Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Anniversary to me!

Here's the e-mail I sent out this year on my diabetes anniversary, which was in early April. I always feel good celebrating my anniversary, as it's one more year to be thankful for. I like to involve my friends and family in acknowledging my day. It helps to spread awareness too. Here's to many more years!

Dear friends and family,

Twenty(+x) years ago today I was diagnosed with diabetes.

Just about this time now, I was sitting in the hospital bed wondering what would become of me. My Mom had left to go home to get things, as we had rushed from the doctor's office to the hospital without a thought as to what I'd need, or how long they'd keep me there (8 days). I watched WKRP in Cincinnati, a show that I disliked, but I was too numb to change the channel. So I sat there in the almost darkness as the sun set, understanding the mechanics of diabetes (twice daily shots and no more cookies) but not the emotions that came along with it.

The calendar was cruel that year, in that Easter came almost immediately after I returned from the hospital. Instead of candy (real candy that is), the Easter Bunny (God bless him) brought me the fake stuff that can cause stomach problems. I also received a music box (that of all things plays Evita - Don't cry for me Argentina). It's now in
Lucian's room and he begs for it every afternoon before his nap. I may be the
only person who has (or even remembers) what they received twenty(+x) years ago
for Easter.

I didn't believe I'd live til my 30th birthday. I wondered just how this disease would eat me alive. I was told tales of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, etcetera, etcetera... It seemed that my life now was one of an old person. My grandparents were now younger than me. Looking back, I realize that the message of doom was given to scare young diabetics into compliance. I was also told that a cure was coming "within five
years" and it's now been four times that, and I still don't see my cure anywhere.

In 2000, I was reborn thanks to my insulin pump. Besides adjustable waist pants, Tivo, and Diet Coke, it's the best invention in my lifetime. My diabetes control has never been so good, easy, or flexible. I've gained about twenty pounds, because I no longer have guilt over things I choose to eat. And the freedom!! Eating what or whenever I want to. It's a dream come true for me every day.

One year pre-diabetes, the Easter Bunny brought my brother, sister, and me solid milk chocolate bunnies. They must have weighed about a pound each. I ate the entire thing on Easter Sunday, and broke out in hives the next day. While I have learned my lesson
(don't eat an entire solid chocolate bunny in one sitting), this Sunday I will
be sharing some of Lucian's candy from the Easter Bunny and marveling at my good
fortune of being able to participate in a holiday that at one time left me out
in the dark.

I'm off to go celebrate with a big Diet Coke. Maybe there's even some chocolate awaiting me... :-)


Friday, May 18, 2007

It's late, and maybe I'm just tired

Tonight I had dinner with Nemo. With Lucian of course. For awhile now, we've had swim classes on Friday nights, and this week's class was cancelled. Nemo e-mailed me earlier in the week and asked if I'd like to go out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

I should mention that not only was it one of our favorite restaurants, it's also somewhere that Nemo worked during high school, his parents are close family friends of the head chef, and friends of the owner. On top of that, it's also a banquet hall, and we had our wedding reception there.

So it's a nice place, with lots of memories. I wanted to say no, but I wasn't sure how to. We've both been working hard at finding solutions instead of creating problems, that I'm trying to honor innocent, easy requests. I mean, a dinner where you don't order at the counter? How could I refuse?

I hadn't been to this restaurant since my baby shower. When Lucian and I arrived, it was like my old life and new life colliding. I remembered all the good things, and those are just as painful for me. Sometimes I'm able to pretend that Nemo doesn't exist, like that part of my life never happened. I'm even able to avoid most of our old haunts, as my parents' house is far enough away that there are many other choices, without it seeming deliberate that I'm avoiding some place in particular.

I haven't updated my blog in forever, and now here I am rambling on and on about going to dinner on one night out of my entire life. It's not like I don't have dinner with Nemo once a week already. I'm bothered that a location bothers me. That a building or an idea of it, can hold so much power over me. I hate that. I'm not sure if this has ever happened to others or not, and I hate that my mind works this way.

(Side note: my grandparents moved out of state to live with an aunt in 1992. My aunt added a complete addition onto her house for them. They both died in 1994. In 2001, I visited for a cousin's wedding. I could not go into my grandparents' "apartment". It had been almost 7 years! It was just to painful for me even then. So this feeling is not new for me.)

Back to the dinner: I had a wonderful meal. Lucian was very well behaved (he doesn't usually even sit still for fast food.) The family friends were very kind to me. I can't think of one complaint, besides I left and just felt very sad.

