Saturday, September 25, 2010

THE MAN, BEHIND THE WOMAN, BEHIND "THE BUDDIES"

NaBloPoMo: Day 25
Special thanks to Misty's MeMe post, Cindy's candidness, and Renata's gracious post for giving me the courage to post on my husband and our relationship with "d" in the mix.


Nyquil, Ibuprofen, Afrin, Advair, and Xopenex are my best friends. Well, I take that back, my husband is my best friend. He manned the house, kids, dinner and movie night while I was medicated and sedated for the previous 13 hours. My drug-induced medicinally-crafted sense of wellbeing has me upright and ready to post this morning. I have decided to share with you, today, about my other half. Not necessarily my better half, come on, you guys knew I wouldn't give him that much credit. I am your vain Portuguese Princess after all. I think with Dave and I, the sum of our halves equals a pretty spectacular, synergistic whole.

Our complements are by far too numerous to list here, but off the top of my Nyquil infused, fogged brain here we go: I am flamboyant, he is reserved. I am a laborious work-horse, he knows when to "take it easy". I am emotional, he is even-keeled. I am a social butterfly, he tends to keep his social circle tight. I hate to shop, he is my grocery store and Costco monkey boy. I like things tidy, he is somewhat of a slob. I am carefree with the children, he is a little uptight. He keeps tabs on the family finances, I could not be bothered with such mundane details. I am the full-time pancreas, he will step in when needed. He sits with the children to teach them "important" life lessons, I am more the "day-to-day" manager of the crew. He is 110% about anything he feels passionate about, I am more like 85% about everything. I would do anything for our family, he would do anything for our family...

and he does...

This man works 50+ hours a week to provide for his family. He leaves the house with a smile on his face, a positive attitude, always looking to make it a good day. He picks-up the night time blood glucose checks on the weekend to give me a break and will often take over during the week if my work schedule fills-up. He loves to laugh, he loves computer games, he loves beer, pizza, and hockey. He rarely complains...only if it is hot... I won't go into his hyperhydrosis issue. He recognizes when he needs to change, to improve upon something and he does. He is open to criticism. He actually welcomes it and he utilizes it to improve upon himself. After my Food Rage with the Shrimp Guy in the Buffet line post (a good one, by the way), Dave stepped it up, and has learned to take Joe out to eat without me! He makes me feel loved, accepted, and adored. He loves me unconditionally even when the "Bitch Switch" is ON. He has been loving me for over half of my life now. We met in 1990 as freshmen in college and have been together since (sans one tiny break-up). I would not be who I am today without the love and support of this man.

When we were discharged from the hospital after Joe's diagnosis, a nurse gave me a book. This book had nothing to do with the pathophysiology of Type 1, it had nothing to do with the rigorous management that this newly diagnosed condition required, it had nothing to do with the latest and greatest research. It was a book about how parenting a child with type 1 can affect your marriage.

Huh?

Funny, at the time that baffled me.

I was somewhat prepared to lance, poke, expel blood, read meters, measure and weigh food, and inject my son with insulin, but I was not prepared for strain on my marriage. The thought had not even crossed my over-loaded, fact-burdened mind. There it was. In black and white, the day-in and out strain on a couple managing type 1 in their child causes rifts, strain, separation, resentment, the list could run on and on I am sure.

While I read this book, 2 days after diagnosis, I would think "not us", "heck no", "Dave and I are a team to the end", "this book is talking about other people", "we are as solid as they come". And we are, we were, we will be... "solid", "durable", "dependable". Have we stumbled? Sure. Have there been times where I felt resentful? Hell, yes. Have there been times where I have kicked him out of his peaceful slumber to do the night check because I cannot lift my weary head? Absolutely.

For the first couple of years after diagnosis the previous question and answer session would not have occurred. BUT, like water seeps and wears and carves the rock of this earth, diabetes seeps into everything, marrs relationships, ebbs into our interpersonal connections, especially marriage. I like to think this is normal; that Dave and I are like many of you. We carry on, we balance busy lives in addition to the daily rigors of "d", and that perhaps we will emerge a more loving, caring, cohesive team through it all.

"D" minutely seeping, carving, transforming everything, everyday, during my day-in-the-life parenting a child with type 1 diabetes.

