Bonnie McCulloch

Seven Year Itch

No it’s not what you think-I still love my funny sweet husband but I would love to be able to end my seven-year relationship with Type 1 Diabetes.

Seven years ago today-yes on Halloween-I got a phone call that changed my life. “Bonnie, I am sorry to tell you this but you have Diabetes”. At that very moment I was drinking a latte and eating chocolate covered graham crackers. My doctor at the time asked me if I could come to the office to talk about a plan.  When she walked into the room I burst into tears and she hugged me as I sobbed.

After telling my husband, family and friends I thought now what?  How am I going to live my life? How am I going to be a good mother? The first week of my diagnosis is still really a blur.  John was 3 and had no idea thankfully what was going on.  I was fortunate enough to get into Newton Wellesley Hospital with a wonderful endocrinologist who I love. I had no real information on how to live with this chronic illness.

There were many trials and tribulations along the way but they all seem to work out in the end.  Once I was on the correct medicine I started to feel a little more normal-slowly. It’s a lot to maintain on a daily basis but after seven years I don’t remember what it was like to just be able to eat cake.  Sounds funny but I love cake and now, before I eat anything, I have to give myself an insulin shot (or 2 or 3).

As I look back on the last seven years aside from the Diabetes-my life is really good.  Everything else is what I had always hoped for-a loving husband, to be a mom to John, have the love of family and friends and to do what I love-teach yoga.

I want to thank my family and friends for never treating me any different.  I thought that people wouldn’t want to leave their kids with me for fear of low blood sugar or a really high one or that people may view me as “sick”. I had all these crazy thoughts about what my life would look like.  Also I want to thank a few of my friends who have been with me during some of my worst blood sugar lows.  They kept me calm and made me feel safe in a very scary situation.

I have heard that it’s important how you describe yourself-are you a person with Diabetes or are you a Diabetic? I am a Diabetic not just a person with Diabetes.  If I don’t take care of my health first, then I can’t be any good at all the other things that define me: A Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Friend and a Yoga Instructor. 

Although I would love to end my seven-year relationship with Diabetes (not in my lifetime) I am grateful for the perspective it has given me on my life.  It has made more fearless-this can be good and bad-but it has made me realize the importance of truly living the life that I have.  Not waiting around for it to happen but to make it happen. Today, after having dealt with the multiple insulin shots a day and checking my sugar more than I should, I feel blessed. It has opened my eyes to things I would have never seen before.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us”.

Joseph Campbell



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