Okay. It's been a month since Mr. Rose offered to take some questions from my readers to help me formulate a blog post. But FIRST he had to write a paper on Hinduism. Then Islam. And one other world religion that I can't remember right now. And then I kinda, sorta, well...didn't get to it.
But here it is.
So...without further ado...
(PS...you'll find my commentary in red. Because it's my blog.)
Color me honored that you bloggies would like to know more about Mrs. Candy Hearts’ other pain in the ol’ ARSE. I am, by far, the biggest kid in this crazy house (this is true), and can often be found inciting mini-riots when my SEAHAWKS are doing what they do best these days…which is to lose. Before I get to answering your awesome questions, I feel it is my duty to pass along a small bio about me, Jay Rose:
First and Foremost, Jesus is my center and in this house we can do all things through Christ, period.
B- I am a father 4 daughters, which to me, is a greater responsibility than most can fathom. I use words like trust, honor, love…subcompact 40caliber, shovel, and edge-of- the-desert. These words are all true, Boys beware, they (the girls) get to choose the order.
Lastly, I usually take things as they come. I don’t get worked up over much.
(“First, B, Lastly”. Not 1, 2, 3. Typical.)
Now, on to answering your questions:
How do we split duties? I’m not sure if you have ever heard Wendy say “Team Rose”, but that’s what we are…a team, all 5 of us. I leave all the adjusting of Sugar’s pump stuff to Wendy, because I’m gone 12-13hrs a day, and Wendy has a better handle on what’s going on with her blood sugars. I could do it, if needed. Also, because of my work schedule, Wendy usually does all the night checks. I do, however, check Sugar right before I leave (5am) when needed.
(For the record, I haven’t ever inserted a Dex sensor. He’s done every last one of them since we got the system almost a year ago. He’s also completely proficient in filling the pump, inserting sites, checking/troubleshooting numbers, and doing shots. We also both cook and prepare meals, plus he can SWAG pretty dang well. He brings Sugar a McD’s lunch every other Friday. I’ve never done that. He’s not giving himself enough credit. Love him.)
Grief? I really didn’t grieve Diabetes. Maybe a little, but I looked at it this way: It is what it is. I know that might be hard to stomach for some, but, to me, there was no point in wondering WHY. We needed to get on living, because she depended on me to be strong. However, when that Celiac diagnoses came along, it killed me. Not because it was another thing she had to deal with, but because I saw her face when she was told she couldn’t eat something she loved. It broke my heart. I still have issues with Celiac…I wanna kick it right in the ol’ beanbag…if you get my drift.
(After Sugar’s D dx, he gave the first shot when it was time to transition out of the PICU. He did all the finger pokes for the first week, because I was in shock. He made sure our local pharmacy could get half unit syringes. After we came home, I was content to stay in the house and never leave. I felt safe there. He’s the one who packed her up and took her to the mall on his own…he led by example. Celiac was hard on all of us. Despite being a huge lifestyle change, guess who packed her up again and went for the first GF grocery shopping trip? Hint: It wasn’t me.)
Biggest Fear? This might surprise you, but I fear she will rebel, and not want to take care of herself. I have been told it happens, but I pray it doesn’t. I don’t know how to prepare for it, and that scares me.
Hardest part of being a T1 Dad? Just being a grown up is the hardest part. I treat Sugar as if she is no different from her sisters, and, with that, I occasionally miss some steps (checking sugar before eating, leaving the bag at home when we go out for an errand, etc).
How has T1D changed me? There are few changes, but one that comes to mind is that my patience has gotten a little smaller with other people. I’ll admit that, when I see a fat 8 yr old with a face covered in pizza sauce and a hand full of chocolate waddling around, I get a bit testy. It just makes me angry that some kids can overindulge, and never worry about their blood sugar, but my daughter has to worry about every freaking bite she eats. T1D has also taught me to be a tad bit more compassionate towards my babies and other kiddo dealing with this disease.
(He failed to mention how much he's willing to take on around the house and in our lives. The busier we get, the more he's willing to do. He is the prime example of a team player.)
How do you support Wendy with all that she takes on? I would like to think that I’m her backstop, and when stuff just seems too overwhelming, I can step in to give a different perspective (with a little humor). Other than that I will have to defer to her, only because I have no idea.
(He’s a good listener…when I want to talk. I tend to
keep stuff inside blog instead of just
talking about what’s on my mind. But do
you know what he really does that helps?
