I’ve written a couple of installations on the theme of ‘My Diabetes Team.’ This being my final, it is also the most important. Out of all the team members I have, my family have been the ones who are there all time, the ones I rely on, the ones I lean on most. The doctors, the registered dietitians, the pharmacists…they are all important professional supports. They have their role in my health care. But my family is who I live with. They live with me daily seeing the struggles. They are the ones cheering me on, the ones who are (almost) as happy as I am after I come back from seeing the doctor. They are the ones handing me the whining towel when I need to whine, picking up the tasks I need to leave in order to walk, walking the journey with me at my side so I don’t have to ‘go it alone,’ handing me Kleenex when I need to cry… I could go on but I think you get the picture.
My immediate family consists of my husband, my young adult kids, my daughter and my son. What an amazing family! My immediate family see the daily ups. There are many ups. Yes I have diabetes. But, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not the end of MY world. It was however the start of a new world. I learned to eat healthy. I learned to walk. I learned to test my blood sugars. My family walked beside me through all of it.
This world was also very foreign to me. There were some tears. My husband, daughter and son were there when I needed to cry. They hugged me when I needed a hug. They listened when I needed to talk. They stayed by my side when I was angry, when I was b**chy. I know they don’t always understand the mood swings I have occasionally that are part of diabetes. They have never held it against me or left my side.
My extended family is my mom, my two brothers, my sister in law and her mom. They are further removed from me as they all live in other cities. My mom is 86 yrs old and still worries about her ‘baby.’ She asks about the diabetes often even though I know she doesn’t really understand. My brothers, sister-in-law and her mom are there more in a quiet way but I feel their support when we are together.
I cannot say enough about how lucky I am to have my family as the most important part of my diabetes team. I am very lucky. Very blessed. I only wish all persons with diabetes had the love and support I have.
I have to go get a Kleenex now. Sniff.
*Please remember, family can be defined however YOU define it. It doesn’t have to be the traditional definition I write about. It doesn’t make your family, any less family. Whoever your family is, they are part of your diabetes team. They are there for you too.*