I recently came across a link to a very interesting project. It was a video that asked mothers to think back to just before they had their first child. If they could go back in time, what advice would they give themselves? That got me to thinking...if I could go back to the weeks just after Diabetes moved into our lives, what advice would I give myself?
At first I thought, that is too large of a task. We have gone through so many stages. What one sentence would cover everything? What words of encouragement would have gotten me through the food battles and the vomiting I dealt with for the first two years? What would I say to help me deal with the rigid structure of our new life? What would I tell myself? How would I provide encouragement?
What could I say to ease the burden on those days when I wanted to crawl under a rock and never return? What would stop the tears at 3am when he was low again and I felt too exhausted to go on? What would get me passed the worry of how to pay for an insulin pump or supplies? What would motivate me to continue to fight the federal government for tax change? What would make me sit down to one more meeting about insulin pump funding?
What was I going to tell myself? How would I tell myself about the amazing friends that I would meet who would help me to get up when I fell? How would I let myself know that no matter how dark the hour, there really was light up ahead and it was not always another train.
What would I say to me? I would simply say, "You will make it." So many days, I wondered (and still do) if I really would. So often I thought, I just can't do this anymore but what am I going to do? What will happen if I don't? Tears would come and I would want the floor to just swallow me up. I knew I had a job to do...a very important job. I was a pancreas to my son. I was a mother to my boys. I had to balance it all for the health of everyone involved.
Its been over 11 years and each day brings a new challenge. Life and Diabetes are a formidable mixture. They show you blessings and force you to face your greatest of fears. They bring you great joys and cause you a torrent of tears.
The advice to the me of years ago...you are stronger than you think. You are more determined than you know. You will find compassion. You will find help when you need it. Most importantly of all--you WILL make it through.