Twenty Five Years of Diabetes

sisterSTAFF Blog

Twenty Five Years of Diabetes

Twenty-five years ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes. With a blood sugar of over 1200 mg/dL, my body was shutting down. I was 18 years old, in many ways, just beginning my life.

In those 25 years, much has changed in my life: college, career, relationships, marriage, motherhood. The one constant has been diabetes.

I had diabetes 25 years ago. I have diabetes today. I will still have diabetes tomorrow.

My journey has been filled with emotions of all kinds, including fear, hope and happiness. I have battled depression as a result of diabetes and have also experienced the happiest moments of my life, including attaining a graduate degree, finding love, and bringing a child into this world.

And my journey has brought me here: to DiabetesSisters. Twenty-five years ago, I could not have imagined I would lead an organization that is dedicated to providing support and education to women living with diabetes. An organization that focuses on finding the commonalities of a disease that is so different for everyone, and bringing them together for Sisterhood.

I am so lucky. I am so fortunate.

Yet, diabetes haunts me daily. Stigma. Judgement. Misunderstanding. It hurts.

Years ago, at my bridal shower, I was asked by a well-meaning attendee, “Should you really have a slice cake? You know you have diabetes.” Ashamed, I smiled politely and didn’t eat the cake.

At that moment, I should have done so many things: I should have educated her on carbohydrate counting. I should have explained that my blood sugar was in range. I should have explained that my endocrinologist and I had discussed that my A1c was in a place that made us both happy.

Most importantly, I should've eaten the damn cake.

In 25 years, I’ve managed my diabetes the way that is best for me. That’s all I can do. With no judgement of myself or others. With no criticism of what I do versus what others do.

And in the next 25 years, I will continue to check my blood sugar, keep my medical appointments, and be proactive about my health.

And cake? I will always eat the cake. I’ve earned it.



Hi. My mom suffered from type 2 diabetes and luckily married a man who loved her no matter what. Even despite her many health restrictions and intensive health diet. She was told that needle pricks and insulin injections would be for her entire life. Very fortunate for us, my dad is a clinical researcher and has resources to much information; one of which lead to my mom being able to live without insulin permanently. It is the holy grail for all diabetes type. I am currently going to school to become a nurse so i can be a part of healing and saving lives. Just like my dad.
diane kinsley's picture
Submitted by diane kinsley on Fri, 08/17/2018 - 4:38pm