All Things Pre-D

All the time I get caught up in looking over pre-D journals, poems, etc. It's sort of fascinating for me to remind myself what it was like. I find it interesting the things I used to concern myself with, worry over, and wish for. My nerves didn't come from predicting the next low but from figuring out a way to straighten my hair (that's one of my clearest memories, being super concerned with straightening my hair because some "popular" girls vaguely commented I'd be "pretty" if I did - I was obsessed with that forever!) without a flat iron.

I was thinking about that this evening as I look over an old "diary," that was really more of an activity book. One of the questions I filled out was "Many medicines come from plants and herbs. Pretend that you just discovered a new herbal plant. What would it cure? Name three things below." The "three" I listed? (actually two :D) Aids & cancer. I didn't even know what diabetes was at that point. (maybe that's why I left it blank - maybe someday I'll fill "diabetes" in on that bottom line) I half wish there was a question asking what I'd do if I was diagnosed, or telling me I would be. I wonder what I would have filled the blanks in with then.

So this post is dedicated to all things pre-D - all the poems, journal entries, thoughts, beliefs, dreams, etc. from a time before diabetes existed. Post away :) I love reading those sorts of things :)

Pre-D

Well since i got diagnosed at 21...i had many a dreams and ambitions in life. What i didnt do in high school is apply for scholarships and/or colleges. i had no intentions on going. My goal was to join the Marine Corp. My whole life growing up...i wanted to be a soldier for the United States. I watched G.I.Joe as a kid and it moulded me. So after highschool i focussed on my current job and weight lifting and training. I was doing the Marine Corp training courses and gearing up to officially sign in. I was working UPS at nights as a supervisor. And thats when it happened. I was diagnosed. That was an immediate disqualification from the Marine Corp. My hopes and dreams and my future plans were crushed like they never existed. So now im stuck building houses with no future for retirement. At least in the Service I could have retired and had a better job skill with better pay and college money if i chose to do that.

They say everything happens for a reason. I just wonder what that reason is. All i wanted to do in life was dedicate my life to Protecting America.

I was diagnosed when I was 9 and in the fourth grade. Pre D my biggest fears/concerns often involved avoiding the school bully (who lived around the corner from me), my parents divorce, and changing my siblings dirty diapers (gross). I knew about T1D because my paternal grandfather had it, but since I rarely saw him it wasn't something that I thought of often. My hopes/dreams/poems haven't really changed much. I have just always been a wait and see type of person; this is what I want, let's see if it happens, I hope that it does etc...
Also Pre D I always knew that I wanted to go to college, get my PhD. and be a poet. I can thank Anne of Green Gables for that influence :) The biggest  change for me was that Pre D I was more outgoing than I am now. I had to be  taken out of school and home schooled, for various health and political reasons. My school district didn't really handle my diagnosis very well, and neither did the parents of the children I went to school with. It was during the height of the AIDS epidemic, and many parents were convinced that I had AIDS, and just did not want their child in school with me. I highly doubt that this type of thing would go on now of days, and if it does, I now know that  there  advocacy groups to help out children in those situations. So in the end I truly believe that being away from my peers in those formative years caused me to be more reserved.

Some people will disagree w/ me here, but I'm jealous of people w/ more pre-d memories. I was 4 when dx'ed and only have one memory of eating something before D ... and it was a banana, not even cake. Sometimes I wish, just once, I could have eaten a huge bag of candy w/o thinking twice, just to have the memory. OK, I'm getting depressed here!

When I was pregnant, I was extra careful of what I ate. I was so jealous when I saw a "normal" pregnant lady walk up to a bar, order a coke and fries and just start eating. I always wondered what that would be like... 

[quote user="Sarah"]

Some people will disagree w/ me here, but I'm jealous of people w/ more pre-d memories. I was 4 when dx'ed and only have one memory of eating something before D ... and it was a banana, not even cake. Sometimes I wish, just once, I could have eaten a huge bag of candy w/o thinking twice, just to have the memory. OK, I'm getting depressed here!

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same here. i was 6, but i actually don't remember anything before it that would've changed because of my diabetes. i only have a few memories and most involve my family splitting up, and a couple of dentist visits(one because he pulled my front tooth without freezing it enough and told me to shut up when i started to scream for my big brother while blood was gushing from my mouth..and the other which happened with another dentist a year later where i kicked him in the jaw when he was trying to put a gas mask on me to put me to sleep..)

i actually can barely remember anything before the age of 10 diabetes related minus a few events like my first a1c(and getting stabbed 8times cuz they couldn't find a vein/when they did it would collasp), getting dolls after every a1c after that as a bribe, a few lows, etc.

