Diaversary yesterday: bittersweet

Well, yesterday made our Dx a year old.

Our “diaversary” was an understated affair, I would say: no black tie, and definitely no white tie – my son hasn’t met a food spot he does not want to host :slight_smile: We did have some ice-cream, Chinese food and a couple of iTunes cards.

I guess I haven’t learned how to handle these diaversaries. I don’t think it’s healthy – for us – to look back rather than forward. Instead, we celebrated the fact that we have learned a lot about diabetes, and that we haven’t let it stop us in any way: my son is in three intensive sports, was one of the main actors in the school play last week, is skipping a grade next year, and hasn’t met an extracurricular he does not like. He eats what he likes – as long as it is not at breakfast, and as long as it is not too close to bedtime… He does any activity he likes. He goes to any camp he wants. He does any sleepover he wants to do.

My son wasn’t sure of what to think about this diaversary either – a bit nonplussed about the tradition. He definitely didn’t make much of it. I got the feeling he didn’t want to look back. I know diabetes has changed him – probably for the better, although, of course, at a price I wouldn’t want to pay. He has really grown up in a year – very close to an adult, although he is only 12.

Yet, however much we try to say that diabetes has not stopped us, the changes it has made to our life are enormous. It has not stopped my son, but it has radically refocused our family life. I know it has radically changed me. I don’t know if we will ever be able to move away from this total focus. I hope so, but I am skeptical.

So, bittersweet. Not too bitter because we did not look back too much. Not too sweet because what he can celebrate is only what we haven’t lost.


@Michel Michel, I am more than certain you got that right!


Wow. Wonderful celebration write-up. This last sentence really resonated with me. Such a deep and meaningful message in such a short sentence.

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Michel, I admire your son’s can-do attitude. He is a wonderful role model for all of us.


A lovely reflection. These things seem a bit like wedding anniversaries – they’re significance will only dawn on us gradually over time.


I had never heard of the whole diaversary thing until getting involved with the DOC and my first reaction was "You’re celebrating Whhhhhaaaaaat??? " Then someone explained it’s about celebrating prevailing over the disease, which actually does make sense.

I’m semi-professionally interested in etymology, history of the language and whatnot, so I was trying to learn more about the origin of it–who started it and when–but I haven’t found anything specific yet. Reading around, it seems like it is predominantly focused on T1 kids and their families, which makes sense. They’re the ones most acutely dealing with the inevitable fact that that date is going to be seared into everyone’s awareness no matter what, so if we can’t avoid that fact let’s turn it from a negative to a positive. Seems like a great idea, especially where it’s something a whole family is having to contend with. I also get the impression those of dx’d as adults aren’t exactly the primary audience for it, though clearly there are plenty who do observe it. In that respect I’ve kinda missed the boat: I don’t actually remember the exact date on which I was dx’d, just that it was in mid-December 1983, and after so long it just doesn’t feel like something I need to adopt myself. But it also gives me the impression it might have originated with a D-centered organization trying to help people grappling with the upheaval of a kid’s diagnosis to the whole family, which made me think of an advocacy or support group like JDRF or Joslin–it’s certainly analogous to the Joslin Medal thing. Does anyone know more?


Well - not really but I have a couple of bits and pieces that may be helpful. A few months ago, I got interested in diaversaries, and did some date-based searches with Google. Prior to 2008, nothing shows up except a couple of very doubtful posts (I think the dates must be wrong). But it all starts gushing out in 2009.

One of the people mentioning it within the first year is Karen Graffeo, whom I believe you know: Bitter~Sweet ™: Happy Diaversary to Me???

She must have been one of the first to use it. I always thought I would ask her one day what she knew – but haven’t gotten the chance so far. So now you are it :slight_smile:

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That seems like at least a terminus a quo. Doesn’t surprise me that it would date from well within the Internet era in general and the social web era in particular. So much easier to propagate ideas like this now.

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I hope you’ll update this annually. You will be amazed how your perspective will change in the coming years. :slight_smile: