D-blog week Day 4: Accomplishments Big and Small

Diabetes Blog Week topic: So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes.

I saw the movie Steel Magnolias when I was 16….I was healthy and active, with not a care in the world (except, would my friends and I go cruising that night and scope out the cute guys who were also cruising in their cars along the downtown strip? Sigh.) Imagine my surprise when, 5 years later, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. When I asked my doctor how this would affect my life – outside of having to take shots, monitor sugar, etc – she said, “well, you can probably expect to live 10 years less than you would have without diabetes, and depending on when you decide to have children, it may or may not be a good idea.” Ugh, that didn’t sound hopeful or inspiring at all.
Of course, my thoughts went back to Steel Magnolias and how complications caused by diabetes post-child-birth led to Shelby’s untimely death. The movie is so old, I hope that wasn’t a spoiler for anyone. Also, many of us diabetic women sort of hate that movie. It’s a downer, and shows one of the absolute worst possible outcomes of a woman not in control of her diabetes having a baby.

Long before my diabetes diagnosis, there was one thing that was a constant desire in my life – I wanted to have a family and be a Mom. I always loved children, loved spending time with my friends who had babies, and could never get over the joy of teaching a young child something new, and seeing that sparkle of wonder in their eyes. I longed to share that with my own child, and experience parenthood with a loving partner. I hoped and prayed every day that having diabetes now would not steal that joy away from me.

I was 35 years old before I married my husband, and we started working on having a family. As a woman of “advanced maternal age” (the doctor’s words, not mine), I faced many hardships and risks because of that, never mind the silly little body-debilitating disease of diabetes. Through close to 3 years of fertility treatments, IVF, and a roller coaster of emotions and hope and pain and everything you can imagine…the light at the end of the tunnel became my wonderful, perfect and amazing little girl. Screw you, diabetes. I did it. Joy

Happy Mother’s Day

So far today, my blood sugar range has fluctuated between 45 and 205 (according to my handy, dandy Dexcom)…which means I’ve felt either spacey-weak or fatigued-sleepy, and for more than a few minutes either way. Lows and highs tend to wreck how I feel, and don’t make me the best company to keep. But I have spent some wonderfully fun time today with my Mom, my husband, my daughter, two of my best friends, and the sons of one of them, and we’ll be having dinner tonight with my mother-in-law. It is the people in my life that make me say, “screw you, crappy blood sugars!” and pick myself up out of whatever funk the crazy sugars are causing, and have a good time anyway.

It is obvious that the high and low sugars are not the best part of my day – they certainly affect my day and how I feel, but it’s all the activities between those wonky sugars that really are the meat of my life. I appreciateMe & Penelope things so much more than I have in the past….mainly because I know that time is fleeting, and having a chronic disease could cut short the time I have on this Earth. But I really hope it doesn’t, and I’m doing my best to fight it everyday. I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter (who I will call Penelope or Penny within my blog – I don’t wish to splash her name all over the internet without her permission, and she really won’t have the presence of mind to give it for quite some time), and no matter how I felt about my health and my diabetes before she came along,  I have such a desire now to make sure I am here for a long, long time to be with her and see her grow and flourish.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there, all the women who wish to be mothers, all the mothers of non-human beings (I’m talking dogs, cats, etc, not aliens, but I guess we could wish alien mothers a happy day, too), and especially to my Mom and all the mothers I know personally in my life. You all ROCK!