19 comments:

thisiscaleb said...

Very nice Reyna. It's lovely to hear about your Dave.

My Dave and I met in our freshmen year of college in 1991. :)

donna said...

Reyna, You truly have a gift....to make people (us) think about day to day living.....how different our lives are now with the diabetes diagnosis. It has all changed...life is not as carefree as it was....and we should all be thankful everyday for who and what we have. Thank you. A great big hug to you and Dave.
Donna

Nicole said...

WONDERFUL POST and nice to meet you Dave :)

You 2 make an awesome team !!

Penny said...

Beautiful post from the heart. He sounds like a keeper hon :0)

Meri said...

So nice to meet the other Gingerbread man! I love your analogy about diabetes being like water...it constantly runs and wears away at us, and yeah, it affects everything! Including the relationships with the people we love most in this world.

Cindy said...

What a beautiful post, Reyna! It sounds like you and your husband are a wonderful team! We all stumble now and then, but it's how we pick ourselves back up and keep going that really matters! Beautiful analogy about diabetes being like water, wearing away at all of us!

tara said...

Good One. Did crack me up you called him a "Costco Monkey Boy."

Amanda said...

SO fun to hear about your other half! Joe looks so much like him. As always, thanks for the laughs!

sfincham said...

Ray and I are only months into the D fun... so I'm sure everyone can guess our trials and tribulations at this point. We went to therapy soon after Ellie was diagnosed (for more than one reason). Ray's 15 year old step daughter from his previous marriage had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (there is no stage 5) a couple of years before Ellie was diagnosed with D. I can remember being with his x-wife (yes we get along well) and her family and the other side of the family when the doctor said, "...if there is a problem or dysfunction in a family, a diagnosis like this will only bring it to the surface or make it worse". He was defiantly on point there! It's amazing what fear and desperation can do to two people (or more) who thought that love could conquer all. We (Ray and I) learned a lot from his step daughters experience and their families reaction and behavior (she is 100% cancer free now! amazing!!!). I think that's why we went to therapy right away. We didn't want to be a family statistic; we wanted to try to be properly dysfunctional so we had a chance to keep our marriage and family together! Here we are...properly dysfunctional for where we are in this journey, and all seems to be going well! hahaha Life is grand isn't it???!!!

sfincham said...

Oh! AND the name of the book? You didn't put the name of the book out there for the rest of us poor saps!? Ha!

Reyna said...

@ Sara (I hope I spelled your name right..."h" or no "h"?) I went looking for the book today and could not find it. I think I thought it was a bunch of b.s. when I first read it...not realizing what years of wear and tear can do to a couple - LOL. I am grateful that I did read it and was aware of the full-family dynamics that would play out in a chronic diagnosis. We Maher's put the FUN into DysFUNction for sure! Hang in there friend.

And to all...thanks for reading about my man...all kidding aside, he truly is my better half. He feels like he got off easy on this post. I have threatened him with way worse.

Renata said...

Wonderful post. Funny how our men keep us balanced. Wonderful to "meet" your hubby.

Rachael said...

Wonderful post, I was nice to hear about the dad that is such a vial part of a successful team!

Wendy said...

Reyna, this was truly beautiful. I love to hear spouses lifting each other up....Dave sounds like an incredible guy! You make a wonderful team....marriage is hard work without these challenges....with them, it feels incredibly overwhelming at times.

God bless your family, my friend.

I REALLY liked this post!!!!!

Sarah said...

"synergistic" - love that...it's great to know that two dynamic people allow themselves to be who they are alone and to come together so well, too. I think TJ and I are still figuring things out and at times there's more push and pull than necessary, but neither of us are willing to give up on the love and respect we have for on another. D is tough and I am thankful to read post like this about the effects on marriage and how it not only survives but can thrive to allow you to see even more greatness between you two.

tiburon said...

What a sweet tribute to your husband!

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

Awesome post! Glad you have such a wonderful support system we are truly blessed! ;)

Heather said...

Sounds like you two make a wonderful pair! What a wonderful post. :)

Laura said...

You guys are amazing! What a great team. Thank you so much for sharing so much with your readers. You always keep it real which is great for those of us who are wondering if everything we are going through is normal!?!