So much of the time, I feel like I am a newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic. Weird, right? Maybe that is why I feel connected with so many of the Type 1 Moms I “meet” with young children. You see, although I have known my husband for 10 years, it wasn’t until the last 3-5 years that he really needed me to be more involved with his care. All of his care. I say 3-5 years because it was over time as his complications arose, that he needed more and more assistance to do things. So in the beginning when we first met, I learned what I did about who he was and about Diabetes, but didn’t give it much thought or concern. I knew he had this for a very long time and knew that he knew what he was doing. There was no need for me to worry or help in the sense I do now. I have said this before, but I think the day all of that changed for me was when he passed out at 2AM one night from a low and went unconscious in bed next to me. I awoke to him shaking uncontrollably. (I posted about this in a much earlier post) That was the scariest thing I had ever been through. I may have been involved before then, but that was my wake-up call and the one time that I can say truly changed my role as a Vince’s wife.
So why do I feel like a newly diagnosed Type 1? Well, I give shots, prepare the pump and CGM, inject the infusion sets and sensors, make sure I am home if I know his pump is almost out of insulin and he needs me to change his site, order medications and organize our “pharmacy”, watch for highs and lows while Vince is awake (due to the side effects of his neuropathy medications) AND asleep, give bolus’ in the middle of the night and coax food into a sleeping body during a confused low, check on him throughout the day to be sure he is ok, keep a spare meter and supplies in my purse along with Glucagon, make sure when we are leaving the house for an hour or for a weekend that he has his supply bag with him, and probably a lot of other things that have slipped my mind at the moment. It’s as if I am the diabetic except the needles and numbers are not my own.
All of this is new in a sense to me. Vince hasn’t expressed the need to connect with other Diabetics for support like I have. He has lived with this disease almost since birth so he doesn’t feel different. He feels normal (aside from the neuropathy but that is an entirely different subject) Not like me. Although it has been 10 years, it is still new to me. The care I am now giving him is new to me and I am still in the stage where I don’t feel normal. This life is not normal. The needles, the worry. The life threatening situations that are thrown at me (us) sometimes multiple times a day. It is not my normal. But truth be told, every day that passes, it feels more normal than the last.
I am so lucky to have Vince. He supports me and shows his appreciation for my taking care of him fairly often. We both know the situation we are in is not a good one and we both know it sucks. But I can’t think of a better person to be in it with. I love him more and more every day. I know that is so cliché but it’s the truth. He is my hero for dealing with what he does with such strength. He is truly my best friend, my teacher, my hero, my love, and so much more.