Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Life before diabetes?

I recently read posts from people who wanted their lives back. The ones that they had before diabetes entered the picture.  They wanted to go back to their old "normal". These comments gave me pause because I can no longer remember much of that life or imagine how it would be now.

Diabetes has lived in our house since March of 2000.  The number of times my son's blood has been tested and his fingers lanced is far too many to try to figure out.  The number of times he has had needles stuck in his body to receive insulin, have blood work done or insert infusion sets again is beyond me.  I just know its a lot but I just don't have the energy anymore to calculate the number.

When we began this journey, my son was just a toddler. He played, laughed and did his best to keep up with his big brother.  Today my son is a teenage boy.  He laughs. He does his best not to run unless he is involved in a serious game of hockey with friends. He goes to movies and looks forward to the times that he gets to spend with his big brother.

Because I have two boys, both of whom are now teenagers, I know that diabetes has created some very real differences in their lives. I worry about drugs, alcohol, driving and girls.  I worry about their education and what they will do with their lives. Before diabetes...well I still worried and wondered what sort of young men they would become.
Diabetes has added another level of worry when thinking about my youngest son of course. I worry about his level of care--will he ever learn? Will he ever wake from a low? Will he remember to test? Will he change an infusion set on time? Will he be able to afford his supplies? How will he handle girls and diabetes? Will he be careful if he decides to drink? Will he test before he drives?

Before diabetes, I never truly realized what our health care system did and did not cover. I did not understand the cost of staying alive and healthy when living with a chronic disease. I don't think I that I would want to go back to that level of ignorance. It has given me a new respect for many people--not just those living with diabetes.

Life before diabetes was different but it was a very long time ago. It remains a distant memory.  Since diabetes, we have changed and grown.  We have seen our character become ever stronger.  I have a few more wrinkles than I might otherwise have had. I live off of a lot less sleep than I imagined possible but I have read more books...waiting for a 3 am low to come up gives you time for things like reading.
Our lives are different now than they might have been but its not all bad.  I have made amazing friends. I have met incredible people.  We have experienced things that we might not otherwise have done.

I would still give anything to see a cure. I would still do anything to take this disease away from my son.  I still wish that there was a magic wand I could wave to make this disappear for everyone's children--young and old. Its not a life I would wish on anyone, but its the life we were handed and we do our very best to live it to the fullest.

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