes means thirty candles blown out with the same secret wish.

Truthfully, it’s not really a secret and it’s not a wish. A lot of us keep our eyes on that prize and work damn hard for the day that we get to have a different answer as we stand over a cake and someone jokingly asks: “What did you wish for?”

August 12, 1983

Thirteen. It is my first birthday with this disease and I’m already over it (the disease, not the birthday). I think we went the Carvel ice cream cake route that year, as it was deemed acceptable to have a 1/2 cup of plain vanilla ice cream as a special treat. I wished for this disease to take a hike and for me to make new friends at school. A year later, I headed off to boarding school. (Yes, boys and girls. Less than a year and a half after my diagnosis, I was off on my own. I was responsible for my diabetes management during that entire year and what did I learn? That I was not a responsible teenager. Can we say DKA, everyone? Sigh.) I came home after freshman year and didn’t go back. I continued to be irresponsible.

August 12, 1993

Twenty-three. I don’t remember a cake, but I do remember alcohol (vaguely and hazily), good friends and making that secret wish. I had come to grips with diabulimia (after being called to the carpet) and the damage that I had been inflicting on my own body. My slow path back to health started then. It was a steep path and a little rocky at times. I slid down the mountain over that decade but did manage to grab hold and scrabble up. I got on an insulin pump and began sprinting toward the summit.

August 12, 2003

Thirty-three. An unhappy time in my life, with a miserable person in my home who could have cared less about my diabetes. It was an inconvenience to him. My family was the bright spot, so I was able to celebrate with them and my cake of choice was carrot. (Gotta get my veggies somewhere.)

I had been busting my ass to get my A1Cs down to that “magic number” as my ex-husband had uttered the “We should probably have kids before we’re too old…” statement.  (This came as a shock to me, as he was vehemently opposed to having offspring for most of our relationship.)

Nine months after he said that, he abruptly announced that he didn’t want kids.  (Irony? It was the day I came home from the endo with “good news”. My A1C was 5.5 %.) I decided that I loved myself way more than he did – and I wanted children more than I wanted him. Six weeks after his announcement, I was divorced. (When I have a goal, I’m pretty motivated.)

August 12, 2013

Forty-three. Who cares about age, right? It’s been a hell of a decade, with finding the love of my life and my best friend all conveniently packaged in a two-for-one deal. Vacations and new technology and cancer scares and surgeries and infertility issues and then… it all fell together. A gorgeous curly-haired toddler. A new house near family. New opportunities. I’ve never been happier. Or more grateful. This year, it was a red velvet cake with fondant flowers lovingly handmade by my phenomenal Rena (my übermommy) with two candles placed on top. My daughter and I blew them out together.

I still made my secret wish on one. The other? I’m not telling. That one is really a secret.

  1. Beautiful! Loved this post.

  2. YGG is a staple in our home, so wanted to share this with you today:
    You continually amaze me – I can’t yet imagine 30 years with diabetes….I’m barely pushing 19 at this point since I was late to the game and got it at 21. We learn a lot in each decade, yes?

    1. YGG is a cult. We are completely indoctrinated. Thanks!

  3. Beautiful post. Beautiful friend. Happy bday and continue on with the fabulousness that is you!

  4. You can be proud of how you’ve grown and made increasingly good decisions that have you in a very good place now with people who love you and whom you love. Happy Diaversary and here’s to many more healthy and happy years!

    1. It’s actually my birthday, but I’ll take it! 😉

  5. Happy birthday! I am glad that through all your struggles life turned out just how it should be, it seems.

  6. Happy Birthday to You! You’re an amazing young woman.

  7. Wow, that was your wish for all 30 birthdays? Sounds like there may have been room for some other wishes along the way, but you certainly are committed to being persistent!. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve *ever* wished that wish in my 32 birthdays since diagnosis! There have been other important (and not-so-important) things, but never that.

    But you are strong, and everything (except for one thing) seems to have come together for you now. You’ve got lots to be proud of. And yes… curly-haired toddlers are the best!

    Hope you have (had?) a great birthday!

  8. Happy Belated Birthday from one type1 to another!! Just found you blog and love it! can’t wait to read some more, keep up the great work 🙂

  9. Happy happy birthday to you! I’ve decided our 40s are for putting all the crap behind us and treasuring how far we’ve come and the wonderful things we have. 🙂

  10. Happy belated Birthday to you. Hope the celebration was grand. I’m partial to the Betty Crocker spice cake, though red velvet sounds yummy.

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