We all know that diabetes affects everyone in the entire family. It affects friends. It affects jobs. It affects every aspect of life as you know it.
Lee Ann wrote just the other day about how it affects her husband and how much it can affect a relationship
Kerri wrote about how ingrained in our lives the little bits of diabetes are.
Our blogs, our lives, our family, our work seems to revolve around diabetes.
We get together and raise a fuss when TV tries to incorrectly portray our disease. We get Disney to change their minds.
We are powerful. We are all different. We are all special. We all have things in common (other than diabetes). For some, it may be a common TV show we like to watch. For some, a common hobby.
One of the biggest things I have learned since finding the Diabetes OC, is what my parents went through. I see parents like Mark and Paige, Naomi, Jill, and Lynnea, I realize I am getting a small glimpse of what my parents dealt with. I am seeing a tiny sliver of the fear, worry, guilt, and life that my parents got handed when I was diagnosed with diabetes.
Is it bad to feel guilty for making my parents angry when I wouldn't eat? Or worry when I ended up in the ER (many, many times)? Or for making them be scared for my future, and what that future might hold?
I do feel guilty sometimes. My dad and I were talking with my aunt the other night. She's in visiting from California. She wasn't around for all of my childhood, so we could only tell her stories. We talked for about 30 minutes. My dad and I taking turns telling story after story of stressful situations and hospital visits. Some of them I remember. Some of them I don't.
I hate that my parents had to go through so much with me. Sometimes I hate it even more so because I am adopted. They knew nothing about diabetes. It didn't run in the family. And I got it. They got me healthy, after an initial scare of being born 1 month early with a heart valve that didn't want to work at first. They didn't really sign on for a sick kid. But yet they got one. And, if I can say so myself, they did a fantastic job handling it.
I know that there were things I didn't see. Breakdowns I never heard. Tears I never saw. But overall, they did a fantastic job of taking care of me and helping me learn to take care of myself. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't without incident. But I came out the other side unscathed.
Sometimes I worry about getting married. Or even getting in a serious relationship. I am a lot like Allison in my lack of relationships. And I wonder how diabetes will take a role in any relationship I might have. I worry that someone will get in and then decide they don't want the trouble of dealing with diabetes (I know he wouldn't be worth it anyway, but it doesn't change the rejection factor). I know that this isn't an issue for some people. Kerri's article Love Me, Love My Diabetes always makes me feel better.
But that fear is still there. It takes a special parent to raise a diabetic child. The choice is not voluntary. Diabetes visits your life and doesn't give you a choice.
But as an adult Type 1, a person can have to choice to enter my life, or to not enter it. So I am beginning to think it takes an even more special person to marry a diabetic. That is voluntary. They do have a choice. And yet they chose to do so anyway.
I am truly sorry about the slightly rambling post. But I have a lot on my mind today. This post is kind of a reflection of my thoughts.