We are so, so lucky.
We have each other. We have loving, supportive families. We have a house, we have food, we are healthy. We have two beautiful children; the latest one arriving just this past summer. There is nothing like a new baby to make you stop and realize how abundantly full your life is.
Full of everything, that is, except sleep.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade the blessing of motherhood for anything in the world. But wow, even though I knew what to expect this time, the sleep deprivation has still hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m tired. I’m grumpy. I’m impatient. I notice I am entering full-on survival mode because my list of “have-to’s” is dwindling. Do I have to make sure my daughter has a lunch and my son has his milk every day? Yes. Do I have to take a shower before work every day? Nope. [Shout out here to the genius behind dry shampoo – clearly a sleep-deprived mommy]
Let’s face it: we have a finite supply of energy each day and we have to decide where and when to spend it.
Luckily for me, my list of “have-to’s” to make sure I am reasonably able to function is not long and I have no problem making cuts when necessary. This is so not true for a person with T1D. Can they forego a shower here and there? Sure. But they can’t forego thinking critically about everything they put into their mouths. They still have to consider how an extra 10 minute walk, or lately, how taking 35 boxes of Christmas decorations down to the basement might affect their blood sugar. Their CGM is still sending information 24/7 for them to see and interpret. Did you know the average person WITHOUT diabetes makes 221 decisions about food alone each day? That sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? Think about how this number grows when you throw in a curveball like T1D. Ask anyone with this pain-in-the-ass-but-making-you-stronger-than-you-know disease, they will tell you.
Speaking of pains in the asses, try being married to an RD/CDE who sees patients every day with wildly uncontrolled blood sugars. Who sees them walk into her office with damaged vision, lost limbs, kidney disease. Here’s where (as usual) this all circles back to me. I see these awful complications daily. During hectic periods of life, like now, Kevin’s control might slip a bit. When this happens and he has more hyper- or hypoglycemic events than usual, I freak out. Not at him (usually not at him), but in my head. I get scared he won’t be able to avoid these complications. I get scared for his, and our, quality of life. And then I start thinking about soaring insulin prices, the predicted insulin shortage, and wondering if our children are going to have to deal with all this crap too someday….
The worry becomes the ultimate thief of my joy, my peace, my happy.
I had to write this mostly because writing my fears out helps quell their power. And sometimes I just need to say that this disease stinks. I need reminded that if I’m annoyed, I can only imagine how Kevin feels. I need to remember that I can be helpful and supportive, but I can’t care about Kevin’s health more than he does. I need reminded that he is an adult and can take care of himself and that just because my mommy-ness is operating on all cylinders right now, Kevin is my partner and not my child. He can do it. He is doing it. He’s been doing it for 18 years.
And really, I need reminded that although I feel like T1D sucks so bad sometimes, it’s really not that bad. We have a life that is good. We really are lucky. Showers every day aren’t that important.