What They Should Know–From Mark Mariano

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7148526121_1c16b0db45_oFriday’s post: Today let’s borrow a topic from a #dsma chat held last September.  The tweet asked “What is one thing you would tell someone that doesn’t have diabetes about living with diabetes?”.  Let’s do a little advocating and post what we wish people knew about diabetes.  Have more than one thing you wish people knew?  Go ahead and tell us everything.

This is a reader submitted post.

My wife had just gotten thru the first trimester of her first pregnancy, and along with all of the nerves, excitement, and anxiety, we now found ourselves facing a new batch of decisions that needed to be made.  (Who is going to deliver our baby? What will name him or her? How in the world are we old enough to be parents already? What hospital will we deliver at?)  That last question is what brings me to this story.

We arrived at Valley Hospital to take a tour of the facility, and we instantly got the feeling that this would be the best place for us to deliver.  We joined a group of six or seven other soon to be parents and followed a tour guide around to get a glimpse of what we will be facing when it was “go-time.”

About half way through the tour I got that terrible feeling of weakness, shakiness, and the beads of sweat started to drip down from under my hat. How is this possible? I thought. I recalled what we had for dinner, recounted my carbs, looked at my last bolus, everything seemed right!  But, it didn’t matter.  I was low, and it was only getting worse.

Sometimes you just aren’t prepared for these lows, and this was one of those times.  I had nothing with me. In the car was my emergency stash of candy, but that was nowhere near.   My wife looked at me and instantly knew what was going on.  Her maternal instincts were already in full force and she stopped the tour guide, explained the situation, and they were able to round up a hospital sized juice for me.

Embarrassing, humiliating, uncomfortable, all of these words can’t explain that moment for me.  A moment that should have been exciting and uplifting for my wife and I quickly became a harsh reminder that no matter how hard I try, me being a type 1 diabetic is something we are in together.

So, what should they know? Well, I know that nobody I love looks down on me for this disease.  I know that they know this disease isn’t my fault.  I know that they would do anything they could to change this for me.  I know all of this.

But I want them to know.… I’m sorry.  Apologizing for a disease sounds silly, and quite honestly, it is silly.  I am not apologizing for having it; I am apologizing because I know that I am not the only one who deals with it every day.  It’s not easy for us to have this disease, but I realize more and more how grateful I am for the people that have been by my side over the last decade since I have been diagnosed.

I know they won’t accept my “apology,” but sometimes I feel like I need to be more than just thankful for them.  My wife, my parents, my son, didn’t sign up for this, but they are right smack in the middle of it just as often as I am.  They will never admit that it adds stress to their lives, but when I put myself in their shoes I can imagine just how hard this is for them.  I can’t help but feel sorry for that.  I did, after all, live through stages of feeling sorry for myself, so doesn’t this feeling make some sense?

Again, nobody that loves me will ever accept this apology.  I know that. I will make more of an effort to let people know how thankful I am to have them hold me up when I am struggling to stand on my own.

What they should know, though–I am sorry.

I am sorry for every time they have seen me struggle, for every “moody-low” I have had, for every time I complained about a new way my insurance company has found to make it harder for me to get supplies, for every 4 a.m. pump alarm that woke up more than just me, for the rage that comes over me when the dreadful “No Delivery” alarm rears its ugly head at an inopportune time, for the constant worrying about my eating schedule, for switching to diet soda on my behalf, for the random used test strips that seem to pop up all over the house,  for the unnecessary guilt they have for buying that bag of Oreos in our pantry, for the vials of insulin that have taken over valuable real estate in the fridge. For all these things, and many more …I’m sorry.  (But most of all, I’m thankful)

written by, the blog-less, Mark Mariano

One Response to What They Should Know–From Mark Mariano

  1. Kai Huang says:

    Compare to them, I haven’t been through any “real” terrible times in my life.

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