I am blessed to have married the strongest and most remarkable woman I have ever met. I was amazed at her ability to make the most of what life brought and not get too hung up on the small stuff. After all, Vicki and I were, and still are, in the prime of our lives. She is deeply passionate about living her life and raising our family including three children and a pugnacious puggle, Miss Lola. We have dreams of traveling the world when we aren't breathing in the salt air at "Bikini Bottom", our beach house on Topsail Island. We had made plans and were on our way to living our lives to the fullest.
Vicki and I had only been married a few years when we found out that she was suffering from the effects caused by type I diabetes. We had not considered including a devastating illness such as diabetes into our life itinerary. I say "our" Itinerary because, it is she that has this disease and always will unless something new is discovered. I, however, have the privilege of loving her and it broke my heart that my rock solid wife was sick. How was she going to deal with this? How was this going to affect her? How was this going to affect us? What was I supposed to do to support her with this disease? All I knew about diabetes was what I heard on the news and it was all sensationalized, which, of course was all negative. This diagnosis was completely out of nowhere. How does one just come down with that? After all, she only had an unquenchable thirst for a few days, nothing really else. By the way, what is this type I, I thought? Was this not as bad as type II? Maybe there was hope for a full recovery and the doctors just left that part out. I could only pray. This sort of thing was not on her bucket list, nor mine.
Never to suffer would be never to have been blessed. - Edgar A Poe
I was fortunate to have visited with a life coach over the past several years and even receive life coach training. I grew to understand how profound the above quote is. Of all the things I have learned from this experience, it is to never pretend to give therapy or attempt to coach your spouse and to relish every day of life as it comes.
We truly are incapable of deriving meaning from all the things we experience in our lives. I remember the sucker punch feeling after her diagnosis. The notion of real helplessness overcame me. I thought that the feeling of devastation would never go away. I grew to learn, that this was a blessing which we both needed to honor and recognize all the many blessings that we have in our lives; to embrace our life rather than brace for it.
Before long, the hopeless and helpless feelings disappeared and Vicki is navigating her life with diabetes like a pro. She has faced this disease with tremendous wisdom and grace. I have learned to simply be by her side, which is closer thanever. While we embrace every day more and more, we look forward to what comes next and are determined to live our lives with passion and diabetes.
Submitted by David Norris. His wife, Vicki, has lived with diabetes since 2009. They reside in Wake Forest, NC.