Diabetes, Complications and Love: Love is Strongest
December 30, 2013
I can remember the first time I saw the love of my life. She walked in to my office on a tour as part of the new employee orientation. She was wearing dark pants and a denim shirt. Her long blonde curls falling to the middle of her back framed the most beautiful face I had ever laid eyes on.
I can remember our first date. I can remember the first kiss and the day I decided that she was the one for me. I could describe every detail of the day I got down one knee and asked her to spend forever with me. My memories of our wedding day, finding out we were going to have a baby, our son’s birth: they are all fresh in my mind.
You are wondering what does this have to do with Amber’s diabetes? When I sat down to write this I thought I should start with the day I found out that she had type 1 diabetes, but I can’t remember. It has always just been a part of our life together. It is a part that I would take on myself if that meant she no longer had to do it, but it is a part of her that I gave no more consideration than she gave to the freckles on my skin. That is not to say that I didn’t care to educate myself or that I treat it with nonchalance. My point is: she is my wife first and foremost and oh - by the way, she has diabetes. She is not diabetes.
After 23 years (15 with my help), Amber’s diabetes has decided that it wants to take a more prevalent role in our everyday lives. The hardest part of this disease for me is watching the toll it is taking on Amber’s body and spirit, wishing I could take it all away. On the plus side, we have realized a growth and deepening of our relationship that only comes through suffering. I relish the opportunity to be there for my wife to provide her with whatever she needs and I am amazed at her ability to be there for me when it would seem that she is at the end of her emotional rope. She is an amazing woman.
With the increased attention required to manage diabetes, we went looking for help. That is when Amber found DiabetesSisters. The support provided by this group as well as the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) has helped the both of us tremendously. Amber had not had any interaction with a support network prior to this. We attended the Weekend for Women Conference in San Francisco in October 2013. I was very grateful to be an attendee in the Partner's Perspective Program. The chance to meet with and talk to other partners was a Godsend for me.
I do not know what else is in store for us. I do know that at this time it would seem as if I have to standby and watch as the highs and lows take their toll. However I do not have to stand idly by. Even though some complications have reared their ugly head, I maintain that we live our life with diabetes, not for diabetes.
Submitted by Isaac Gentry. His wife, Amber, has lived with diabetes for 22 years. Issac and Amber currently reside in Santa Rosa, CA.