Diabetes may epicenter on the body of an unlucky one, but the implications of the ailment encompasses everyone related to the person. While the struggles of people suffering from the illness itself is obvious, the agony and despair of their kin, the silent tears and the quiet prayers more often go unnoticed with the grind.
Parents have aspirations for their kids. Starting right from the pregnancy, parents make sure they provide the best care and nourishment to the offspring. Months and years spent, by watching their infant utter his first word, growing his first tooth, to the point where he stands on his feet, while they guard his tumbling body, ready to catch his fall.
Try and imagine the heartfelt moment when a parent, after all these years gets to know their kid is born with an incurable chronic or terminal disease.The whole process of parenting is like watching grass grow.
It kills the parent inside, thinking everyday about whether it's their own fault, or was the kid always destined to be this way.
Right from the childhood, witnessing their timid kid being pierced with needles everyday until it becomes a part of routine. While normal parents stress upon the upcoming education expenses of the kid as he grows older, the parents of a recovering kid struggle to keep their kid alive, as well as imparting them education. Not ever mentioned is the inevitable requirement of capital just to support the cost of in-numerous tests, diagnoses, medical equipment and life saving medicines. Apart from the life support budget, the overhead expenses for the kid's education, to prepare him to grow up and be a cog in the machinery, so no one could recognize them as the weak links in the chain, to support and lead their life, just like everyone else.
I got diagnosed when I was 7 years old. At that time I didn't care to notice how it affected my mother, my father or my grandparents. The scope of my conscious was limited only till my feelings and how I was destined to struggle. On a few rare moments when I was sick, I would catch a glimpse of my mother -helpless yet persistently trying to help me. The picture became clearer to me when I saw my younger sister getting sick. Then it dawned upon me that, during major portion of my childhood, I have seen my parents struggling with my health. When I got infection, I saw my mother crying, unable to help with my pain. They always wished there was something more they could do.
I wish there was something more I could do.
In Jan 2013, ever since I moved away from home, my parents have been worried. We might be continents apart, but my parents are the reason I am still breathing. In July 2016, I slipped into a coma.
No one, but my father noticed my absence for 2 complete days. While he was in India, he contacted my boss and sent someone over to check on me.
That's when they found me.
I could have died that night, if I wouldn't have woken up. It took me days to fully comprehend the actual situation. I woke up from the coma, totally confused and shaking like a leaf because my brain cells were shutting down, deprived of all the energy as my sugar levels were 1.6mmol/L.
The only few excerpts I remember from that night was answering my grandfather's call.
He was constantly trying to reach me while I was in the dark for 2 days. The last thing I said to him stumbling over the phone was that I do not know what was happening to me. I have to call ambulance will talk to you later. Little did I know, that it will take me 2 weeks to be able to call him back. I was diagnosed with acute aspirated pneumonia.
I can try to express, but I'd be lying if I say I understand how my parents must have felt that whole while. They had no media to know if I was dead or alive, or what exactly happened to me. Only they are the ones, who lived the exact moment, and experienced the anxiety that came through it.
It was one scary episode. My mother and my grandmother were crying their eyes out when I finally spoke to them.
Lately, I've been going through phases of depression and while speaking to my mother over the phone, if I tell her about it or tell her that I have been sick or something's not right, I can clearly see the worry in her eyes, the concern in her voice.
I haven't seen my family for almost 4 years now. Its been long. I can only imagine how hard it must be for someone's spouse to see their partner go through an illness. Living with them everyday, seeing them struggle, wanting to be able to help them but then realizing there's nothing that they could possibly do. The feeling of helplessness is way worse than the feeling of defeat.
That must break them from inside out.
These people in our lives who live with us, constantly help us out with our struggles, but still go so underappreciated. On this moment, and every day of my life, I want to thank my parents for being the biggest support system I could ever have.My sister Harneet, for the pep talks and slipping some extra money for me every time, even though I don't always need it but she always makes sure it is there for me, my grandparents for the unconditional love they have bestowed upon me, my sister Taran to answer all of my phone calls and being the happiest part of my days, and not to forget, I'd like to thank my best friend Alex and Rohit, for always being there for me, helping me go through my journey and watching me go nuts over the smallest things, but still sticking around.
I can be a very dramatic person and these people beat through a lot of cringe, just to lift my spirits up, just to make me feel that everything might not be alright, but through this journey, I am not alone. I am so thankful for people in my past, for sticking around when I wasn't very adorable. I do live by myself but each one of you keeps me company and make sure I am feeling alright. I couldn't ask for anything more from God.
I wish someday I have enough words to be able to express all of my gratitude for these people in my life. These lesser known people in the background are the reason for the person standing in the front. These people should be addressed, cared, respected, accredited and loved as much as they deserve to be.
I choose to do the same.
I hope you do too.