Together Forever

Some people, including some of my close family members, are afraid of going to see the doctor because they fear they might find out that they have something wrong. I was never one of those people: I’ve always been a pretty healthy person. Even as a child, the few times I’d get a fever, it would only last a day or two. So I’ve always gone to my routine checkups without hesitations and even got complimented on how good my cholesterol levels looked.

It was time again for my yearly checkup. As usual, I had to tell the tech that I needed to lay down or I might faint. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a needle phobia: at my first dentist visit when I was 6 years old I puked all over their carpet – I’m sure they must have loved that. Vaccines were a fun time too: the doctor had to run around the desk to try to catch me, and in the end my dad had to help him hold me down.

Anyhow that summer, at age 32, I went in for my annual checkup and had my blood drawn, and didn’t think too much about it after. The following morning, a Friday, I got a call from the doctor’s office: they wanted me to come in as soon as I could, so I set an appointment for a few hours later. I became a bit nervous since the doctor would always just send the lab results in the mail.  From what I’d heard, they would only call if something was wrong. Those hours leading to the appointment seemed eternal:  I started googling what were the worst things that could be found through blood work, but that was just making me even more anxious.

The appointment time finally came so I biked from work to the doctor’s office. My normally smiling doctor this time looked extremely serious.  I sat down and he simply said “well, it’s never easy to tell someone that they have diabetes, I’m sorry”. At the moment I couldn’t really grasp what that meant since I knew nothing about diabetes, in fact I could only think of how the word “diabete” (in Italian) always made me think of the fir tree, which is called “abete”. Sitting on the doctor’s bed that thought sounded pretty ridiculous in my head. He said something about my blood sugars being so elevated that he didn’t even know how I could still function so well and told me he was surprised that I hadn’t ended up in the ER. Then he told me how I should watch what I eat, and prescribed me some Gliyburide and Lipitor.

Once the appointment was over I had to call someone to pick me up since the doctors said it was dangerous for me to ride the bike in those conditions. I felt completely lost and my head was spinning.

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Babies just want to be held

When my DH and I got married, 12 short years ago, I didn’t think I ever wanted to have children. It was not that I didn’t like children, but I cherished my life the way it was and probably deep down I felt like I had all the time in the world to change my mind.

So I went on to enjoy my carefree life, and any motherly instinct I had was satisfied by giving love to my shaggy dog. I had him since I was a teenager, and he actually moved across the globe with me, so he was pretty much my first son.

At the beginning of our married lives, DH and I attended a preconception workshop offered by a local hospital. I  wasn’t ready for kids, so maybe I thought that the workshop would help scare the baby thoughts away from my DH’s mind, since he felt ready to take the plunge at that time. The only thing I remember about the workshop was the speaker telling us how important it is to hold our babies, because all of the tools that parents nowadays deem as necessary for babies are simply things created to take “the load” off of them (swings, bouncy chairs, etc.) and that was why many babies had flat heads. Nothing much changed after that workshop, and we continued our journey of 10 more years as a couple.

In hindsight that would have been a perfect time to get pregnant: we were both much younger, but most of all I did not have Type 1 Diabetes yet, so it would have been so much easier to go through pregnancy.