Most of the stuff I remember is from pictures, videos, or journals. I was diagnosed at 11 (which sounds wimpy at all of your guys' diagnosis age!) and had symptoms for quite a while before that. Actually, I take that back. A lot of my memories are situations that seemed out of place, like feeling weird, that I now believe were symptoms creeping up on me. But I feel bad that I should remember what, and don't (I'm such a dork!). Um, I can remember from around the age of 4, I think, and was diagnosed at 11. That leaves 6 years for me :D (but none of my memories are really eating piles of junk food, running around without my bg crashing, feeling normal. They're just normal kid memories :D) <--- That seriously didn't make any sense, that entire post. I feel low. I'm going to go test and stop typing before I say something reaaallly ridiculous!

While I don't have any pre-D memories of my own, since it's my son that was dx'd, I have similar feelings as Alyssa when I look at pre-D pictures of my son.  I turn into quite the sentimental sap.  Maybe because it's still fairly new to us (less than a year).

There are a couple of pictures in particular, taken at Thansgiving while the whole clan was gathered, where you can see he had begun to get really thin (he was already a stick to begin with).  I just look and think, "we had no idea what was going on with you", and it breaks my heart...I just want to go back and warn him somehow, or apologize in advance, or brush his long hippie hair out of his eyes and tell him we will get through everything that's about to happen and still be the same goofy people we've always been.

Like Wolf, he wanted to join the military one day.  Periodically, he'll throw out a complaint about not being able to sign up since he's diabetic, and he's only 12!  I can't imagine being an adult about to finally get to pursue what you've wanted to do and BAM!  game over.  That stinks (understatement, to be sure, but the most fitting phrase I could come up with at the moment.)

As far as pictures go I look at some of my own all the time. My family took a roadtrip the weekend before my doctor's appointment, where I was diagnosed, as our last "hurrah" since my parents knew something was seriously wrong. Those pictures are... interesting. I'm so thin it's kind of disturbing to think it was because my body was essentially using itself to find nutrients. There's a picture of me doing a cartwheel on the beach, and of me holding myself up (it's this ridiculous tradition that I do lol, kind of like a push-up position), which I could barely manage at that point (for an unknown reason we couldn't figure out at the time). A year ago or so I returned to that same place we had been. It was a lot of thinking, a lot of self-searching/reflection time. But before we left I did a cartwheel. And shortly after that I did the same ridiculous push-up stunt - and was increasingly pleased to realize I could do it.

My life prior to diabetes ugh. This is something that I think about constantly, because when you are diagnosed at an older age and lived your whole life one way and have to basically change it overnight can be an extremely hard transition.Even 9 yrs later. You always want your old life back.

I wish that I can just not think before I do something. Like take for instance before I was diagnosed I could go away on vacation and not worry about anything but what I am wearing for the week. But, now its like you have to make sure you have all of your medical supplies, juice in case of an emergency. Be careful of where you put your pump, disconnecting, reconnecting, if you do more activity worry about if you are going to go low in the middle of a jungle. It is just so much to think about sometimes.

Don't forget about having a family. Before, I couldn't wait to be a mother. Now. who knows if it will ever happen? It is so much work for a woman to prepare for a healthy diabetic pregnancy that sometimes I just want to give up. Doctors scare you and tell you the possibilities of all t hese complications that can happen etc.. and I get so jealous of my friends and family that can just start trying without worry.

So I guess my main concern now is will I have a family? The one thing I always wanted pre-d? I try hard at managing my diabetes but, is it ever enough?

You could always be the Mother of Juvenation :D

I was diagnosed at 13 and didn't really have any concerns or fears other than how much trouble could I get myself into the next day and maintaining my stellar academic record.  That really hasn't changed since I was diagnosed.  I still enjoy getting into trouble and did my best in college.  I was a little bummed about not being about to join the Marine Corps but I have since moved past that.

[quote user="Alyssa"]

You could always be the Mother of Juvenation :D

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LOL true! I thought that I had that role already LOL

Go to bed!

Gina, you'll absolutely be able to have a family! (Unless there's some unknown problem, like fertility, that non-diabetics can have too...). But, I agree it's so hard to see women just having families without as much thought as we put in!

My control growing up was poor to say the least. I didn't get my sugars under control till high school. Being dx'ed at age 4, I always assumed I'd adopt children or acted like I'd never want kids as a coping mechanism. But, it's totally possible!

