Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Needles

The first time I fainted I was five years old. I was in the bathroom with my mom and she was helping me pull a tooth that should have been pulled days ago. I was a small, scared child. I remember waking up with my mom holding me in a panic. I wish I could say this was the last time this happened.

Again, when I was nine years old I was at the doctor's office. I wasn't gaining weight, was very small for my age, and was constantly hungry. The Dr. wanted to run labs on me to figure out what was wrong. They were taking blood for the test to see if I had type 1 diabetes (ten years before I was actually diagnosed) and I seized and fainted in the floor.

This has happened so many times in my life that I cannot even count. Clearly, I have a fear of needles and blood. A fear that causes me to seize and faint.

When I was diagnosed, I was pretty incoherent and in DKA. When the Emergency Room Dr. told me, "you have type 1 diabetes," I knew what that meant. A lifetime of needles.

When the world tilts like this, what do you do?

You work through it. Or else you die.

These thoughts were clear in my foggy brain. I knew I had no choice.

None.

From that moment on, I did not cry about it. I did not complain. When the nurse came in my room to let me administer my first shot, I just did it. My hand was shaking so bad I had to use my other hand to steady it. I eased the needle in so slowly, I am sure the nurse thought I was deranged. I pulled it out and looked up at my mom.

"I did it."

"I know," she said.

I cannot imagine the thoughts that were going through her mind at that moment. The one child she has that is squeamish and scared. The only one. This is the hand she is dealt.

Fast forward many years later, I check into the hospital for a cesarean. I am brave. I do not complain, though I am terrified. The world tilts again, but I am all right. I did what I needed to do to bring a new life into the world. You work through it. You survive.

I am stronger for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spare a Rose, Save a Child


I am not one to celebrate Valentine's Day. Just not into the commercial stuff. However, this is one thing I can get behind. There are so many people in the world who do not have the luxuries that I do. I can afford my insulin, strips, pump supplies, etc. Diabetes was not a death sentence to me. Help save a child today.

Click here to help! The International Diabetes Federation takes the selfishness out of this holiday. I just sent in my donation. Will you?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In Sickness and in Health


Editor's Note: This is a repeat post, but I love it and it is Valentine's Day week, so here you go. Since this post, we have added baby bear to our family. I feel all of these things more than ever. I will follow this man to the end of the earth.

In Sickness and in Health


My anniversary is in two weeks. I will be married for six years.

Six.

Count them.

I have never been married to someone with a chronic illness. I am the person with the autoimmune disease. I am the one I like to feel sorry for on depressing diabetes days.

Today is not that day.

Spouses/significant-others play a role in chronic illness that cannot be defined. They are the caretaker, cheerleader, sympathizer, activist, and much more. I cannot even put it out there in a way to do it justice. What he means to me is so much more than your traditional relationship.

We were married right out of college. Not ideal in the 21st century, however, medical insurance warranted it. When I stood on the altar that summer day and held the hand of the person who agreed to love and cherish me, in sickness and in health, until death do us part, I did not quite put the ramifications into perspective.

In sickness and in health.

I don’t think of myself as “sick” most of the time. I appear healthy. I look normal (despite the infusion set and the tubing sticking out of my shirt or my pocket).

Normal? What is that?

Since my diagnosis, living with diabetes has changed in many ways. What has not changed is the support J offers me.

He is in it.

To end it.

He introduced me to JDRF. Came to my pump training. Researched insurance. Formed a Walk Team. Rode in Death Valley. Wrote to congress. It goes on and on. He is my biggest advocate.

He gets my meter in the middle of the night when my Dexcom is alerting and I am too low to move. I lift my hand and hand him my finger. He never says a word. Just is there. He makes sure every morning that I am alive as he leaves for work. Even when he is out of town, I get a call. Never misses a day.

Even when my blood sugar was so low that I said things I didn't mean. He was there. 

When I threw a bowl of crackers at him at 1:00 am because I was desperately trying to gain control. He was there. 

When he is begged me to drink juice in the middle of the grocery store so I can slip back into coherency. He was there. 

When I cry because I am so afraid that my children will one day have this disease, he holds me and makes my thoughts disappear.

Having diabetes can be a solo journey, but having someone to lighten the load makes a world of difference. Thank you for everything, especially re-filling my pump cartridge.

Until death do us part.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clean


Today it is raining. I happen to be someone who loves the sound of rain, the smell of rain, the peaceful nature of rain. It becomes a time for reflection. Something I need a lot more of lately.

I have a lot of upcoming changes in my life, some things I just need to do for myself and my family. This leaves the endless unknown right at my fingertips. I am still struggling. 

These new reflections also bring new revelations. Last night, while giving baby bear a bath, I lathered up the all-natural, organic baby soap. I rubbed it on his untarnished baby skin. The bath followed his meal of organic puree that I personally made for him. I got him ready for bed and rubbed chemical free lotion on him. I rocked him and put him to bed on his all natural sheets.

Where am I going with this?

Having a baby was something I knew I wanted. I took extra care the entire pregnancy and have since continued. Anything that goes on or in baby bear is the most pure form of what I can find. I don't want to do anything to harm my dear baby's body, or mind, or soul. He is the most precious thing in the world to me.

Thinking through this concept, shouldn't I feel the same way about my own body? Shouldn't I be more aware of what I am consuming? What products I am using? What damage I am doing to myself, to the environment?

Living with diabetes often presents a struggle with guilt. It is just MY body. My body. What does it matter if I don't check that extra time before bed? What does it matter if I forget to wear my CGM, forget to bolus, forget to eat? 

What does it matter?

Well, it is not necessarily that IT doesn't matter. What matters is the many people who want to me to grow old beside them. It matters to my husband, my parents, my siblings, my family. It matters that I should be able to dance at my little man's wedding. To see his children come into this world. To live a long and happy life. To do this, I need to be aware of my care. I need to make it more than something on my list. It needs to be a priority.

As the rain washes away the traces of yesterday, I have a new outlook on life. The past is the past and today is a new day. From now on, I matter. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Blog Hop...D-Blog Style!

I started out the month of January with aspirations of completing a d-blog hop once a week. However, I have decided to make this a once a month thing!

Tune in for February's d-blog hop!

Happy Friday, friends!