Yesterday I wasn't in a mood to talk because I was busy dwelling on thoughts of what Lily lost a year ago when she was diagnosed. Life as a diabetic can be hard and not nearly as carefree as I wish it would be for her. But, somewhere between then and now, my thoughts have changed. I've started thinking about what she's gained. The pictures I posted tell part of the story. A year ago, she looked tired and thin and pale. Lily has always measured in the smaller end of the spectrum. At her two-year checkup, she weighed in the 8th percentile. Tiny. Five months after diagnosis, she had shot up four inches and gained a few pounds! The change in her was incredible! She had more life in her eyes. She had more energy (which, as troublesome as it can be at times, is a good thing). She was a much more spunky, lively, little girl. And I've loved seeing her bloom as she has grown and developed. That alone is worth the stress and strain of parenting a diabetic child!
I've also started thinking about what we, as a family, have gained through Lily's diagnosis. A year ago, my husband and I were still having a very rough time adjusting to life with two children. We were bickering more and resenting each other and growing further apart. I can look back and honestly say that I think our marriage was in serious danger at that point in time. We just weren't communicating with each other and we were both putting way too much of our efforts into looking at how the other person was wrong and how we each were right. We weren't paying any attention to what the other person needed or what the other person was doing right. Our marriage problems didn't go away when Lily was diagnosed. They subsided for a little bit as we learned how to take care of her, but they came roaring right back in once we got back to our daily routines. I honestly don't know if we would have taken the steps we did if it hadn't been for Lily's diagnosis. Marriage is hard, with or without kids, with or without diabetes. It takes a lot of work. And something we just weren't realizing....it requires us to let go of our desire to be right so we can look at all the ways that we are wrong. Our problems weren't because of Lily's diagnosis, but I do think her diagnosis helped drive us to take the step of pursuing marriage counseling. And that has made a huge difference! Things aren't perfect and I doubt they ever will be, but we've definitely picked up some new skills on how to help each other and how to at least try to look at how things might be in the other person's perception. I can't speak so much for my husband, but I know that I've learned to respect him so much more and to value his input in things. Not that I didn't before, but in some things, I may have pushed off what he was saying without realizing that much of what we do should be a collaborative effort. I've developed a great deal more respect for his knowledge and understanding of things. And, perhaps most importantly, I've learned how to hold on to those feelings of adoration and love that I've always had for him. I can get frustrated with him and upset with him and still, underneath that, I know that I truly 100% love and respect and admire him. I remember even when I'm feeling cranky that he's an absolutely amazing person and I'm so lucky to have him!
What an amazing year it's been for us! Heartbreaking, stressful, long year. But you know what? I don't think I would have traded one minute of it!