I wanted this blog to be about my family's experience with my son's Type 1 Diabetes. My family is more than just diabetes, but I want this blog to be focused on how it affects our family. I hope other T1D parents find it helpful, and that my family and friends find it informative.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Other Half

2005-before marriage/business/kids/t1d

This blog is written from my perspective as the MOTHER of a T1D (now 3 year old) boy and how our family is dealing with this.  But, my husband has his own view of how our family is changed, how we handle T1D, and his own emotions surrounding our son's diagnosis.  Getting him to write about these feelings however, isn't going to happen soon so for now I am choosing to continue with my views, and include my views on my husband.

Most moms that I have known (T1D families or not) feel that their husbands can not care for the kids the way that us moms do.  This is not a criticism from most moms, just a simple biological fact.  Most moms I know, especially new moms, have very low expectations for when Dad is watching the kiddos... like "If they are alive when I get home, then he did a good job," or "As long as they eat dinner and get into bed I am happy."  We don't expect the house to be kept the way we keep it, or dinner to be well balanced, or tv rules to be stuck to... we are just happy that we were able to take a break.  (If you and your husband have different standards, my hat is off to you... but among my circle of friends this is kinda the standard.)

When we first came home after Johnny's diagnosis I felt the weight of this on my shoulders.  That doesn't mean my husband wasn't there and wouldn't help, I just TOOK IT from him.  I wanted to make sure Johnny was cared for completely and as his mom, I felt I would do it best.  My husband is 100% supportive of me and I think he "let" me take over for 3 reasons... 1) He was a little scared; 2) He knew I would do a great job; 3) He knew I wouldn't be happy unless it was my way.  Poor guy, and yet this is why we are a team.  Even though I did most of Johnny's T1D management at first, it takes a team player to back off and let me do what I needed to do.  After a few weeks I started to let go of this control and started to ask my husband to take on more and more responsibility for managing Johnny.  It was hard, sometimes he didn't do things EXACTLY the way I wanted him to.  Sometimes the parts of his management that I found to be extremely important, he let slide.  I broke down and cried many times after finding out that my husband didn't check him when I would have, or didn't give him carbs when I would have, or the list goes on and on.  I felt like this would forever be my job to take seriously because my husband didn't.  Well, of course that isn't true.  It is very similar to all parenting topics, we don't do things exactly the same way... but that's okay.  Our son is okay, and needs to know that he can be with Dad and be safe even if it isn't like it is with Mom.  We still have situations when I feel my husband should have handled something relating to T1D differently but it is no longer upsetting... it just comes with having multiple people caring for Johnny.  I am so lucky to have multiple people who can/want to care for him, and as long as he is safe I have to let go of a few details. 

While we are preparing Johnny to get an insulin pump we have had to do a lot more intensive logging of blood glucose readings as well as food logs.  We had to check blood glucose at morning, 2 hours after breakfast, before lunch, 2 hours after lunch, before dinner, 2 hours after dinner, bed time, midnight, and 3 am.  Then we had to log in detail what Johnny ate, when he ate it, exactly how much he ate, and how many carbs were in it.  We also had to make notes about abnormal activities such as pool time, or play dates, or being sick, or being sleepy.  It was a lot to log for a week, but adding the midnight and 3 am checks for a week was exhausting.  In the middle of this week long logging I was admitted into Labor and Delivery at 34 weeks and had to stay for 3 days for tests.  I prepared myself for the possibility that between caring for Johnny around the clock, driving back and forth to the hospital, and managing our 2 businesses that the Logging might not get done by my husband.  I decided that it would be okay and that I wouldn't even mention it to him and I would be completely understanding if he didn't continue with it.  There is only so much 1 person can do.  To my surprise when I got home from the hospital it HAD been done!  Because of this we were able to meet with Johnny's team the day after I was home from the hospital and have been approved to order his insulin pump... 1 step closer!  

I want to share with everyone how proud I am of my husband.  He really is my other half.  Often when I feel like I am doing more than my "half" I should take a step back and really look at if I would let him do more or if I took it from him.  Whenever I have needed someone to fall back on and catch me he has done it, and I am sure he could/would do it a lot more if I wasn't the control freak that I am.  I am certain that he often isn't doing more because I have made it my job and he knows not to step on my toes.  I am also certain this doesn't apply to housework, lol... but that is okay! 

I love you John!  Thank you for being my other half in this family, and for catching me when I stumble.  I don't give you enough credit sometimes.

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