When Piet was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it was like having a newborn. Oh, and we did actually have a newborn. That meant no sleep from nighttime feedings and blood sugar checks every other hour. I was constantly tired and worried and hungry and stressed. We were figuring out our new lifestyle as a family of five, along with the responsibility of acting as a human pancreas, and it was a lot.
When I looked in the mirror, I hated what I saw, but didn’t have the time or energy to change it. There were bags under my eyes, a layer of post pregnancy/stress eating weight that made all of my clothing too tight, and some new wrinkles that found their way across my face. I looked like someone I didn’t know, but there was nothing I could do. I was in survivor mode.
When Kammie turned four months old, and we had two months of experience with Piet’s diagnosis, I finally felt like I could breath for a second. I decided to make a change, and focus on myself, even if it was just for twenty minutes each day. I usually took that time to exercise, and looked forward to my “me” time. Of course, this was made possible by Jacob, who encouraged me to take a time out from the kids, and he would say, “Trust me, because I can handle it.”
One Sunday afternoon in early November, my mom called me. She told me about an idea she had, and thought I should start writing a blog to bring awareness to type 1. I always loved writing, but wasn’t confident enough to put myself out there. But now I had a reason, a purpose, and it was the exact push I needed.
My “me” time transformed into writing sessions. It became my weekly therapy, my release. Writing helped build up my confidence, and gave me goals and dreams to pursue. I love teaching about type 1, and sharing our family story. And, believe me, I have SO many more stories to tell!
Now when I look in the mirror, I see someone different. Where my eyes were once tired, they are now full of hopes and dreams. My body is slowly releasing the extra weight, as my stress level gradually lessens. My new wrinkles are badges of honor from all my life experience along the way. Without this lifestyle, I would not be the courageously strong person I have transformed into. So, thanks, Mom!