It's weird getting older. There are all the obvious things that everybody knows about. You know, aching bones, grey hair where it used to be dark brown, laugh lines that stay long after the laugh. Earned character is the way I look at it. Most of the time I'm ok with it.
So I've had diabetes for 20 years and now I have my couple of friends who've been recently diagnosed. My one friend in particular is doing fine. Really well as a matter of fact. I'm so impressed! On shots, using the pen, counting her carbs, adjusting to her new life with diabetes with grace and aplomb. What's cool is knowing that she is starting her life with diabetes TODAY, with all the new tools and technologies that didn't exist when I was first diagnosed. We spent some time together this weekend, working on some collages, talking about stuff, eating, laughing, having fun. At about 2:30 in the afternoon, she decided to eat so she took her insulin and ate. For her, that flexibility is normal. For me, it's still strange. I still feel uneasy when I think about eating lunch much past 1:00. Partly because I still have issues with lows if I wait too long and partly because I'm so TRAINED by the regimen I have lived with, was introduced to and had to abide by, given the technology and protocol that existed when I was first diagnosed. Luckily, for everyone, myself and my friend included, times and technology have changed and life is more flexible for us all now. And my hope is that diabetes, though difficult, will be a little bit less of a burden for her. Less of an intrusion. Maybe a tiny bit less of a pain.
My diabetes experience has different reference points and so my diabetes will always be different from those who come after me. Just as someone who was diagnosed before me has had an experience different from mine and so the things I take for granted, they do not. Don't get me wrong, I truly celebrate the progress and all that it means for our lives . But I just realized this weekend how different it makes to the experience of the same disease. I feel a like a dinosaur in comparison. I feel a little bit out of sync because I can never know diabetes without my past experiences and context as a reference point. I can now eat at 2:30 in the afternoon too, but I can't do it without that anxious moment of wondering if I should.