I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I love the interwoven themes, the cast of characters, the rich and deep storytelling. It's a world that you can delve deep and get lost in. Like most of the great tales, I can usually find myself identifying with one of the characters.
Lately I've been feeling a lot like Frodo. The quiet hobbit who was thrust, very reluctantly, into a position he didn't want, and worse, felt unprepared for. He was given a daunting, almost Herculean task. And the fate of others depended on his success. The ring, the very thing that was entrusted to him, threatened to destroy him.
My daughter's diabetes is my ring. I don't want it. I'm unworthy of doing battle with it. It threatens to overrun my spirit; my very being. And while it will not take my life; it is very capable of taking Elise's life.
To me, Diabetes is the one disease that rules it all (and no, I'm not comparing it to other diseases in this case). What I mean is that it touches every part of your life, and nothing emerges unscathed.
Diabetes rules your relationships. Is there anyone who is reading this who has not lost friendships because of this disease? Has your marriage not been affected? I am also happy to say that I have gained many dear friends due to diabetes.
Diabetes rules your watch. BG check time, shot time, meal time, snack time. Repeat ad infinitum. Almost every hour on the clock seems like it's dictated by this disease, and hardly a minute goes by when you're not thinking about it.
Diabetes rules your calendar. Maybe one day when we're on the pump it won't be like this, but for right now we've had to turn down two birthday parties this month because of the timing. One is in the afternoon, falling right between snack and dinner time. Plus they're serving cake and ice cream. It breaks my heart to think of the fun Elise will be missing. Hopefully one day soon, this won't happen as much.
Diabetes rules your pocketbook. I shudder to think about the amount of money we have poured into this disease. And while I would pay 100 times that amount to keep Elise healthy, I worry that there might come a day when we can't afford it.
Diabetes rules your food. If Elise could chose her favourite meal, it would be pizza and pasta, some french fries on the side and ice cream for dessert. That girl loves her carbs. And while I let her eat all of the above, I try to limit her to one high carb item per meal. But what I hate most is when, at the end of the meal and all her carbs have been accounted for; she asks for one more piece of bread. Or a bit more pasta. And I have to say no. It. Just. Sucks.
Diabetes rules your sleep. Or lack of sleep. Midnight, 3 am, 5 am checks... doesn't leave a lot of room for any shut-eye.
Diabetes even rules your very soul. Do you not feel lonely? Alone? Like nobody understands or even cares? Do you find yourself in a deep funk; unable to get out? Sometimes I feel like if one more thing is added to my life, I am going to go crazy. Some days I am so overwhelmed, all I want to do is sit on the sofa and cry until there are no more tears. I miss the old me. I feel like I'm half the person I used to be.
In the end, Frodo manages to reach Mount Doom and the ring is destroyed. And as much as I wish this could happen with Elise's diabetes, unless there is a cure, it will not. There will come a day where the quest for me is over, and I will pass the ring onto Elise. But there will be no destruction in our tale unless we find a cure.
Until then, I will carry this burden, my ring. It can have everything else in my life, but I will not let it rule me.
23 hours ago