Diabetes was in our house for about a month. The time Jill and I took off from work was winding down. Some decisions had to be made.
Some provisions had to be made.
Some sacrifices had to be made.
Who would work and how long; and who would stay home?
It’s not an easy decision and it is a decision that warrants thought, much thought. The other thing it needs is conversation. Whoever is involved in the decision, or whoever the decision impacts, need to be deeply involved.
If living together, it starts with the parents and filters out from whoever is involved. For us it was tough in the early years. Jill was a top-notch professional at what she did. For her not to work would sting us financially. But it was a decision that the two of us made. For years I was up at 6:00 in the morning and would not return until midnight. The process started all over again each day but Monday and on the weekends; where I had until 10:30 am and on many of those days it was my time with the kids.
Me doing what I had to do to bring in income, Jill had to do what she had to do running the household. With two young kids at the time, and Rob would come along about 3 years later; she by no means had a picnic life at all. In fact my professional life surely had more structure than hers and I respected her for all she had to do. It was also important to make sure she could get away every now and again also.
As I have stated a million times, our story is neither more or less; it is just ours. My point is that as one goes through this diabetes journey there are some points to be made. One is to make sure you talk everything through. No surprises is one of the best thing two people can offer because once you get into a pattern; it surely helps. A pattern should NOT be confused with a rut.
There is no easy way. All you can do is cover all of the bases the best you can; after that, just go. Know that you will have to adjust some things along the way. For years in the beginning, and because of the amount of medical bills, I was truly working for nothing extra at all. Every cent was accounted for. There were not two nickels to spare. This lasted for years. But there is plenty to do in this world that cost nothing, or costs a minimum. The kids never did without. We surely tried to make sure we could laugh a lot and when possible, do things as a family.
In some things in life; cost does not matter. But our situation is not anyone else’s and if you are facing that now, understand this point. Asking others might help a little but no circumstances are the same at all. But the constants to remember; talk it through, talk it through, talk it through. Stay in check with each other.
Do not assume the one working the 1-2 or 4 jobs to keep finances and health care going has it easy. Respect that.
Do not assume the one taking on home, school, and kids has it any easier and in most cases; it is more difficult. Respect that.
Try to give each other a break some how. Figure it out for yourselves and be ready to work hard. No one ever accused us of not working at full speed all the time.
It is not a sprint. It is surely a marathon.
We still work as hard and surely it has become easier as many things caught up with our drive. I do not miss those earlier years and the time it took; but we had to do what we had to do. We took care of the ‘now’ and before too long the ‘now’ was way down the road and as I have stated; many times we cross a bridge that we did not know we crossed until we crossed it. For now, we made it.
Live for the now; stay in touch with those you need to, ask for help when needed (it may take 10 asks for one yes, but ‘yes’ is out there so keep asking); know that YOU DID NOTHING to be in the position you are in but it is now yours to do something with. It might and could get very, very, dark at times; but the light on the other side means so much more when you work for it, at it, and toward it.
We know. It was over 21 years ago that this diabetes journey started. We had less than nothing and kept working at it. What we did have; was us; as a family. And that is worth fighting like hell to keep.
I am a diabetes dad.
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0 thoughts on “After Diagnosis; You can Map the Road Needed.”
Colleen Nordgren says:
I agree with everything Tom said, we took too long to start talking things through, now that we do it is much better. Laughter is our best stress reliever and my husband is great at making me laugh. Time as a family is important no matter what else is going on, it’s something that can be done no matter where you are as long as you are all together. Many of our appointments with specialists, including our son’s endo, are out of town. We make it a family adventure and our kids love it.
Anne Morris says:
I’m quite sure you’ll hear all kinds of similar stories – we elected to have Brad continue to be the main bread winner back then and after Kevin was 3 and Steph a bit more able to help with diabetes tasks, I went to work nights in a restaurant (not my dream job but you do what you have to do to survive financially and mentally!) This diabetes thing can either make you or break you both within your marriage and financially – we live by the code that each of us (me and Brad) do what we’re capable of and good at all the while getting help from people along the way. Sometimes that’s not an option but now with FB, internet, etc you can find people who will come to your aid and be diabetes soldiers for you – take advantage of that whenever possible!!!!!
Also, realize that it won’t be “this hard” forever – things change – kids get older and more capable of helping in their diabetes care – try and enjoy all of it – the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ll get off my soapbox for now!!!!!
Thank you for sharing your story. We all look forward to change and help along the way. Thanks for writing.