Monday, June 20, 2011

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, encourager, 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.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

beautiful thoughts. my wife is there for me too. it's scary how much we have to rely on them isn't it. i am thankful to have my wife of 16 years. good luck on your continuing marriage and happy anniversary!

Colleen said...

Sounds like a wonderful guy. You must be an equally wonderful gal!
Refills the cartridge?? I'm impressed.

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Anjanette said...

Loved this! Great writing, and sweet love and recognition given to your man. Saw you from a distance at vendor night. Did you see the girls? They thought they had seen you at camp, but weren't sure. I love camp. It makes me cry every year when I think about what a privilege it is to be just like the other kids for a week. That's way off subject, but thought I'd say great blog!

missy said...

I can truly see the love you share and thanks for sharing this with us. You are sick but you have life to live and reat support from your significant other thank god for thise who help us through our dificult times. Good Luck through thick and thin. I am a nurse an I really know where you are coming from.
http://ourhealth-melissa.blogspot.com/

king Eyes' said...

its good written

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EMR said...

You are fortunate to find such a wonderful partner who is giving you awesome company through the hard days of illness.Life becomes an easy journey when you have a desirable partner.

cheers said...

u r a lucky gal....life is a journey not a destination.

Yancy said...

My wife (our 6-year anniversary came about the same time yours did) was diagnosed with Celiac earlier this year. I do my best to be there for her, but what I do doesn't compare to what your guy does for you. I'm really happy for you that you found a person who takes the "in sickness and in health" part of his wedding vow seriously.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful...I can only pray thay my "perfect" little daughter will marry someone as wonderful and understand her when her sugar is low or high..God Bless and the best of luck..

FredT said...

try Richard Bernstein Diabetic Solutions for a whole lot less problems.

Dog Diabetes said...

Sorry to hear you are struggling with Diabetes. My dog Zeke has diabete and I have learned so much about it by taking care of him. He is doing well and will be 15 in December. Hope it gets easier fo you.

Megan said...

Wonderfully written blog. I just came across your blog via another Diabetic, I too have type 1. It's great to find others battling this condition. I just had to comment as I feel the same things you have written.

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