Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Blogger-polooza Day 2: Michael

Michael Hoskins writes The Diabetic's Corner Booth. And it is always just like that with him. His writing, and his comments on my blog and others oozes the comfort of a caring friend...a friend that you are sitting having a casual lunch with in the corner booth of a diner.

This post below is no different. Little things make a big difference. Michael's wife and mother inspire me! Thank you Michael for taking the time to write such a heartfelt post!

A Note In My Lunch

Each day, little handwritten notes grace my lunch bag.

My D-Wife calculates the carb counts for the lunches packed, even on days when I've made my own meal by just sticking a PB cracker pack, apple sauce, and chip bag into a plastic grocery bag. Even though I could add up the carb counts listed on each package and tally up the total to bolus for, she takes the time and effort to write the note.

In only a few lines, each note represents a world of support.

The same thing happens when we eat at home, as she calculates the total using the white board on the fridge. There, the list entails whatever happens to be gracing our plates and she lets me know what the food "costs" to key into my pump.

I'm really not sure when this became "our life" and how things work, but it must feels at home. We're both in our early 30s and haven't yet started out family, but that type of support can bring a smile to the face sometimes and just helps you know how good you have it.

Once, my own D-Mom (living with Type 1 herself since age five) did that very task. Life was different way back then. I was diagnosed at five just before I began school, and blood meters weren't the norm. They were about the size of a brick, actually. But because of my mom's longtime stretch and her mom's own push to have the latest and greatest gadgets and technology, we had a meter in our home not long after they came out. That trend continued into the early 90s when meters became more common, and I've had one as long as I can remember.

While I don't now recall any of the specific tricks of the trade my mom used back in those days, since we didn't really have "carb counting" or MDI as it exists now. It may have just been the meal exchanges or insulin-dosage timing, but I'm sure it was just as love and support-saturated as the notes my D-Wife uses now.

Somehow, one day, after all the rebellion in those teen years and early 20s, I found myself with someone new to bring that balance into my life. Someone who understood what was needed, was willing to help me calculate, and be there every step of the way.

By the time we'd met and started dating in that final year of college, I'd already transitioned to my own D-Management. Not even sure I remember how diabetes first came up, but it was pretty much always a factor and we talked about it and moved on. Just did what was needed. From those early days when I'd just started pumping during my last year of college in 2001, to now.

Only much later would I be able to get a glimpse into what my mom and dad had done, and gone through, in helping me become the person that I'd eventually become in order to find that Loving and Supporting Spouse who would take that D-Life onto her own shoulders. They did the same thing way back when in the 80s and 90s, but I never really knew or appreciated it - until the Diabetes Online Community gave me the chance.

Discovering the D-Parents who are a crew of superheroes, who are a community within a community, was just as much a game changer that bridged the gaps in my own D-Life. People like Meri and others who are always there, and who you know just "get it" when others don't. I've been blessed to find this community, as it's opened my eyes to a world that "gets it" in ways that I previously couldn't even begin to understand.

But even though we live in a time now where everyone is connected online and there is a constant flow of support, sometimes it just comes down to notes in a lunch sack or scribbled numbers on a whiteboard.

Maybe the means have changed from meal exchange rates and balancing long-acting with short-acting at meal times, to carb counting with an insulin pump filled with pretty quick-acting insulin. Maybe we're more plugged into what the numbers mean and how the food will react.

The sentiment doesn't change. The love and support is what sometimes means the very most. And it's that kind of sentiment that binds so many of us in this community together. Because we all have those moments, those notes, and that love and support in our D-Lives.

And that kind of thing is what shapes us into the people we are, and the people we'll become.


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