I was just sitting here reading my Febuary issue of Diabetes Forecast and there is a great statement made by a person in a letter in mail call that kind of got my attention. In fact, it's the very first letter.
Now I believe in giving credit where credit is due so this statement was made in a letter from Myra Everhart of Griffith, IND.
Ms Everhart said that her friends and she came up with a description of diabetes that always makes them laugh:
"You have diabetes, but everyone around you suffers from it."
As I think and reflect on this statement several things come to mind.
First is my lovely wife, Sharon. She has had to watch me and help me deal with this disease since I was diagnosed in 1988. I am a T2 so those first few years weren't too bad. But then there was the incident while driving to work that had me in my doctors office demanding to be placed in insulin. That was 1996. Since then it has been lows and highs. She has had to hit me with more glucagon shots than I care to count. Three in one night at one point. Ambulance rides, ER visits and stays in the hospital all courtesy of the big D. My wife has had to give me mouth to mouth just to keep me alive all the while (in my low induced mind) she is trying to get frisky.
Second are my kids. Well mainly my youngest daughter Laura. The two oldest were out of the house and on their own when the fun of insulin started. Laura had to be home and see her dad in ways I would not like for my daughter to see me. If she were here and could type right now she would echo my statement I'm sure. Laura has had to be the one to keep her mom sane. Laura would be the one to remind her mom to "please put on clothes" when the ambulance is on the way.
Then there are my two grandchildren, Victoria (13) and Alex (9). Victoria, Tori, lived with her pop-pop for 8+ years. I was on the road much of the time but coming home to my wife and taking part in those activities that one takes part in with their spouse just seemed to bring on the aforementioned lows. Now Alex was 4 when they moved away but even he can remember his pop-pop giving himself shots. Or walking in on his mom-mom sticking the needle in pop-pop's behind just to use a different location. Once again here are two children who saw their grandfather in ways I would rather they not see me.
All of these folks were startled awake in the middle of the night to get a glucagon shot and wait that 15 minutes plus to see if one will do it or if another in needed.
All of these folks saw me laying on a bed which is soaked in sweat and then freezing to death as the BG came back up.
All of them saw me carted off in an ambulance and had to visit me in a hospital room.
Then there are the co-workers who should never have to give "Sparky" a shot in the butt (I kept glucagon at work) while they wait for the paramedics and ambulance. Co-workers who have to call my wife and tell her what hospital I was being taken to. Co-workers who had to accompany me (complany rules) to the hospital.
We often think of the effect that diabetes has on us. But I think we often forget the effect that the big D has on our family, friends, and co-workers.
You may have diabetes, but we all suffer from it.