Saturday, September 18, 2010

THE IRONY OF TIME

NaBloPoMo: Day 18

Preface: Tonight as the bath water drained, this post started to grow, evolve and progress. You see, this is the post out of all the posts from my month-long challenge that I care the most about. (*quiet, yet deep breath with long exhalation*). If you have taken the time to read nothing else of mine this month, please, this is the post I want you all to read. This is the post that defines the history of type 1 diabetes in my life to date. Forgive me if it rambles a bit. This is the post that will mark my 7 year old son Joe's 4th year with type 1 diabetes. He has been living the rigorous daily regimen that "d" demands for over half of his short, sweet life.


THE IRONY OF TIME


Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, seasons and years, funny how the "measures" of time all blur and meld together as one long stream. During them, you can suffer the most monumentally painful events in your life. Each minute seems an hour. Each hour seems a day. Each day a week. Each week a month...and so on. Four years ago today one dip of a stick into my son's urine changed my life, upheaved my family's life. It was one of those "clock stopping" moments. The type 1 diagnosis and it's sequella froze me in "time" for a bit. No matter how hard I tried to deny "It", no matter how hard I tried to ward "It" off, no matter how much I wanted to tell "It" to "go to hell" and to leave me, my family, and my baby Joe alone, "It" was there. "It" was going nowhere. Time had stopped. I was "stuck". "It" wasn't necessarily "d". I believe "It" to have been "grief".

Stuck in a grief-filled, stressful time, my family was forced to slowly live and thrive with our "new normal". There is absolutely nothing "normal" about having to measure every morsel of food your three year old child consumes. There is nothing "normal" about lancing your precious preschoolers chubby finger tips 8-12 times a day. There is nothing "normal" about holding your child down to give them multiple injections daily so that they can live a long and "healthy" life. There is nothing, and I mean nothing "normal" about the "new normal". It just is. It just was...4 years ago today.

Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years soothe, heal, dilute and ultimately anesthetize the pain. As with all hurts in this life, I have found, once again, time to be an old friend. In a traumatic moment time stands still and the pain is unrelenting, the loneliness isolating, the grief smothering. Curious how as hours, days, months, and years pass, the pain, the loneliness, and the grief ebb into the nooks of the periphery of one's consciousness; and then, they slowly dissipate into the subconsciousness without even a second thought. Gone without notice.

Now, my family's existence seems to be catapulting through time; the years are becoming months, the months days, the days hours, the hours minutes, the minutes seconds. Time is careening by in scenery "flashes" or "snippets". Pulsing. Racing. Rushing. The warmth of summer is giving way to cool autumn evenings. The start of school will soon transition into the holiday season. The holiday season will give in to the brittle freeze of January. The bitter chill of winter will break way to budding tree leaves and blooming tulips welcoming spring and a new growing season. And so, the cycle continues. Life goes on. Sometimes Joe's diagnosis seems like it was just yesterday, with me "stuck" in time. Thankfully, for the most part, however, our prediagnosis-existence seems like it was a lifetime ago.

A lifetime ago.

You see....

Solace has been found through the anesthetic balm of time.

Reflecting on 4 years of a day-in-the-life of parenting a child with type 1 diabetes.

30 comments:

Bethany said...

I can't even imagine. Thank goodness that time is that oh so slow healer of all (most) wounds.

You are doing an amazing job as mom, Reyna. Like I said, I can't even imagine how hard it must be. But Joe looks like such a happy kid! It must be because he has such a great mom. :)

Lora said...

can I get some anesthesia please?!?!

Great post my friend and happy d-aversary Joe. I hope you guys enjoy your day.

Nikki said...

Love. Love.

Tracy (The Crazy Pancreas) said...

Congrats on 4 happy, healthy years. I consider myself lucky to call you a friend. It has been great getting to know you and your Beta family!

Hugs, Reyna!

Cindy said...

Oh, Reyna! This post is so beautiful! It made me cry, but in a good way. What a wonder those four years are! Happy anniversary to Joe and you!

Reyna said...

Cindy...I either want you people laughing so hard you are snorting or so happy/sad you are crying. Otherwise, I have not done my life justice in writing. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE to you all on this beautiful Fall Day.

htimm=) said...

