Wednesday, November 15, 2017

We're more than Diabetes

I sit here alone in the middle of Indiana.

A silent house.

A loud soul.

It pounds against my mind, begging for me to work through the feelings of anger, love, gratefulness, and fear.

The stories of Diabetic lives swirl around me. At times they can overwhelm my senses and put my busyness on pause.

In this moment I quiet my mind and ponder the last 20 years. The blood, the tears, the triumphs, the numbers…all of it replaying in subdued black and white. I see the history of my family and the impact of friendships and unconditional love.

I marvel at it all.

It’s impossible to box up all my emotions in one tidy blog post. Diabetes has been a constant companion, yet my history is so much richer than the worry it imparts.

My history includes four children. Little boys who danced and ran and laughed with tears streaming down their faces. Forty perfect toes, and eight bright eyes that have been through hell and back.

A hell that has very little to do with Diabetes.

As I take in the pictures and turn them from black and white to color, I don’t see insulin pumps. I don’t see test strips. I don’t see sleepless nights.

I see boys who are human and are trying to make sense of all the chaos life has to offer. I see them walking as steady as possible in treacherous winds.

Hard things. So many hard things.

But with all of it, so many more blessings.

J is the most loving young man I know. He still holds my hand. His hugs are never-ending. He’s been knocked down so many times as he’s sorted through everything, and yet he gets up again and again.

B is a force. He’s a whirlwind of empathy and care wrapped in the persona of a grumpy old man. He feels everything harder than everyone else, and desperately tries to hold it all in.

L is a miracle. He has overcome so many obstacles and is wise beyond his years. He’s kind. He’s sweetness from head to toe.

And M? He is a man. The little blond haired baby has turned into a six foot blond haired man. A man that listens, loves, and above all…tries his best. Always.

They are all so wonderful.

Yet, they are all so hard on themselves.

Because, Diabetes aside, life is a lot.

A lot of work.

A lot of feelings.

A lot of unknown.

A lot of not measuring up to impossible standards the Internet so indignantly imparts.

We have a lot on our plates.

But we have plates…

And we have each other.

We have an extended family that has become home.

We have so much more than Type 1 Diabetes in this house.

We have love. And we have faith. 

Some day my boys will see how important that faith is. 

Until then, I’ll remind them that they are loved, and try to give them the space to make mistakes so they can learn that life doesn’t end with one bad day…or even one bad number.

Our Diabetic Life?

That’s only part of the story. I leave that part here on this page…but there is so much more to us.

Volumes and volumes of text of more.

I’m done letting Diabetes overwhelm me today. I’m dusting off my faith and trusting in our beautiful future.

Anger? What good is it.

Love? It's everything.

Gratefulness? It turns what we have into enough.

And Fear? What is the point? Life goes on whether we live it to the fullest or not. Why let the fear mask all the good? Why miss out on happiness?

I’m grateful for all that I have, and I love my people. So so much.

Diabetes makes me love more...

I just can't be angry about that.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Diabetes Awareness Month Fallout

It’s Diabetes Awareness Month, or as I like to call it, Diabetes Throat Punches me Every Time I go onto Facebook Month.

Everyone is doing an amazing job of posting. My newsfeed is full of picture after picture; story after story, PSA after PSA…all good things! After all, it’s education that is much needed.

Diabetes has a lot of awaring to do, for sure.

I always start day one of November with the best of intentions. I want to educate. I want to show the world the work, the dedication, the pain, the all-the-time of Diabetes. I want to be a good advocate!


I also want to hide.

I want to curl up in a corner and pretend the seriousness of Diabetes away.

I want to live in a world where Diabetes isn’t a big deal.

I don’t want to think about my boys’ lifetime reliance on insulin.

I don’t want to think about what could happen if one of us messes up.

I fee guilty that I feel this way. I feel guilty that this month overwhelms me so. 

Because it is my job to advocate, making the world a kinder one for my children.

But it’s also my job to stay strong. I can’t do that looking at the reality of Diabetes every time I jump on Facebook. (Which is a lot. Don’t judge.)

Facebook is a double-edged sword for me. One side I find relief, acceptance, and “me too.” On the other side I find Diabetes everything: A constant reminder that this thing will always be there. A constant reminder that there is no cure. A constant reminder that this disease is hard, physically and emotionally for my boys.

I’ve been able to temper my brain into accepting only enough information and emotion so I can successfully rally through each day.  But when Diabetes Awareness Month rolls around, the information overfloweth and my brain swelleth.

It makes me angry.

It makes me sad.

It makes me feel everything harder.

I already feel enough. My feeling cup is full.

I hold it together all year long, but exposing the truths of this disease exposes my vulnerability. (Hold on, let me grab a robe…my vulnerability is showing…)


I can only hope that by having my little pity party, I will educate the world on just how all encompassing Type 1 Diabetes is. It affects every aspect of our lives. It can never be ignored…ever. (Well, it can for a few hours if we want to ignore consequences. But I'm my boys' mother. It is my responsibility to keep them healthy and alive...which is a pretty big responsibility, magnified tenfold when diabetes is in the picture.) 

Diabetes is a family member that lives with us that NEVER SHUTS UP. We try to make it comfortable, we try to keep it happy and quiet…but it’s always walking into the room, “Blah, Blah, BLAH BLAH BLAH!”

Don’t worry…I see it. I need to stop this post now.

Anyhoo…thanks for listening. I’ve gotten out all my angst and I will now post this and go back to reading my newsfeed with my mascara close by for easy reapplication.

Thank you to all of you who have the strength and fortitude to post your stories. I know they make a difference. I hope I can get over myself and make a difference too.