For years, type 1 diabetes was my main focus.
My husband, already working 50 hours a week, had applied for and been accepted to a graduate degree program at a local university. He was due to start that program in January; just weeks after our daughter came home from the hospital with her freshly minted type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
Together, we made the decision that he would continue on and that I would become the official ‘artificial pancreas’ of the house.
So, I began raising our toddler and kindergartener, making my focus solely on helping them grow and flourish without type 1 diabetes diminishing their efforts.
Now I do not regret any of this, because I do think there are little bonus gifts that came with our family decision (i.e., the closeness I have with my girls, the memories that we made from all our time together, and the deep bond in our little family of four), but I do have to say that I did lose a chunk of something called SELF.
The little things like reading a great novel or spending an hour in a hair salon (and you can ask my hairdresser dear friend, I still I get nervous sitting in the chair without my cell phone in hand!). Going out with friends or even taking in a movie with my sweet husband. All of that disappeared. I am sure that it did for most of us.
Because becoming an ‘artificial pancreas’ means that everything you do revolves around the care of your loved one living with type 1 diabetes.
It just HAS to.
So when my old-timer friends living with type 1 diabetes would say things like, “It will get better”, I didn’t know if I could fully believe or trust them.
How in the world would t1d become better without a cure?
Well, I can tell you it just does. It does get better. And one day, you will find yourself having a little bit of free time and recognizing that you can reconnect with SELF.
And maybe during that reconnection, you will find that you didn’t forget how to get lost in a really good novel or that despite your best efforts of ignoring your beauty regime, you still look pretty amazing or at least your husband thinks so.
Even better, you might find out that you actually have time for a …… HOBBY!
A hobby. Yes, indeed. Something to take a little bit of your time other than the myriad of lancets, strips, testing schedules, supply ordering, insulin dispensing, carb counting, doctor appointments, fundraising, more testing, etc..
A true hobby.
So think about that as you ask for your holiday presents from that big guy dressed in red, Santa. Think about yourself and how wonderfully good you have been this year (and all of the years of being an artificial pancreas) and ask for something just for yourSELF.
You deserve it!
And here is a little sampling of my new hobby. I bet you can guess what I plan on doing in 2013.