Well, where do I begin? I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Christmas Day in 2003, at the age of 28. A little strange to be hit with Type 1 at that age, but what can you do? Just when I thought I’d won the genetic lottery, Santa Claus gave me diabetes. (Santa Claus is your mom and dad.) To deal with the diagnosis, I wrote a song called "Santa Claus Gave Me Diabetes."
It’s not that I don’t take diabetes very seriously, it’s just that I often deal with the unfortunate by finding humor in it. (It’s a function of the equation C = T + t, or Comedy = Tragedy + time.) The look on the audience’s faces the first time I performed “Santa Gave Me Diabetes” was priceless. It has since brought people to tears of laughter and sadness.
My younger brother, Reeves, has had Type 1 for 20 years (he is now 25), so diabetes has been a way of life for my family and something we’ve always known about. I had been told as a 16-year-old that I had the “markers” in my blood and I was at a higher risk for diabetes than my older brother, Curt. By December of 2003, I had lost some weight and had the classic symptoms—always thirsty, frequent urination, etc.—so I checked my blood sugar on my brother’s meter and there it was: 240 mg/dl. I knew then it had happened.
Since the diagnosis, I have to say my life has changed. I’ve become ridiculously aware of every single thing that goes into my body. It’s a constant struggle to manage the disease, and it’s one that will simply never go away. It takes an attitude adjustment, a lifestyle change, and a whole team of friends and doctors (if you’re lucky and have health insurance).
More on that in the future.