Five years seems so much more "significant" than four. Don't you think? This Sunday Joe will have been living with diabetes for five years. Not sure how I am feeling. Reading the following words always brings me comfort. I read it, daily, for about a week, after Carl died. It is perhaps the best writing (and no, I am not saying any of this shit that I put on here is good) I have done.
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.
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.