Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I forever ruined the jazz festival for my parents

9 years ago today I was diagnosed with diabetes.

I wasn't going to write anything related to my "diaversary" because in reality, I'd really rather forget it.

Then I was talking to my parents. (HI PARENTS!)  This time of year always sneaks up on me.  I didn't know the exact date until recently when I went back into journals looking for some information and timing on something else.

I remember reading, "...Oh yeah, and I have diabetes now."
and that was it!  No mention of anything else.

The Toronto Jazz Festival is going on next week and my folks used to go ritually every year.  My mum told me that whenever the jazz festival is on it reminds her of one thing and one thing only.  Diabetes.  I didn't really make the connection until she explained further.  My folks and their friends were walking down the street at the jazz festival 9 years ago when my mum received a phone call from me.  I had just gotten home from the doctors office with a diabetes diagnosis.  I had no recollection of this until she told me.

I asked her how she felt, what was she thinking when her 22 year old daughter calls her up and drops a bomb like that.  She said, in one word, "devastated."  They haven't been to the jazz festival since.

I find it oddly curious that I am running the 20k Jazz Festival Tune Up race this coming Sunday.  Without even knowing it, I am sort of celebrating my diagnosis with a 20km race.

I remember leaving the doctors office 9 years ago, getting in my car and driving home.  I remember sobbing like I've never sobbed before all the way home wondering if I would ever stop crying.  I remember not knowing anything about diabetes ergo I was scared of the unknown.  All I knew was it was bad.  Really bad.  Keep in mind my doctor was pretty useless and didn't even know which type of diabetes I had even though it was CLEARLY FUCKING OBVIOUS!  As such I went 2 months after that visit untreated without insulin.  Now THOSE two months are a complete blur.  I don't remember much.  To read my diagnosis story, go here.

So I don't plan to make it any different a day today.  It's not something to celebrate but it is something I want to at least acknowledge.  I've had diabetes for 9 years.  I'm going to run a race.

I hope my parents will visit the Jazz Festival again one day.  Here I am after 9 years of this wretched disease, healthy and alive guys.

Endnote: Insulin is not a cure but without it I would be dead.


  1. thank-you INSULIN!and i mean that from the bottom of my heart!

  2. Happy anniversary! My 9th year is coming up in November and I'm ready to celebrate! Neither of us want diabetes. We'd both give it back in a second if we could but we can't.

    That being said - it's a big day. Think of how far you've come in nine years. Diabetes might still make you cry sometimes, scream in frustration or want to hit something but it's made you stronger and tougher too. You've met some anazing people that you would never have met otherwise. So celebrate all the good stuff and start planning your ten year party!

  3. I find it very appropriate that you're running the 20K Jazz Festival Tune Up around the same time as your diagnosis. Sort of flipping the bird to D!!! And, my diagnosis was over Thanksgiving weekend, so I know all about ruining holidays and events!

  4. I agree that this is very appropriate. And wow...it's always special to hear about how family and loved ones react to one's diagnosis. It hurts but at the same time it's like, "wow, they really really care..." Anyway, I too hope your parents return to the festival one day (Jazz is awesomeee). And I love that you're acknowledging the day with something you love to do. :)

  5. I know my mom was devastated/in shock as well. I haven't asked my parents lately how they feel about it, but I know they worry--though they manage to keep that pretty well hidden from me! I just read your diagnosis story and cannot BELIEVE your doctor. Thank goodness for that nurse! Cheers to staying healthy (and alive!).

  6. I like how you're "celebrating" your diagnosis.Diabetes will always suck
    but (for better or for worse)I know
    it's made me into a stronger person.
    (and I'm not here to get into that psychological
    mumbo-jumbo...only to say that I love reading of other's active lives..diabetes can't stop you from doing what you love to do!

  7. Diabetes ruined the jazz festival for your parents, and my sister's birthday for my sister. I'm coming up to my 24th diaversary (sounds kinda like diarrhea!) of which I was diagnosed on my sister's 18th birthday. She loved me for that :)
    Your race is kind of like an in-your-face to diabetes, which is so totally awesome! Have a great one.

  8. I was also diagnosed later (at 18) and they didn't put me on insulin for a while...though I worked out like a maniac and avoided carbs and still had high blood sugar! I can't believe how many people this has happened to. Thank god for our insulin, but I'm with you - It's no cure.

    I'm glad you are doing a race, you are showing everyone that D will NOT hold you back. Go Scully!!!!!!!! :)

  9. We'll be celebrating our daughters d-day with her - it was the day that we got her back. she had been seriously sick for some time and we had no idea why; within a few days of treatment she was back to being her happy self. (also her real birthday is 3 days after xmas, so she's always had that post blowout feeling to her parties...she's actually looking forward to this one, at the moment anyway).

    Thanks for the blog, its given me hope when i see how you & your fellow bloggers are able to cope with this disease and go on to live your lives on your own terms.

  10. 7/25. That's our day...it'll be 6 years this year!

    We have a tradition of having ice cream for lunch. Why not!?!?!?

    You're going to ROCK the RUN, my friend. It's perfect :)


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