It was my birthday last month! Sarcastic yah! I turned 44. I know that anyone older than 35 thinks that 44 is young but I am not happy at all about being in my forties, especially because the aches in my joints make me feel older that I am. And because of that achy hip and torn achilles tendon that just won’t heal, I feel that my best, physical, years are behind me. So my birthday is a bitter sweet mix of "hurray, it's a day all about ME" to "Boo, another year older".
But, I suppose, there are worse things in life. And there are some amazing things going on in my life, including but not restricted to, watching my children grow and mature and become amazing young people. I’m so proud of them. I have a lot to be happy about right now. All of this doesn’t stop me worrying about the future, about worrying about growing old with type 1 diabetes.
Every year, my birthday reminds me that one day I will wake up and actually be old! Old with type 1 diabetes. I will be old and maybe my brain won’t be as sharp as it once was. How will I work out insulin doses safely? When will my old age start?
I have been taking care of my own diabetes ever since I was diagnosed but what happens if old age prevents me from doing that? What will that mean for my husband, my daughter and my son? I don’t want them to carry this burden.
Will I end up in a nursing home hoping with staff taking care of me who don't know very much about type 1 diabetes? Should I make a plan to make sure no one has to take on this responsibility?
This is my biggest fear! Getting old and still having type 1 diabetes and the fear that I will not be able to take care of myself any longer.
I do not want to be elderly with diabetes. Full stop. I want a cure before I’m old.
This is a worry I have that is persistently at the back of my mind. I don't allow it to take up much space in my head because it has the potential to drown me. So, just for today I'm letting it out to lessen its influence it has on my outlook on life. Tomorrow I will put it back in and focus on what is good about today.