This picture has been on my shelf for a million years. It’s of my Grandfather and Grandmother on Mom’s side of the family. They were married on Flag Day (June 14th) a long, long time ago. My grandfather told his kids that their anniversary was such a special day the world put flags out in their honor.
Next month is November. Thanksgiving and Diabetes Awareness Month in the same month. They almost seem like polar opposites, don’t they? To begin, and let me be 1000% clear on this point: I. HATE THIS. DISEASE. I, like that fiddle play who made a deal with the devil that he was better, would also sell my soul for my kids not to have this disease. That’s how much I hate it. Even now that they are adults, the worry is still there. I cannot imagine what goes through their heads each night when they lay their head down. A fear must always be there. You do not need me to define that fear, any word you can think of, and I would say ‘yes’ to that fear.
You need to see how far you have come.
When it is 3 a.m. and your child’s blood sugar is just not coming down. When you have been up through the night trying to figure out whether the pizza or the peach is why your child’s blood glucose levels are through the roof. When you come from your Doctor’s appointment and you’re thinking, “Pretty sure not one thing I said was heard”. When you feel like no one understands like you do, this life with diabetes and the ups and downs.
Take a deep breath.
I’m in New Jersey this week as I write this column. I walked outside my hotel this morning, and some helicopters were flying overhead. I looked up at them and as my gaze lowered, I realized I was looking at Manhattan from the New Jersey side, and directly across from me was lower Manhattan. The Lower Manhattan attacked, destroyed, and now rebuilt. I have no recollection of ever looking at Manhattan in this manner. As I have shared before, I spent a good deal of time down there from 9/11-9/12; 36 straight hours of hell is a good way to put it.
As I took my look away from across the river of Manhattan, a young lady came jogging by me. Clearly, on her leg was a CGM, and on her shorts waistband was an insulin pump with the tethered tubing going onto her body. I watched as she ran out of sight, making sure she did not have a hypoglycemic episode and collapse outside my Doubletree Hotel.
She went on.
Someone once asked me how long I would be ‘at this diabetes thing’? I’m sure my eyes fluttered extensively as I heard the question. I’m not really sure what the question means. To ‘stop’ at this diabetes thing would mean the battle was over. It would have been won or lost, but it would be the only reason to ‘stop’…..and losing is not an option.
Some friends were gathered lately and there was a missing ‘someone’ from the group. “Hey what happened to XYZ, are they still around?”
The answer came back, “It’s been years since they had been seen, they found a new job.”
A new job?