Category Archives: Family

Family

I’m still a good mom

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It’s 12:30am and I just woke up to find my 13, almost 14, year old daughter sound asleep next to me. This rarely happens but when it does, it either means she couldn’t fall asleep or she’s had a really rough day. Whatever the reason may be, it means the world to me.

Waking up to see her ponytail on the pillow next to me means that just maybe I’m doing an ok job. Continue reading

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Family Hope

Regret

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You’ve heard it before “make sure you tell someone you love them, you may never see them again”. I make sure I say “goodbye” and “I love you” to my kids every morning and night. If I died tonight, they would know I loved them. Not because I said the words often. Because they felt it. They know just how important they are to me, they know that I would do anything for them.

But that’s not true with everyone in my life and I think it’s safe to assume that it’s not true for you either. Continue reading

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Family Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes is Scary

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This photo is of me and my dad (yes, it was the 80s). My dad has had Type One diabetes my whole life.

My early memories of diabetes weren’t good, they were scary. My dad would have low blood sugars a lot and often need assistance. An ambulance had to come to our house more than once. I can remember my dad biting his tongue so bad during a low that there was blood all over his bed.

I used to have nightmares about getting diabetes. My dad used to always tell me there was a “one in a million” chance of me getting it. In 1988, I won the Diabetes Lottery.

Over the years, I have watched diabetes own my father. He had a brief stint working from home when he had passed out from a low, at a PGA tournament. The department of motor vehicles considered it to be a seizure and briefly suspended his driving license. He later decided to work from home full time. That fueled his “diabetes OCD”- the need to eat the same things at the same time every day. He planned any outing around his meals and his diabetes. He could not and would not go off schedule. Dinner was at 6:30pm every single night of my childhood.  Continue reading

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Family Rheumatoid Arthritis

An Interview with my Husband

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Yesterday, I shared a brief interview I did with my daughter. Today it’s my husband, Sean’s, turn. Sean and I have been together for a long time (17 years) so my Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis (2012) isn’t something he signed up for. I’ll let his answers speak for themselves but I will say that never has Sean doubted my pain. He’s never doubted how I feel and supports me 100%. He would do anything for me and I consider myself very lucky to have my best friend not only beside me going through life’s ups and downs, but beside me while I battle this jerk of a disease.

 

 

Do you ever feel frustrated or angry that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Angry that life has dealt you a seemingly unfair hand.

Are you ever scared that our children will develop a chronic illness because they have my genes?

I’m not scared but certainly concerned.

Do you understand my disease? Are there questions you want to ask but haven’t?

I understand it well and have no questions.

How does your wife having RA affect your outlook on life?

My outlook has not changed.  I am concerned about the future.

Is there anything you miss from before I was diagnosed?

Yes.  There are physical limitations and considerations that must be accounted for when planning events.  We used to playfully wrestle.

How is/will your life be better because of your first hand experience with a chronic illness?

I am more informed and empathetic towards other who may suffer from RA.  I can offer advice and support if need be.

How would you explain Rheumatoid Arthritis to others?

Having the flu constantly with extreme pain in your joints.  An extreme loss of energy.

Are you concerned with my ability to continue working?

Yes

What do you perceive as the worst part of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

As a spouse of someone with RA, the worst part is watching the person you love the most suffer.  Watching them inject themselves with chemicals that hopefully reduce the suffering all the while knowing it is harmful.  As far as the person who lives with RA themselves, I think the hardest part would be the sudden change in ability to perform simple tasks.  The inability to keep pace with the normal world and suffer with unrelenting and unpredictable bouts of pain.  Feeling alone and not truly understood.

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Family Rheumatoid Arthritis

What my daughter thinks of RA

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For Arthritis Awareness month, I wanted to do something special. I wanted to know how those closest to me, see my disease. 

My son, a typical almost 15 year old, laughed and said he’d rather not answer my questions. He does spend his time asking me questions though, which I love. He wants to see the fluid in my hip, calls me “Kobe” when I’m all taped up, and will ask me point blank about my disease. I always know where I stand with him. 

My daughter and husband can be a little more guarded with me. I had initially only asked my husband to answer questions for my blog but when my daughter found out, she begged to answer my questions too. ??? 

Below are the answers that my daughter, Gigi, soon to be 13, gave. I’ll feature my husband’s answers tomorrow. 

How would you describe Rheumatoid Arthritis? As if you were telling your friends. 

 1) I would describe RA as basically a disease that causes your joints to ache, that can sometimes make it harder to use your joints.

Do you understand my disease? Are there questions you have that you haven’t asked? Why?

2) I understand the concept of it pretty well, I just will never understand the pain you actually experience unless I get the disease.