You are a beautiful writer, my friend. I always enjoy reading your blog. I love your sense of humor and I love your more serious side as well. This was a beautiful post! It feels weird to say Happy to a Dia-versary to me. There is so much emotion caught up for us moms on this day and I know happy is just one of them. You have done an amazing job these past 4 years! You are an inspiration to me. I'm still stuck in the newness of this disease where the weeks feel like months. I do look forward to looking back and saying, wow we survived 4 years of this and we are better for it. Love you! And here's a big ((HUG)) for your day.

Anonymous said...

Reyna,
I read your posts every now and again. This one I read to Doug and afterward told him how much I admire you and your family. And, from one writer to another - you do have an amazing gift. You make your reader FEEL what you are feeling and spread the joy, the sorrow, the pain and the laughter that is your everyday life. Thanks for the insight and the wonderful way you share your life through words. Hugs and kisses to you, you hubby and your kiddos!
Cara & Doug Coon (Spovegas, Wash)

Meri said...

Wonderful post! You laid it all out so beautifully, time is a crazy thing...and yes, time heals. Scars remain, but the open wounds are healed. ((HUGS)) to you on this day dear friend!

Ronda said...

Love this my friend! You rock Joe!

tara said...

goood one

Anonymous said...

Reyna,
I still remember the day when we worked together in the hospital. You were such an amazing nurse and I always love working with you. I remember the day we all found out on the unit that Joe had been diagnosed, it took everybody back a few steps. Now that I have taken care of Rams I know how hard, and scary it is. You do an amazing job and are one of the best mom's a child could ask for. Happy d-anniversary to Joe. He takes all of this like a trooper. Wishing you the best and keep up the great work..
Luv, Wendy

donna said...

Reyna,
You know exactly how to say it...so,so, nicely written. You are one in a million and we are all lucky to be inspired by you daily.
Truly the best to you and your family.

Kuhns/Maxwell Road Trippers said...

Wow, since the day I met you, you have impressed and amazed me and you continue to do just that! Your whole family is very lucky to have you in their lives and we on the unit were lucky to have you as long as we did. I miss those days of laughing so hard that the 'snot comes out'. Carry on my friend.
Love,
Carroll

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Joe and Caleb live many parallels. We've had several milestones, clearly more ahead of us than behind, but one that I know has passed though not exactly when that I don't care to think too much about or give too much attention to is when the amount of time that Caleb has lived with diabetes surpassed the amount of time he lived without it.

Congratulations on making it through these last four years with such grace.

Amanda said...

Love to you Reyna! And to sweet Joe. Beautifully written...

Hallie said...

Crying. Crying. We are only a year and half in and I know the balm of time and the pain before - and still.
Happy D Anniversary! Love to you all!

Jen said...

This post makes me feel so..bitter-sweet. A big hug to you and Joe for making it to this milestone with flying colors. I wish Joe was never diagnosed but I am so glad to be part of the journey with such a wonderful family...

my sweet girl said...

A hug to you and Joe. This is a beautifully written post and, once again, I can totally relate. You have done an amazing job the past four years.
Yvette

Renata said...

Wonderfully put Reyna. It's awesome to read all of the comments and realize you aren't alone. You have wonderful friends.

Wendy said...

Time.

It is a crazy thing.

Beautiful post....4 years....I'm so blessed to have found you. Thank you for letting me in.

Sometime in the next 4 years, we'll have to get the kids together...

Jonah said...

Well, sticking needles into myself is not normal if I compare myself to non-diabetics, but I do my best not to. Or if I do I like to look at how skilled I am vs how incapable most of them are. I hit the four year diagnosis mark recently myself. I think my parents have a harder time not comparing me to other people than I do.

In response to your question on my blog, I just recently used my first Dexcom sensor, but I used the Guardian back in 2008 and got similar longevity with those sensors, although usually by the third week with the Guardian I was seeing a decrease in accuracy- with the Dexcom I was still totally spot on when I pulled the sensor, having worn it from the afternoon of Sept 1 to the afternoon of Sept 17.

I have worn all of my sensors in the arms and suspect that that has something to do with it but I don't know. I may just be lucky. Or tolerant of bad stretches (not that I had any on this Dexcom sensor). Or maybe I don't take as many baths as others do. Dunno.