When we’re getting ready for church, he gets the girls organized. All 3 of them – dressed, teeth brushed, hair
brushed, the works – and then I get the bathroom to myself!!! He’s also really good about letting me take
naps on the days he’s home. He does the girls' nails -- trimmed and painted, toes and fingers. Oh, and he
folds laundry while watching football, does the dishes, cooks dinner a few
nights a week, does the grocery shopping, and washes the cars. PLUS he likes to take the girls out for a
date sometimes when I’m working, so the house is COMPLETELY quiet. I’ll keep him.)
Do I mind eating Gluten Free? Ahhh heck yeah I mind! I hate it. Don’t know how any of you do it.
(He doesn’t seem to mind the GF yummy treats I make. And, most of the time, he doesn’t mind the GF dinners I serve. But he hates eating out and having to worry about a GF menu. I don’t blame him. I hate it too.)
How does your view/feelings/outlook of diabetes differ from your wife's? Well, I don’t look too far ahead. I take it as it comes, and I don’t sweat the small stuff. Far different than Wendy, who micromanages each day’s numbers, and knows what gluten free stuff she’ll need to make for school several weeks in advance.
Do you think your journey has been different than Wendy's? A little. Wendy has poured her heart into Diabetes, and all the people she comes across. I just wanna make sure Sugar has everything she needs to live as normal as possible…even if it meant taking a job that paid me significantly less, and we had to move across the country for the health benefits.
(He’s an amazing provider. He works hard…even outside wearing hot pants in 120 degree heat on a black tarmac inside a hot helicopter. He’ll do anything for us. I love him for that.)
Are there any parts of D you rather not "deal with"? Or have Wendy take care of? Nope. Well maybe one small thing…I hate having to drag that bag where ever we go.
Sarah, your questions where great and I will answer them like this: Yes, I eat crappy away from home sometimes - I love Chinese food and usually eat more than I should. Like I said before, we are a team that supports each other, but we also believe that Christ has a plan for us. We rely on Him and our church community for that support. We also have an AWESOME diabetes support community right in here in Phoenix. As far as Date Night, sadly we don’t do that very often. We need to though. We really need more dates. Yes, I miss Washington, especially when it is above 110 degrees here for weeks on end.
Do you feel like you could take care of Sugar by yourself if your wife was gone for a day or two? or Would you feel completely annoyed if you were taking care of Sugar by yourself and Wendy called you every 2 hours looking for a report? I have taken care of Sugar without Wendy. Just recently we went camping -- like in the middle of the woods, in the mountains, no cell service camping. Not a problem! I don’t get annoyed if she calls. It’s her motherly instinct to call and check in. She does it with her non T1 kids too. I just try to be vague as possible, because then she’ll eventually leave me alone.
(When I was working outside the home, I called…a lot. Working from home showed me firsthand that he can handle it. I go in the office, and disappear. Rarely do I need to step out between calls to help. He’s pretty much got it all figured out.)
I saved this one for last.
Do you feel like you've lost the woman you've married?
No. However, I don’t think you’re alone in feeling this way. I do understand feeling the way you do. What I have noticed through this journey is that most mothers are the ones in control of just about everything diabetes related. Men, by default, are out there earning those benefits. By nature, we’re providers and they’re nurturers. That’s not to say that women can’t provide in the same way…this has just been my observation with most of the D families we’ve met. It comes as no surprise to me that the mother tends to be a bit more particular in the way their baby is being managed. In this house it’s called “Mama Tiger Syndrome”.
However, as fathers, it is our job to interject ourselves into the diabetes care routine as well. We must learn as much as possible, and do as much as possible. It is our wife’s job to understand that we might do things differently. It’s our God given nature to say “do as I do”, but we are not the same. They may not like it, and that’s OK, but they have to respect it. We might not like it either, but we still have to love them.
I might suggest that you sit down with her, and explain you WANT to be part of this process. Maybe she's afraid that you don't want to take any of it on, or that asking you for help would be overwhelming. Reassure her that you do want to be involved, then show her that you can handle it. I am fortunate enough to have a wife that lets me go about my way, and, as long as Sugar is still alive, she lets me be. It drives her nuts to let go, but she usually keeps it to herself.
("As long as Sugar is still alive..." being a KEY point here.)
Thanks for your questions, my friends! Feel free to leave more if you have something else on your mind. I've got an "in" with him, so I'm sure he'll post again...especially if I ask nicely :)