It's easy to forget how good we have it... until life throws us a wake-up call. My sweet Scott is Type 1 Diabetic (insulin dependent for life). His highs and lows are controlled by what he eats and how much insulin he takes, but things like stress, hormonal imbalances, happiness/sadness, illness, and any other normal body changes also affect his bloodsugar. This means that even if he's doing everything right and taking the correct amount of insulin, there will randomly be nights when he goes extremely high or low. For those who don't know much about T1D, going too high means hyperglycemia or ketoacidosis, which causes kidney failure, loss in eye sight, nerve damage and amputation. Going too low means hypoglycemia, which causes blurred vision, confusion, immense hunger, seizures, and eventually loss of consciousness (a coma). Both are deadly if left untreated.
Two nights ago, I was about 5 seconds from dialing 911 for an ambulance as Scott fell into a near-comatose state. Unresponsive, thrashing, shaking, sweating. It's crazy to see someone you know like the back of your hand be completely controlled and overcome by a physical ailment. I woke up at 2:30am to him rocking his body into me the best he could. He had no control over his arms or legs. He made out the mumbled word, "bloodsugar" and I flew to the fridge for juice (the next best thing to glucagon). He guzzled a huge bottle. He was still out of it for a while. I tried to talk to him but he couldn't make out any words. I sat with my phone at the ready, watching him closely, until he finally started responding and asked for some food.
Even after he had control over his hands again and was feeding himself, I laid there trembling, wanting to make sure he was high enough before I dare fell back asleep. Scott hadn't dropped like that in over six months and I'd forgotten how scary it was. His diabetes has been a normal part of life for us since we were dating. He does an incredible job at keeping his levels within normal range and never ever complains, so although it is a life-altering illness, we don't focus on it more than we need to. Moments like these pull me out of my cocoon of safety and remind me how fragile my time is here.
The next day, all I could think about was how precious life is and how we should treat it better. Do we live each day in the moment to it's fullest, or do we live consumed by distractions? Do we prioritize our relationships to the highest degree or do we prioritize frivilous things that we cannot take with us into the next life? What are we doing right now with our fragile, sacred, incredible, blessed lives? I know that there are definitely goals I need to work on in these areas.
Living with the knowledge that you could lose your closest loved one day after day, it changes you. Knowing that Scott would slip away from me if we didn't have access to insulin is terrifying. I have been asked many times how we handle the stress, fear and despair that comes with this disease, and I have the answer: faith. Faith and fear cannot co-exist. Embrace uncertainty with acceptance and faith, and your perception will completely change. You will become fearless. You will know that no matter what happens in the future, everything is okay for the time-being. You move forward and go about your day without giving into the fear of what is to come. That is the only way that we can live life to it's fullest and seek happiness.