Heidi / D-Tales said...

I left a comment on this post early yesterday morning. I'm not sure what happened to it. Don't want you to think I totally skipped this momentous day. But if this is a repeat, I apologize.

This was a beautiful post. Time really does soothe and help us heal.

I wish you all, and especially Joe, four more years of good health and happiness and four more after that and four more after that and...

XO

connie said...

So beautiful and so touching...time does heal those wounds, time takes some of the sting out of the pain, time is our friend.

Thank you for sharing this and I wish you and your family all the best!

(((hugs)))

Misty said...

Reyna, what a beautiful post to mark 4 years of hard work. I totally get the "grief" part. It's hard to get past that. I only hope that when we reach our 4 years, I will have found some of that anesthetic balm. So happy to know you, I think you are wonderful!! Happy Diaversary to you and to Joe!

Amy Lederer said...

Beautiful. Through tears. Love it. Love you. Most encouraging to us in this moment in time one year, one month, two weeks, three days dx'd (I don't keep track daily, my DaisyPath does on my blog). Just beautiful.

karolyn allen said...

read your blog and I can so relate. My son was diagnosed at 5 and I was diagnosed 3 months after him so we have lived the diabetic life for 32 years. As you can imagine that many years ago there was not a blood checker, pump. a1c, very few diet drinks etc. We are doing fine. 23 years after we were diagnosed our daughter who was 32 was diagnosed with type1. It was hard for her as she was single and lived across country from her family. I got on an airplane and flew out to California and spent 5 days with her and then we spent Christmas together a few weeks later. We are all doing fine and are a great support for one another. Its not an easy way to live but I always think wehn I get depressed it could be worse and we can control our disease. hang in there, I cannot say it will get better but with tecnology it will be easier to live with. karolyn in Ohio

Anonymous said...

My 7 year old daughter just reached her 4 year diabetes birthday a few weeks ago. This blog puts into words how I feel. The grief still creeps in from time to time, but for the most part diagnosis seems like it was a long time ago.

WifeMomPancreas said...

My, my how small the world gets when you become of member of the D society. My 10 year-old son was diagnosed almost 4 months ago. I started a blog about 2 1/2 months ago as a way to deal with all of the overwhelming feelings and emotions I was having. Writing is how I get shit out, so a blog was the best way to do it. I haven't had much time to find many other D-blogs but quite by accident I found out about Diabetes Blog Week and so I joined. In 3 days I have gone from having no D-friends to having tons! It has re-energized me. One thing that has struck me in all of the reading of other blogs is how similar all of our thoughts and feelings are. It shouldn't be surprising, we are all dealing with the same horrid monster, but I am constantly reading things that I feel like someone plucked out of my brain. Less than a month ago I posted a very similar post to this one. It wasn't about a 4 year anniversary but about time and seasons. I actually titled it "Seasons". You can read it here, http://wp.me/s2gw6G-seasons
But what really makes me feel like it is such a small world is that just now, today, while I was clicking around your blog, I realized that yours is the blog that I stumbled upon when we were about 3-4 days out of diagnosis and I took to Google to find out if I should still give my son his nightly dose of Lantus if he was low. Somehow in my research, I came across your blog, and specifically, your post titled, "The Painful Truth of My Nights". Now I want you to know that I was coming off of three nights of no sleep in a hospital and a flood of stress and emotions, but reading that post sent me into a downward spiral (one that I was already on my way to--I am not telling you this to make you feel bad, I promise!) it's just that at 4 days post diagnosis, that is NOT what I needed to have read! (You should put a disclaimer on it! :) NOT FOR MOMS OF NEWLY DIAGNOSED D-KIDS!!! )
My point in telling you this is that, even though I wasn't ready for it, it was a reality that I would have eventually realized myself. But I came out of my downward spiral, and have found the amazing DOC and have found you again! And just like this post about how time changes things, I can now read your blog, and that dreaded post, with a different perspective.
Anyway, I just thought you might like to know that story.

WifeMomPancreas said...

Oops, I guess my link didn't work. You can go to www.wifemompancreas.com and it is the post titles, "Seasons".