The big differences, other than the extra work and natural anxiety involved in a diabetic pregnancy (for me at least) were: (1) I think I'll space my kids farther apart than the typical 2 years apart among my friends -- I need more time to recover mentally in between, and (2) I had to work a lot with my boss b/c I was missing 2 days of work a week by the end with all my appts. 

Sorry I've diverged from the topic at hand, but as I already said, I have very few pre-D memories. (:

Gina, it's not even 6 o'clock yet :)

Pre-D mom memories.  Well, right now it's such a clear BEFORE and AFTER.  I'd be lying if I said this any other way:  BEFORE, even though I'm a natural worrier, I knew he'd always be okay.  For example, even if I was worried about his horrible organizational skills in middle school, he had a teacher saying there was nothing to worry about because he'd have two secretaries organizing everything for him by the time he was 25.  (That teacher really made me mad.)  He's such a freaking successful kid--great disposition in public, incredibly smart, people pleaser (adults just LOVE him), active.  But it's hard for me to make the same statement about BEFORE as AFTER.  I can't know that he'll always be okay now.  It's not like I think diabetes will hold him back.  I think I'm beating myself up mentally at the moment for letting diabetes affect how I see him.  But when you cannot go a meal (and two hours after, etc.) without thinking about the health of your diabetic child, I'd be lying if I said it hasn't affected the way I think.

And it's not like I'm going to hold him back.  I'm tickled pink at him being off at diabetic camp this week.   I just never thought health would be an issue for him.  But him being at camp and me being relieved to see that I can relax, also depresses me all the more about how he cannot escape it like I can.

AND I'm realizing that this is not really that this thread is about.  So I'll stop.

Angie!! First things first, any post is always the "right" place to post your thoughts. We're all here for each other - so of course you can bring this sort of thing up, whenever, wherever, and you can be sure your J-family will be at the rescue :D

As far as diabetes affecting how you see him, of course it does, and that is the way it should be. It's just a matter of how much. It's not like diabetics are handicapped, so treating them like such would be letting it affect your viewpoint too much. But at the same time, we can't just brush it off and figure it'll get itself worked out eventually, so who needes to pay attention to it? Naturally because of diabetes you should see him differentley. Not because he is different, but because he needs different things. Nothing about diabetics change because of diabetes, really. Just the things they need do.

So please don't beat yourself up over this. And I'll let you in on a secret, from a diabetic camper: camp is escape. Hey, if you're the only zebra in a field of donkies, move to a field of zebras. (that was a weird analogy!) Just because we can't get a break the same way you do doesn't mean we don't get breaks.

It'll get easier!! And don't think about it too much. I myself find when I over analyze diabetes, it seems a lot more complicated. I for one don't believe for a second that you see your son in a "wrong" light, or ridiculously different or anything. I do, however, believe you're doing it right, even if it doesn't feel like it. <3

[quote user="Gina"]

Don't forget about having a family. Before, I couldn't wait to be a mother. Now. who knows if it will ever happen? It is so much work for a woman to prepare for a healthy diabetic pregnancy that sometimes I just want to give up. Doctors scare you and tell you the possibilities of all t hese complications that can happen etc.. and I get so jealous of my friends and family that can just start trying without worry.

So I guess my main concern now is will I have a family? The one thing I always wanted pre-d? I try hard at managing my diabetes but, is it ever enough?

[/quote]

Gina, don't let being diabetic make you reconsider becoming a mother. Doctor tend to scare you with all the possible complications. The major terror about diabetic pregnancies was 20+ years ago. You know back in the dark ages when you had to use urine tests to find out what your sugar was (before self montoring blood sugars at home) and before ultrasounds were widely used during pregnancies so you got unexpected large babies being birthed before their lungs were viable.

Things are much different now.

Bottom line the baby takes what it needs first, this translates as possible lows when the baby takes what glucose it needs to grow from your blood. On the other side the major complication is the extra glucose in your blood crosses the placenta causing the baby to get too big. Translation is Doctors fear the baby will get too big for you to carry before the babies lungs are mature enough to breath on their own and they can induce labor.

My diabetes has always tended to be brittle (bouncing back and forth between extremes). I've had two diabetic pregnancies. Neither was planned, so my A1cs at conception were no where near to strict control. Both kids turned out fine.

 

Alyssa, now is it late enough to tell you to go to bed?

[quote user="Alyssa"]

Gina, it's not even 6 o'clock yet :)

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Pretty much :D It's barely 11... but I've got a lot of work to do so it's a late night for me :)