Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Diabetic Life in summary: Circa 2012

As has become my tradition, every year on the last day of December I post a sampling of my posts throughout the year.  This year has been especially difficult to sift through, but eye opening and healing just the same.
As I always implore you, take the ride with me.
In January we had our first endo appointment of the year, and my endo looked me straight in the eyes and uttered the same phrase four times.  It was the beginning of something revolutionary for me:  Letting go of the guilt.
There has got to be a better way. I've let guilt control me for so long I seriously think my body is deteriorating from it all. The words our endo said were so simple, but so powerful.

"Meri, you are doing a great job." I think I will hang those words on my wall to commemorate the small instant I truly believed. Maybe it will lead to more moments like that and I will be able to slowly but surely release my guilt in small, healing doses.
Also, I wrote a post comparing my life as a pseudo pancreas to Emotional Whack-a-Mole. 
We are expected to be brave, strong, venerable, humble, confident, certain, uncertain, angry, wary, harsh, forgiving, concerned, fighting, a schmuck, rejoicing, serious...and regardless of this all...unaffected. 
February brought Ryan's diagnosis:
There is the craptastic truth. All of it. Uncensored.

How are we? We are on the roller coaster. We are laughing one minute, delirious with tears the next. But we FEEL the prayers. And our hope grows stronger by the minute.

Somehow we know we will be ok.

And then in March, I chose hope.  And then chose it again.
I am holding two ropes. One in either hand. Each rope being pulled so my arms are taut.

On one side I have the pull of an army of friends and family. I have my faith and my hope.

On the other side I have despair. Fear. Pulled by a couple tiny thoughts. They are embarrassingly strong.

And as such. I stand here still.
...Hope is a choice. Faith is active. I can't sit here in limbo waiting time to pass. Waiting for answers.

I need get up and actively hope. Actively let go of fear.

TODAY I will. For me. For Ryan. For the boys. I am opening up my hand and letting go of that rope.
In April I realized I couldn't teeter any longer.  I either believed or I didn't, and soon realized I was "All in."
The other day someone at church asked me how I was doing. (I get a lot of that lately...I'm sure you can imagine.) But as I opened up my mouth to answer his question, I was shocked to hear the following words fall out of my mouth...

"I'm all in."

He looked at me for a moment, brows furrowed, trying to figure out what I said. I returned the look, pausing to figure it all out myself...

"With my faith that is. I'm all in. I've laid it all down at His feet...I trust that He'll take care of us."

And I do.
In May, on Mothers Day I tried to normal through by posting an homage to the D Mothers.
We love hard.
We try hard.
We cry hard.
We hug hard.
We hope hard.
We stress hard.
We are hard on ourselves.
We are D Mothers.
In June I admitted to the fact that I was having a hard time and dug up an old post to remind me that my perspective was entirely up to me.
There is something I need to get off my chest.
We're having a hard time.
Cancer is a big pain in the bahookie. It is worrisome and hard and no fun at all. Even the good news doesn't feel so great. When you are caught up in the fog of misery and worry it is easy to become blinded to the beauty and joy all around.
In July our family was blessed to attend the Friends for Life Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Sometimes life has a way of throwing us curve balls. Things happen that we don't expect and it takes the will of a thousand prayers to keep us walking upright.

Last week I was taken to the edge of my will. I pushed the envelope so hard I almost lost my ability to think in the process. Worry has a funny way of making you feel vulnerable and alone. Its easy to shut out the rest of the world and wallow in our own cave of misery.
I tried to do that on Saturday at the Friends For Life Conference.

