Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have I changed? Is change even good?

Have I changed since I was diagnosed? Well, considering I was diagnosed at the age of 12, I would really hope I did. I mean, when I was diagnosed I still played with dolls for heavens sake! (Now I just wish I could play with dolls. They're so fun!!) Also, when I was diagnosed with diabetes I was the kind of kid that screamed at the mere sight of a needle. I mean, my father had to take me to get shots whenever I needed them cuz my mother couldn't bare to hear her daughter scream so loud. The day I was diagnosed, the first time they checked my blood sugar, that tiny little poke that has become the most normal thing in my life, made me scream so loud I think they had to call down every staff member in the entire ER (including janitors;) to hold me down so they could poke me. Now....well, occasionally I put in a pump set and it hits a nerve and the resulting pain is so severe that you can probably hear my yelps from across the country. But on a normal basis though, you won't find me being restrained 6 to 10 times a day so that I can test my blood sugar. And I'm pretty sure the nurse at the lab found it strange when a 13 year old kid asked her if she can stick the needle in herself. So I guess I have changed.
But in all seriousness, all maybe not ALL but I'll I changed? And how can you tell if someone had changed as a result if diabetes, or anything else that happens to them in their lives?
And of course, we have to remember the most important question, which is: is changing as a result of hardships in life really a good thing??
Think about this. I dunno if any parents are reading this, but at least try to imagine you had a little child. Now try to imagine that that little child was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Picture this: the hospital staff is giving you a crash course in becoming a full time caregiver. You are learning about things you never thought normal people do. You are injecting your own child a couple of times a day, weighing every bite of food that goes into your 6 year old's mouth, poking his finger and learning to squeeze out a drop of blood, and of course, you are learning what a pancreas is, which is the best pharmacy in the neighborhood, and how long it takes to drive to the area's best pediatric endocrinology clinic.
There is probably one thought that stands out the loudest from the mess of thoughts flying through your brain. I mean, yes, you are probably wondering how you are supposed to be sleeping when you need to do 2 am blood sugar checks. And you probably get this sinking feeling in your heart when it occurs to you that frum private schools usually don't have full time school nurses. But one thought stands out most. Trust me. (Well, you probably shouldn't. I have never been through it from this point of view B"H.) you are thinking of your child. You are thinking: "I hope my child will still me able to live a normal life. I hope my child will still be able to do anything every other child does."
If someone would say to you at that point: "your child will develop a heightened sense of maturity as a result if all the suffering he'll endure" you'd probably get very upset. It would probably be the last thing your want to here at that point.
So I ask you again: is changing as a result if diabetes, or something else life throws at you such a good thing?
The answer is of course it is!
But in a different way than you think.
To understand my theory on this, you have to understand my view of maturity. So, before I write what I think maturity means, please tell me, what do you think maturity is?


halfshared said...

Okay, I hear what you say about it not necessarily changing you either way. I just know that I'm sort of fed up with the frum world's demand for perfection. Yes, I know there's a lot of garbage out there and a whole lot of beauty in the frum world, but I really think that people have to learn to be more open-minded and accepting of situations and people that are less than perfect (in their eyes), if the end result still can be perfect (for them). Like who is to say that a person with diabetes can't be a wonderful, productive spouse and live a long happy life? Why so much caution? Why are people so afraid of challenges? I'm not sure how clear I'm being but I feel like- just because someone appears to have everything going for them, money, looks, health, wealth etc..doesn't mean inside they are good. And isn't middos and yiras shamayim the most important thing in life?

anon#1 said...

I agree with halfshared. A person is not what they have, but what they make of themselves.

On the other hand, there are situations that I know I can't deal with. That doesn't mean that the person in question is not a great person - it just means that I would not be able to marry into whatever situation he is in. When it comes to something like this, a person has to think realistically if they can do this.

Something Different said...

Ok, I pretty much think you'll agree with my definition of maturity. I am going to post it soon.

Anon, I dunno if you are talking about diabetes, but there is not much for the spouse to do. I take care of my diabetes needs 100%. I don't see what my husband would have to deal with...

anon#1 said...

SD, I was talking more about family situations than health issues.

No, I didn't think that your husband will have to start poking your fingers and checking your blood sugar!