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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Diabetes Blog Week year 2, day 2

Scott Benner

What should I write about and should it be funny or serious? Usually I know what I’m going to write about before I sit down but tonight for day two of diabetes blog week, I’m going to decide with the keys.  Today’s topic is an invitation to write a letter to something or some one.

 

The recipient possibilities are nearly endless. I could easily write to Arden and say so much, to my son Cole for putting up with all of this as well as he does. My lovely wife Kelly definitely deserves to be told how amazing she is...

 

I could thank Arden’s OmniPod, DexCom 7+ or the diligent school nurses that we are so lucky to have. hmmmm... I could rant about a number of things but... wait, I’ve got it.

 

Dear Grief, Perspective and Exhaustion,

 

You three are kind of the ghosts of diabetes to me. I grew up fairly meagerly, my parents divorced when I was thirteen, we never had any money and generally things didn’t seem to go our way but I was never a sad person. I’d say that my parents getting divorced was the single worst thing that happened to me in my formidable years. With the exception of the passing of my Grandmother, who I was very close to, I didn’t have very much experience with grief. 

 

Finding out that your child has a disease that is not curable, demands twenty-four hour attention, can cause death if not properly managed and may likely shorten and or impede her life even if we follow every step correctly, well, that’s about the most succinct example of grief that I can imagine. Arden’s diagnosis felt much like you’ve heard other terrible things described. That is grief, when you arrived I felt as if a truck had been parked on my chest much like the time I realized that my first love stopped loving me, except this was a million times more intense and it lasted much, much longer. You made me cry, and stare into space more then I care to remember. For a time, I thought that I beat you and for all intents and purposes I did. You don’t loom over my days anymore and I am able to ignore the fact that you lurk around every corner and that one day I fear that you’ll return to show me that I haven’t seen anything yet. Still, I’m a better person for having met and tussled with you. I’ll thank you for that and for introducing me to your partner perspective. I want you to know that in the time between now and when we meet again I’m going to be preparing  because I don’t want you to land the first punch again.

 

I won’t bore you perspective with another note as I’ve mentioned you before here on this site. You’re an interesting fellow perspective, a master of disguise really. You appear different to each person that you introduce yourself to and your gift is back handed isn’t it? You have life’s ultimate lesson to impart but the recipient can’t be taught the entire truth without being shown the darkest depths of their own fear. The real irony is that the enlightenment you gave me came at a price that I wasn’t interested in paying. I detest that you chose us and at the same time, I thank you for your gift. Without the knowledge that comes from knowing that our dear child may pass at any time for the want of a cookie... Well, we wouldn’t feel the peace that comes from knowing how truly unimportant most things really are. I walk this life with a calm that only you could have given me - though I much preferred my former ignorance to this and would gladly trade it back if you are interested.

 

The knowledge that there is only one thing in the world that is worse then living everyday with diabetes is oddly freeing. The calm that accompanies having, what I believe is the widest perspective allowed by nature has centered me in a way that I’d have never imagined possible. Sadly, the pursuit of these truths and the daily practice of them leads to  one place - exhaustion.

 

The constant state of needing a nap that Kelly and I now exist with is the byproduct of grief and perspective’s lessons. I am winning the battle against exhaustion, having trained myself to live rather well on a few hours of broken sleep. I know that there are days that I function better then others but what frightens me is the concern that I can only keep this up for a finite amount of time and while I don’t worry about what may one day happen to me, I do worry that I won’t be able to keep this up for the amount of time that Arden requires.

 

I loath what the three of you have done to Arden and our family. I shudder when I think of all the turbulence that you’ve needlessly added to our lives and yet I can’t imagine understanding the world and this life as clearly as I do without your uninvited presence. You three are my metaphorical ghosts of past, present and future. 

 

Scott

 

You can follow me on Twitter @ArdensDay 

 

See my day three post about diabetes bloopers here.

 

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The following are archived comments from this post. You can post new comments below.

Thanks for such an honest and heart-felt post, Scott. It's amazing to see so many within this growing Diabetes Online Community taking part in this and sharing these incredible perspectives, not only today but every day this week and all the rest. I live with diabetes myself, but can't imagine what it's like to be one of the superhero parents acting like a pancreas. Props to you, and I seriously hope that someone somewhere is listening to your letter to grief and exhaustion.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 12:51 AM
Just wonderful, honest and forthright Scott. Thank you.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 06:22 AM
Ali
As a parent of two children with type 1 your letter truly touches me.  Most days you feel that no one truly understands how this disease affects every minute of our lives and then I read this and feel comforted that there are other parents dealing with the same stuff as me.  

I can't wait to read tomorrows blog!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 07:44 AM
Thank you for putting into words..the feelings that so many of us can not express...Wow!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 10:12 AM
Scott
I am overwhelmingly touched and humbled by all of your wonderful comments, thank you!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 11:24 AM
This was just excellent! I can relate to every word. Thank you for writing this.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 08:04 PM