The car is where I grieve. It always has been. I remember sitting in my car, staring at my own face in the rear-view mirror, watching the tears well up and threaten to run over.
"Diabetes." I repeated, over and over, "diabetes." The word felt like poison in my mouth. It caused watery eyes to turn into rivers cascading down my cheeks. I forced myself to go through this ritual every time I got in the car. Every. Time.
It occurred to me why people would say things like "She's got the sugar." or "He just needs a touch of insulin." There is a heartbreaking finalization in the word "diabetes".
I made myself go through this ritual because I had to learn to say it. I could text it. I could talk about blood sugar and insulin and needles and meters. It was just a matter of days before the care of the disease was natural. We were checking blood sugars and giving shots. It was the word I couldn't say.
See, there is a disconnect between my head and my heart. My head is prepared to do battle everyday. In just the 8 or so weeks since diagnosis, I've learned that diabetes is a bipolar bitch. Sometimes it plays nicely and can be sweet talked into submission. Other times, it goes bat shit crazy and it needs to be fought. My heart isn't ready to accept it, and it may never. I can't look too closely at his skin when I give him insulin injections, because I see the little points I have given him injections. In my head, I know that those injections save his life. In my heart, I'm sticking a needle into his perfect skin 3-5 times a day.
It's still hard to say the word, but it is getting easier. I can say 'diabetes' without crying. I even said it to a waitress. I haven't said it to a lot of people though- so here is my public declaration
Michael has diabetes. He was diagnosed on April 6, 2018.