There's an emptiness in me. Maybe it's a bit of self-pity, I don't know. I feel ridiculous that I've cried tonight over a restaurant. I guess I'm crying for my old life and I'm not sure why, because it wasn't authentic or true. It was a lie, and I'm better for knowing it. My new life is full of love, happiness, truth, and peace. Why am I so sad?

I was going to end there, but I don't want to end this post so depressing. So I'll tell you what happened on the way home. It's about a 30-35 minute drive through suburbia. With Mr. Non-stop-talker in the back seat:

Look Mama! School bus! Look Mama! big truck! Look Mama! Buh-geh King! Mama Buhgeh King! Look Mama! Pia! (pizza) Pia! Eat pia! Look Mama! Mahdonnal's! Hambuhgeh!

Maybe I should be scared that he's such a big fan of fast food, but it's so darn cute. I feel better already.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Moving on... slowly

I hate bloggers like me. You get you all involved in their stories, and then they fade out of existence.

The truth is, I think about my blog every day. Multiple times. Because not only am I obsessive, I am guilt ridden about mostly everything. (I'm a therapist's dream!)

Lucian is keeping me very busy these days. He's intelligent, intense, demanding, and full of energy. I adore him (of course!) and I enjoy every minute with him, but I'm not able to accomplish things while he's in my presence. Things like laundry, cleaning, etc. have to wait until he's asleep. Add to it my e*bay selling, and there's not much time left. I haven't had good success getting Lucian to play by himself for long. He will watch videos (certain videos at certain times) which months ago I couldn't get him interested in. Actually, he was interested, just more interested in his toys.

We play trains quite a bit. It's still his favorite. The other day, he asked me to play - Mama, play choo choo's? Please! I was cleaning the kitchen and told him to wait a few minutes. So he calls out to my Dad (his favorite train playing companion by far because my Dad indulges him more than anyone) who was trying to get dressed. Then he called out to my Mom, who was doing her hair. When none of us were takers, he asked the dog. In the most serious, pleading voice. He cracks me up every day.

My Dad's job is in jeopardy. We're not sure if his company is selling or closing, but something is happening and he might not have a job one way or the other come next month. We're all trying to be positive about it. He's on insulin now (and doing wonderfully) but that may affect his job choices in the future. It's out of my hands, and I'm just trying to keep the faith that things work themselves out one way or the other.

I'm sure you're wondering - what about Nemo? I wish I had been keeping a better record of events, conversations and feelings, because I can see the point I was at before, and the place I'm at now, but I'm not quite sure how to draw the line between the two.

I'm doing an unbelievable job at forgiveness. Basically what I've done is said - I am forgiving Nemo, and I've been repeating it any time I feel anything negative. There's still a lot of things that I can't think about because they hurt too much. Just this week, after a friend started talking about feeling her baby kicking, I painfully remembered that I could not get Nemo to place his hand on my stomach when I first felt kicking from the outside. While both my parents and my sister fought for a good spot, Nemo was half way across the room, barely able to pay attention. He never once felt the baby kick. I can't think about it because these things hurt me down to my soul. When I get down about these feelings, I put it out of my mind and pick myself up again. Some days it's easier than others. One day the jolt of pain won't be so severe.

Things have been a gazillion times better than they were just a year ago. Nemo has apologized to me. He's admitted that he threw our life together away. He's taken full responsibility for his actions. He's admitted to verbally and mentally abusing me. He's been working with me, instead of against me. He's shared some things with me that I can't say to the public, but let's just say that there were things in his life that he never told me about, that I have sympathy for. He's getting professional help, has made better decisions, and I believe is trying to turn his life around. I am happy for him and wish him the best. I hope that he'll turn the mess of his life into something positive.

With all these good changes, I still know of some recent lies. He's not 100% honest with me. I still worry about Lucian in his care. I was blind to a great many things about Nemo and I'm now seeing some of these things through different eyes. I guess it's a mother's job to worry. With Lucian talking more and more, it will only get easier because I'll be able to communicate with him about his safety. Hopefully that will be enough to help him make good choices when he's around Nemo.

About a month ago, Nemo and I took Lucian to a train event. We spent the day at a local tourist park, riding the train, having lunch together, and walking around seeing the sites. I think I can speak for all of us, it was a good time. I'd still rather not have Nemo in my life, but since he is, I'm going to make the best of it. And I'll admit, it was nice having someone else's help chasing Lucian. I've missed Nemo, my friend, and I think I have that person back. Maybe not in the same way or same form, but it's not uncomfortable between us. Looking at us, you'd never know that we weren't a happy couple with a toddler. I'm trying to look at it like he's a new person. My new friend, Nemo. A friendship with boundaries. And then I get to go home with my son and have my own life.