What do you think the worst parts of RA are?

3) I think the worst part is definitely the pain, because it obviously hurts and sometimes you can’t do things as easily as I could do them. 

Do you ever feel frustrated, sad, and/or angry that I have RA?

4) I sometimes feel upset and angry because I don’t think you deserved to have this disease, and I feel upset because of all the pain you’re usually in, it’s hard to experience because I can’t do anything to make the pain go away. 

Do you think your life is or will be better because of your first-hand experience living with someone with a Chronic Illness?​

5) Yes I do think that, because if I ever get the disease I’ll know how to handle it a little easier, and if I ever am friends with someone with that disease I can kind of understand what they are going through.

Are you ever worried that you’ll develop a chronic illness because you’re related to me?

6) I am worried about it sometimes because I would not want to go through all of the pain or mainly have to deal with all of it.

-Bridgette❤️

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Family Type 1 Diabetes

You need insulin?

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My father has been in a rehab facility and was recently cleared to move into assisted living. When he arrived at the assisted living facility, he was told that they forgot to bring any diabetes supplies when they transferred him. Small problem. My father is a Type One diabetic and has been for over 60 years. He is managed on daily injections with multiple fingers sticks. They assured him they would have supplies by the next morning. Oh ok, the next morning! 

Thank goodness my father is able to speak for himself and insisted that at the very least he needed an insulin injection before dinner. What did they do? They shipped him off to the hospital. 

I have so many issues. One, my father is recovering and has an already compromised immune system so trips back and forth to the hospital should be avoided at all costs. Two, what the f? How in 2016 can health care staff, at any level, not know about diabetes? Well, they don’t and typically if they’re aware of diabetes, they only know about type 2 or just mash all of the types up into a convoluted mess.  

I feel incredibly helpless. It’s a situation where I want to take on the world. I want to educate every single person on this planet about diabetes. I want doctors, of any speciality, to all have basic knowledge of diabetes and appropriate treatment. From there, I want every nurse, every medical assistant, to understand. 

So I advocate. I share my story, my father’s story. I try to answer every question and clarify as many myths as I can. What can you do? Help me and the other 400 million diabetics worldwide. Take a minute to educate yourself and those around you. Share our stories. And please, ask questions. We love to talk about ourselves and our diabetes! 

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Family

Pause

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It’s early. 6 am. I’m cold, sitting on my couch, covered in blankets. The living room curtains are open, as they are every morning, for the cat. Even though it’s pitch black out, he sits and waits for the sun every morning. 

Out of the darkness comes the trash truck. Three men are running behind it, no doubt freezing, in the dark, grabbing the trash and tossing it in the back. No one is around to notice this. 

  
I instantly think of my late Grandmom. She would’ve noticed. She would’ve had a cold Coke waiting for them in the summer, chocolate chip cookies in the winter. She would stand at her storm door and wave with the most beautiful smile splashed across her face. 

My Grandmom noticed everyone and everything. Even though her townhouse community had a large, central mailbox, the mailman brought her mail to her door. When she was dying, with barely any energy to speak, she knew the mailman was there and motioned for someone to get him a cold soda from the fridge. 

Losing her was hard. I miss her voice- the excitement in it when she said one of my children’s names. I miss her stopping by, in her blue coat, for never more than 10 minutes. She never sat down and sometimes never made it further than the entryway. It was like she needed to lay eyes on you. I miss that. 

In honor of her and the new year upon us, take a minute and step back wherever you are and channel my Grandmom for a bit. Make sure your bird feeders are full to the brim. Make sure you say hello to everyone- the person cleaning the bathroom at work or cutting the grass. Ask them if they need anything- a bottle of water, cup of coffee. And if you’re in school, for goodness’ sake, please get a hundred. 

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Daily Prompts Family

My Precious

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Today’s Daily Prompt: Precious

Who is the person in your life who can do no wrong? Describe this person and tell us why you hold them in such high esteem.

For this prompt, I have to go with my son. Although he has, and still will, do plenty of wrong, as most pre-teen boys do, he will always remain precious to me. In my eyes, his “wrongs” are never really as bad as they actually are.

Why is he so precious to me?
– He has a true sense of self. He knows who he is and never falters.
– He wakes up every morning with a smile and has done so since the day he was born.
– He cares deeply for everyone and everything. He worries about stray cats left out in the winter as much as he worries about someone being mean to his sister at school.
– He’s funny. He knows how to make me (and plenty of others) laugh out loud when you least expect it.

He may walk a few steps behind me in public, but I know he loves me and I love him, my precious boy. And that’s really all that matters.

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