Amy Tenderich

So it's been an entire decade since type 1 diabetes turned my life on its ear, or something along those lines...

Many of you know my story: How I had a new baby who had just turned 5 months old, along with a 5-year-old and 3-year-old to care for when the symptoms hit... How I thought I was just exhausted because my baby had been suffering with a nasty flu that kept the two of us up all night for weeks... How I lost at least 19 pounds in less than two weeks and my vision was so blurry that I must have called my optometrist a dozen times to complain about the "defective" new contact lenses he'd ordered for me... How I drove my children and our then-nanny 8 hours down the state of California for a trip to Disneyland, squinting and stopping to pee all the way... How I spent about $75 a day at said amusement park on drinks alone, because nothing would cure my thirst... How my husband flew down to meet us, took one look at my bony frame with ribs poking out, and declared that something was seriously wrong. Does he always have to be right?!

On the one hand, the whole nightmare that followed (an extremely unpleasant week in the hospital and a full year of insulin overdoses and depression) seems like ages ago. On the other hand, I cannot believe it's been a full 10 years of fingersticks, carb counting, grappling with insurance, thinking about my BG levels, obsessing about my BG levels, worrying about my A1C, fending off negative thoughts about complications and the future, etc., etc. ... And yet, somehow diabetes has enriched my life.

Innovation 2015

Seriously, I can't quite imagine what I'd be doing right now if it weren't for this site, and the advocacy work that I've grown to love so much.

And here's the kicker: In the car the other day, my wonderful husband looked me in the eye and said, "Your 10-year mark is coming up next week. I'm so proud of you! I felt like we should do something big. I was even toying with the idea of a surprise party for you. But is that even appropriate? Is this something you even want to celebrate?"

In rare form, I was actually speechless... A surprise party? Who knew he would ever even conceive of such a thing? And omygosh, you can't invite our "real-world friends" to that kind of party -- because they wouldn't "get it" at all. I'd just end up explaining this stupid illness all night.

But how sweet can you get?! How wonderfully supportive! The fact that he remembered, and that he thought of celebrating, made my heart swell right up.

"Yeah, people do celebrate diaversaries," was all I could choke out at first. "And yeah, I am proud of myself... I guess."

In the end, we decided a party was a bit much -- especially since we're so overprogrammed already, as are the local D-folks who I would love to host if I were to have a diaversary party: Manny Hernandez, Kelly Close, Mike Lawson, Meri Schumacher, Emily Coles and other PWD friends here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

But how do I feel about this? Yes, I think it's something to celebrate. Ten years of managing diabetes, for better or worse. It hasn't sent me to the hospital once since that initial diagnosis episode, and my feet and eyes and liver and heart seem to be working as well as ever -- knock on wood!

I know that complications sometimes hit despite our best intentions, and that diabetes only gets more difficult to manage over time. So I'm not patting myself on the back too hard -- just reveling in the fact that so far, so good.

Did you see that Joslin Diabetes Center just announced their first-ever 80-year medalist with type 1 diabetes? I hope that guy had a big party. I hope he ate cake and ice cream. I hope he reveled in the fact that so far, so good.

I want to thank everyone who's supported me and DiabetesMine over these past years, and tell you all what an inspiration you've been!

Honestly, this darn disease is such a burden sometimes, I feel we deserve to celebrate every week, month, and fortnight that we manage to enjoy our lives above and beyond blood glucose control.


{Editor's note: I decided my 10-year-mark is a great time to "shake things up a little," so I've begun a four-week trial of the new Asante Snap pump -- my first-time ever on a tubed insulin pump. Please stay tuned for my report on that experience.}

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.