I would like to ban Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease from my birthday. If only it were that easy. I turned 40 the other day and though, I always celebrated birthdays and felt accomplished for being alive and well as a person with diabetes, this one didn’t feel as positive.
My husband and I visited a gluten free bakery the day before my birthday. After viewing the bakery case and not seeing an actual cake, my husband asked the woman at the counter how long a cake order would take. She informed him that generally it takes a week to receive a gluten free cake, but because of a town festival the following week, it would be at least two weeks. I was disappointed. It’s a bakery! Shouldn’t they have something they can slap a name on so that a newly gluten free pouty birthday girl could have a cake? Now I was even sadder. We don’t get cake very often. My husband and I try to watch our carbs for the most part, though we enjoy the heck out of a special birthday or holiday meal. This birthday would be a bit different. We took home some small individual pastries and left, slightly disappointed, though still grateful that there would be something gluten free and sweet to stick a candle in.
The night before my birthday my bedtime blood sugar was in the 300s. I took a correction shot and hoped it would play nice the next day. Since there was a lack of a big birthday cake, I figured it would be one less risk of another high. I was trying hard to find the silver lining there!
The next morning my blood sugars were normal, but by evening they had shot up again, requiring multiple injections to correct. Diabetes doesn’t care if it is your birthday. I beat myself up about my blood sugars and felt sad about adding another autoimmune issue to my belt this past year. Instead of feeling accomplished after another good year, I felt less positive about my future.
I’m not sure how much of my funk was related to leaving my thirties, but the roller coaster blood sugars and gluten problems just added to it. Still, there were some wonderful highlights of the day and for that I’m grateful. My husband created a gluten free eggplant parmesan masterpiece (one of my favorite meals!), I got some beautiful flowers from my in-laws, and I received a birthday card in the mail from a married couple that used to volunteer for me. They shared how grateful they were for me and thanked me for “being one of those rare people who are willing to go the extra mile for others.” It meant the world to me. Sometimes we get down and don’t see ourselves the way other people do.
Before bedtime, my husband asked me not to be so hard on myself. He said I was downright mean to myself and that I really needed to be nicer. He’s right. I would never be that hard on someone else. Why do I think it is okay to behave that way to myself? I need to enjoy my life despite diabetes and celiac. Who knows what next year will bring? There could be something wonderful right around the corner. I won’t say exactly what I wished for when I blew out the candle on that little gluten free pastry, but you can probably guess. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that this is the year.