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Life not despite diabetes, but because of it

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:06am

It was my birthday this week, September 2 to be exact. My husband told me when we got married 7 years ago that, although I was amazing then, when I was 55 I'd be utterly amazing. I'm thinking he was pretty accurate.

Here's what 55 looks like so far: This week I flew to Bangor Maine to deliver a diabetes presentation to a roomful of patients at the local diabetes clinic and I gave the diabetes educator there my book,The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes.She couldn't stop telling me how much she loved it. 

Later that day a young man drove me in the hotel van downtown to have a walk and some dinner riverside. He was wearing a medic alert bracelet and it turned out it was for diabetes. When I asked how long, he said since July. When I told him I've had it 36 years he couldn't ask enough questions and I couldn't enjoy more sharing my golden wisdom. 

When I got home I had two emails from Australian diabetes organizations wanting to meet me when I'm in Sydney this December and would I agree to be a lunchtime speaker? Well, one has to eat. 

Today I had a conversation with Fran Carpentier, senior editor of Parade magazine. She's lived with type 1 diabetes for 39 years and is quite an advocate. I've long had her on my list of people I want to interview but it would have been a cold contact. As it turned out one of my dear friends bumped into her last week at her hairdressers, mentioned me, and Fran said, "I'd love to talk to riva, I know very well who she is." I thought my friend was joking and I told her so, she wasn't.

I've hit the 3/4 mark on the book I'm writing this year debunking diabetes myths due out next spring, and for one, my van driver in Bangor promises to buy a copy. 

I adore my husband, my friends, my family and my life. Not a day goes by I wonder what to do with myself, although to be honest some days I think I wish I did. Three days into 55, things are looking pretty amazing. Wonder what a whole year will look like? Better hold onto that psychic husband.

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