How do I explain to you that being a mother of three children with Type 1 Diabetes is as completely overwhelming as you think it might be, when here I sit, one of the most completely blessed people on the planet?
How do I explain to you that some nights the exhaustion holds me like a straight jacket…that the nights are all encompassing, and I will my tears to fall back into my body rather than intentionally give in to the fear and exhaustion, when I’m a functioning member of society and have the energy during the day to do everything I must do and so much more?
How do I accurately describe the worry that lays wait in my stomach when a child announces a very low number, the choking responsibility of life, and the rolodex of emergency protocols that run through my brain, when here I sit, appreciating the beauty of life and the miracle of breath that my boys take every minute of the day?
How can I relate to you how much anger I keep inside that my children must endure so many biting pricks, and the ebbs and flows of their bodies instinctual needs for food and water, when I know it is because of this disease our family harnesses an increased measure of empathy and compassion for people around the world who struggle with their journeys too?
How am I to complain to you about medical and insurances systems that are slow, expensive and not completely educated on my children’s Type 1, when my boys have the best tools money can buy and technology millions of times more advanced than just 20 years ago? When 100 years ago they wouldn’t have survived their diagnoses?
How can I lament about the laboriousness of this disease, the constant stream of numbers knocking knocking knocking all the live long day, and the infuriating knowledge that there will never ever ever be a break from this, when we can take walks by the ocean as a family, and are free to experience any and everything this amazing world has to offer? Sure, maybe we need an extra bit of luggage, but we’re free to go…
How do I tell you of the frustration banging out of my chest when people make assumptions about my boys and what they can and can’t do, or have, or eat…how so many people are uneducated and have no problem throwing completely insensitive stories and analogies our way, when I have a community waiting to instantly lift me when I’m down, and hold my hand through the maze of uncertainty?
How can I relate the fear, when there is so much calm?
How can I be angry, when I am so thankful?
How can I be sure I can’t do this, when I am surely doing this day after day?
How can I curse a disease that has shaped my kids, and my entire outlook on life?
How can I be so inconvenienced by something that brings me closer to my boys?
How can I wish the world knew, when I’m so grateful they don’t have to know?
Somehow I do.
Somehow the yin and yang of this maddening disease seeps into me and I do get angry and grateful all at the same time despite myself.
And somehow, through it all, I see that all of these hard things empower us. They make us realize we’re capable of so much more than I ever thought we were. Somehow I never imagined we’d be able to love so hard, and give so much.
Somehow…we’re living a wonderful life.
Despite diabetes. Because of diabetes. Encompassed by diabetes.
I don’t know how I do it.
I don’t know how my boys do it.
We just do.