This is one of the first blogs I wrote for TuDiabetes back in August 2014. It still resonates within me and the moment is still etched in my mind.
You know those moments in life that freeze, and it seems like everyone in the room is frozen but you. Time just shuts down, and you are stuck in slow motion. I have had that experience a couple of times. Most of them involve a traumatic injury. But this did not, and frankly shocked me.
My husband really does not say much about me having diabetes. In fact, I thought he really didn’t even seem to understand much about it all. Which was fine by me. But this has all started to change when I finally starting pumping last year after 19 years of multiple daily shots (MDI). He has started to ask more questions, and I was really surprise by the knowledge he does have.
As some of you know, I recently found my voice as an advocate last year. With my health insurance woes, I have been busy fighting for coverage for all who have diabetes and have the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) for the State of Georgia. I have even meet with the Director of Community Health about the lack transparency of diabetes coverage. The biggest score on this whole mess was a meeting with Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Ga Vice President, head of their Nursing Program, and the head of their Health Coach Program, who managed the SHBP.
It was in this meeting that time stood still. I normally do not involve my husband in such things. But for some reason, I asked him to tag along. Which ended up being a good thing, because the VP and my husband knew each other, but had not seen each other in seven years. Once they recognize each other, it put the whole room at ease.
We were talking about how blood glucose numbers should not be a judgment. That it is just a number that tells you what your treatment options are. I started to talk about the lows….now my husband, who had not said a word since the small talk…and we were an hour into this meeting…. spoke up.
And time stop. I have never heard him utter one word about his feelings about me having diabetes and the impact on him. While I had always wondered about his thoughts, I had never taken the opportunity to really discussed it with him. Mostly because I was so bent on hiding it. And there, in this meeting, is where he decided to share his emotional distress over me – the worries of me not waking up in the morning, the worries of me driving, the worries he had when the kids were little, and the worries from hospitalizations of DKA from the result of food poisoning, not once but twice. The impact of the years that I had struggled with low blood glucose levels and high blood glucose levels had taken its toll on him. And I sat there in awe…not realizing how much it had impacted him.
I am sure there was an awkward pause when he finish. I was so taken aback, that I forgot where we were. As I wiped the tears away, I looked at the VP sitting there, and wondered if he would get how frustrating it was not to get the supplies you need. I wondered what his thoughts would be if his love ones were denied test strips and insulin. I wondered how he would feel about talking to a health coach once a month, who has never seen an insulin pump or didn’t even know what a CGM was. I wondered if he got the big picture. I wondered how he would feel if it was his wife in my shoes..or his children.
I then looked back at my husband, who smiled lovingly at me. I reached under the table and grab his hand. The meeting that was supposed to be about the fight for affordable healthcare choices for the 650,000 state employees had morphed into one of the most emotional endearing moment of my life. And it will forever be a moment frozen in time.