I failed.
In August we rode the roller coaster of emotions as we found out that Ryan's treatment wasn't working.  I began the month declaring my faith in, "I Believe."
I believe God can make a way when there seems to be no way.
 And as hard as the next few months are going to be...I'm going to cling to that faith.
 One day at a time. One prayer at a time.
 I believe.
And then ended the month declaring my frustration of the unknown in "Kunk."
Ryan's body is currently failing him. He has no strength...he can barely walk. It is scary and frustrating and one of those things that could stay the same or get entirely worse. The unknown...THE sucking the life out of any sanity I may possess.
 In two weeks everything has changed. What will happen in another two weeks?
How was I to know that only a couple days later, on September 2, 2012, I would lose the love of my life.
It was a day set aside for prayer on Ryan's behalf.  Those all around the world prayed for our miracle...and although not received the way that we wanted, it was received none the less.  Ryan left us with over a hundred brain tumors, and yet he was Ryan until the very end.  He knew us.  He loved us.  He laughed with us...he even worked until his last breath.  The doctors marveled that he was upright and cognizant in his condition.  It was the prayers, the faith and the love that brought this to pass.  We are blessed to have witnessed such a miracle.
I blogged a few days after Ryan's passing and tried to express the ache I felt from his departure.
My body is barely hanging on. I am so weak, and tired, and aching. I ache everywhere. But my brain is working overtime...leaning on the muscle mass it has gained the last few months.
I wish I could turn it off. I wish I could flip a switch and give my body a break from feeling it all.
 I don't know that I can do this. I'm completely scared out of my mind. But I know that Ryan knows I can do this, and that gives me the hopeful inkling that maybe, just maybe...I will.
In October, in addition to writing my feelings out on virtual paper, I began writing about Our Diabetic Life once again, beginning with "Alice in Diabetesland."
I was Alice. I was naive, and curious. When I ventured towards the bedroom I had no idea what would be on the other side of the monitor. I sat comfortably on B's bedside and stroked his cheek gently. Oh how I wish I could know peace like that. What a wonderful adventure his life is at 10 years old. I envied his ability to sleep so soundly. Growing curiouser and curiouser I brought the blood sugar monitor to his sweet hand and squeezed out the precious blood from his finger tip.
 In an instant, I fell directly down the rabbit hole.
In November I wrote my most clicked on diabetes themed post of the year, "What are D Mom's made of?"
We are made of glue, fire, ice, owls, wind, crystal balls, dark chocolate, cheetah, diamonds, bologna, Bob the Builder, encyclopedias, butter, steel, tears, crock pots, swords and silver. 
We are a complicated concoction.
And then in December, as hard as I tried to numb myself from the pain...I realized there was no hiding from the inevitable in "Knock Knock.  It's grief."
I tried distancing myself from the pain. And in a small way, I succeeded.
Unfortunately, I didn't see the tsunami wave of grief looming above my head. I was too busy, remember?
As it turns out, you can't shut the door on grief. Eventually, it just knocks it down.
So here I am.
The last day of 2012.  Looking back hurts.  Looking forward is scary.  But I must make goals for the New Year. 
Friends of mine, The Diabetes Duo,  got together and made this fantastic, although completely unrealistic drawing of me.  My goal for 2012 is to picture myself in this light.  Believing I am better than what I see in the mirror.

And my second goal is to be happy.
This is my theme song for 2012.  I will work each day to find joy, and be thankful for all I have. (This version of the lyrics doesn't get all the words right, but it was the best I could find. In fact, it's probably better just to listen instead of read.)

I am going to try to be happy because even though I have lost my best friend, I have gained an angel.  He's looking out for me, and for the boys, I absolutely know this to be true.  Can you think of a better advocate?  Ryan always found the good in every situation.  He never complained...and I'm going to work hard to follow his example.  His faith, his joy in all things, they have inspired me to live my best life.  And in return I have faith that eventually, peace will find a permanent place in my heart.
Happy New Year, my dear friends!  I pray for each and every one of us that it will indeed, be happy.


  1. Meri, all of these were special, and inspiring, emotional, and did I say special? Look out 2013. Happy New Year

  2. You are amazing, you are inspiring and I love you girl!

  3. Meri, it is it how we see you - i wonder often if this whole blogging thing isn't more true than IRL, I mean we hear one anothers deepest thoughts without judgement or misaligned filters. Whenever I read your post i see you as a superhero mama, friend, and so much more. 2013 is going to be great :) Happy New Year indeed!!!

  4. Wishing you much needed happiness in 2013!!!!!!

  5. Unrealistic picture? Oh no, my friend, you are ever bit the superhero in that picture and more. Don't you ever forget that!! Much love to you.


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