I (Rob) tend to be a very private person when it comes to my diabetes struggles. For 18 years I could not let anyone know that I was weak, or out of control. I did not want anyone else to suffer my pains and struggles. My journey of survival was a lonely one... until now. I want to share with you my experience waking up tonight on the concrete in my back yard.
Emma saved my life today. I was gaining consciousness as she was there holding my head up pouring apple juice down my throat and forcing me to eat a banana. How did I get there? What happened? At the time I did not know much but I knew my head hurt, my elbow was starting to swell, and I was cold. I phased in and out of consciousness having more juice for what seemed to be an eternity. After I was sure I was okay I tried to sit up only to fall back forced to wait a bit longer. A few minutes later Emma helped me sit up. I could see my swinging bench and hammock stand were in disarray, not where I left them earlier. Emma recounts the events up to the point of me passing out. We were in the spa and we had just gotten out when I went to reset the spa to "sleep mode" (that is the last thing I remember). Emma tells me I backed away from the spa and said "uh oh, get me something quick" then BOOM I went down. I guess I was standing in the grass when I said it but I landed hard on the concrete on the other side of the bench. Next thing I know there is Emma sitting over me calm as a summer morning with a cup of apple juice and a banana. Have you ever woken up to see and actual angel sitting over you? I can say I have. As I sit here typing this out I realize my back is hurt too.
Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened to me in the last 12 MONTHS. One other time it was Cosette who helped me out of such a fix. Apparently she was upset that I took her banana and inhaled it when I gained consciousness last summer. I am not sure if she even realized what happened. I was working in the yard finishing up my new block wall. Emma ran down the road for a few minutes with the boys and Cosette was next door. I don't recall much of what was going on at that exact moment only that I realized that the reality my brain was experiencing was not mine. I was in a different place doing something completely different than what I knew I was actually doing. At that moment I called Emma on the phone. She was on speed dial so it did not take much. I could not lift the phone to my head. I did not have muscle control any longer but I could see she answered it and so I said in my slurred speech "I need you." That is the last thing I remember. She was about a mile down the road and the next thing I know Cosette is standing there with a banana, a minute later Emma comes running through the door and forces some more juice in me (I think). It took time for Emma to get in the van and drive back home so I knew I was out for a while.
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to believe you are dying? It is short and painless. Passing out because of your diabetes is sudden. There is no time for your life to pass before you or to think that your kids are going to be fatherless. Survival is the only important piece of the experience. Now twice I have come to see my sweet wife calmly taking control, being that angel who knows exactly what to do and how to handle the situation, ever the strong one between us. The aftermath is where I feel sorrow. It is when I cry knowing that my family could have been one short for a while. Emma and I embrace, shed a few more tears, and expressed out devotion to one another. One day I may not be so lucky, but for now I am the luckiest man alive, thank goodness I am alive.
Diabetes SUCKS! It is unpredictable and ever changing day by day. I have some good days, some bad days, some great days and some really horrible days. Today was pretty darn great but ended on a pretty horrible note. My head still hurts, my elbow is still swollen, and my back is stiff. Oh and don't forget my pride, Superman is not perfect after all.