A Token of my Affliction

Today’s 11/11/11, and people are bouncing around for all sorts of reasons: it’s Veteran’s Day, it’s another Blue Friday, it’s a lucky day to get married or buy a lottery ticket or go for a no-hitter.

It’s extra special for me, though: today marks 21 years of living with diabetes. As we say in the DOC, my diabetes is officially old enough to drink, and I’m amazed and grateful to have made it as far as I have without any major issues [knock on laptop].

This time last year I was roaming around the streets of Savannah with my husband and some out-of-town friends. We popped into a little artists’ co-op store to gawk at all the giant art glass creations and marshy landscape watercolors. There were big aluminum sculptures of birds and nativity scenes made of driftwood. I was just about to give up on all the expensive objets d’art when I spotted a wee little something in a glass case.

It was a simple silver ring, tied in a knot. I tried it on and, incredibly, it fit. (I have hands like hamster paws.) I turned to my husband. “I think I’m going to get this. This’ll be my 20-year diabetes anniversary gift to myself.”

The ring was by far the cheapest thing in the store, so even though it was hand-crafted, I half expected it to crack or warp or turn green after a few months. But it hasn’t. As I type this, it’s still winking at me from my right ring finger.

I’m wearing blue today, my pump’s on my pocket and the bump of my transmitter can be seen though my sleeve. I’ve got my trusty utilitarian alert bracelet on my left wrist, but I feel like my little 20-year ring is my secret diabetes trinket. Like diabetes, it’s there, but it’s not always noticeable. It’s become part of my everyday wardrobe, so to speak, but it’s not the focal point of what I wear. And, also like diabetes, it’s a never-ending loop.

Unlike diabetes, I hope it lasts for a long time.


9 comments on “A Token of my Affliction

  1. Mike Hoskins says:

    A celebratory shot of insulin, I raise to you. Or… on second thought: a cupcake in your honor. Happy diaversary!

  2. This was really poignant and beautiful! Thanks for sharing – I love the ring, and I especially love little inside knowledge tidbits that make the days easier to get through. Happy diaversary, and have a drink for your diabetes!

  3. i hope you had a meaningful diaversary, friend. i love the story behind the ring! thanks for sharing it with us.

    also, i have the same freaking purse! we must both use them next time we’re together! 🙂

  4. Sara says:

    That is a beautiful ring and a beautiful story.

    I also have a ring that I’ve been wearing for the past several years that isn’t necessarily a diabetes accessory but has a similar meaning as yours.

    P.S. Are your nails black? Because if they are, rockstar!

  5. Scully says:

    I really absolutely adore that ring!
    what a pretty little story.

  6. Meagan says:

    Loved this post, and your gorgeous little ring! A beautiful way to celebrate staying strong with “D”. I’m on my 18th year with diabetes, will have to find myself something special on the 20th….boy do we deserve it! 🙂

  7. Nice story and nice ring. And a warm fuzzy feeling for me! Thanks x

  8. J says:

    I was diagnosed with Type 1 at 44. I am learning to live with it and I am using a very low ( ketogenic) diet to help maintain normal blood sugars. It is really helpful to read sites like yours. Thanks for posting. J

  9. shannon says:


    you are so freaking awesome, dude. thanks for sharing that story.

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