Happy Diaversary, Mom

WRITTEN BY: Michelle Auerbach

For 12 years before I knew Type 1 diabetes would hit me, I lived around it day and night. My mom was diagnosed at the age of 8, and I only knew life with vials of insulin and syringes around.

Though it must have been heartbreaking for my mom seeing me be diagnosed, I think we had it easier than families who know nothing about Type 1 at diagnosis. My mom had the knowledge of how to care for it, and I didn’t have any shock of suddenly being surrounded by diabetes, since it was already there. My mom knew what to do in every kind of situation, and became my teacher.

Back then I had some teaching sessions from the diabetic clinic, but I really learned everything I know about T1D from her. How it’s good to eat protein with your snack at bedtime to keep your blood sugar stable. How to carb count. How to try new injection sites. How to treat my lows, but not overtreat. How sometimes you can do everything right but still have disappointing numbers. How to deal with crisis and accidents. I was never alone and always had a helping hand who knew what she was doing. She encouraged me not to be ashamed of having it, because she owned it. She encouraged me to embrace it without even knowing it.

My mom has always been pretty diligent with her diabetes care. She’s someone who has a lot of self control, even if she doesn’t always feel like it, and she has will power like no other.

I, on the other hand, have never been diligent like her. I’m scatterbrained and “break the rules” on a usual basis.

I spent my teenage years not wanting to talk about diabetes when she’d bring it up, and I think that as I got older and we both became engaged in the diabetes community, it formed a special bond between us. I slowly became more open to conversations surrounding the topic, and together we discovered a whole new world of fellow people with diabetes. For me, it became so much less of a burden, and she helped me find the not-so-bad sides of this disease.

Though we disagree on certain things, she will always remain my role model. She does everything in her power to prevent future complications. She loves learning new things about the diabetes world, and is always trying her best. It can be exhausting to have diabetes on the brain 24/7 … but she does it with a strength like no other.

I love getting to be the second half of her duo. I am so proud to show her off to the world, and am so lucky to have her as my partner in crime. There is nothing cool about us both having to live with this disease, but the fact that we are not alone in it is something I don’t take for granted.

On this day 45 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Back when she had to test her glucose with urine. Back when her mother had to boil glass syringes to use. Back when the synthetic insulins that exist today weren’t created.

I have many heroes in the diabetes world, but no one stands close to my mom. Happy 45th diaversary mom. Thank you for being the best role model even though I don’t always listen. You have experienced a diabetes world that many of us haven’t, and have slowly but surely adapted to new technology and used it to keep your diabetes under almost impeccable control. You are the real hero of this story, and I will never stop admiring you.

Read more from Michelle Auerbach.

Michelle Auerbach

Michelle was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2005 at the age of 12. Interesting fact: her mom has Type 1 also and was diagnosed when she was 8! Michelle is a volunteer for diabetes organizations in her hometown of Montreal. She is dedicated to spreading awareness about Type 1 and invisible illness through social media. You can find her sharing her journey on her blog www.lovelightandinsulin.ca or on her Instagram @ehmichelle