Image Map
Image Map

Puzzle Pieces

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

As I was driving home from school today, this image just popped into my head.  

My life is like puzzle pieces.

There's so much going on.  

There are pieces for normal household tasks:  hanging up clothes, cleaning the toilet, doing the dishes, making dinner, dusting, vacuuming, yadda, yadda, yadda.

There are pieces for being a mom:  bathing the child, doing her hair, laying out clothes, supervising the teeth brushing, putting her to bed, fixing her food, playing with her, spending time with her, reading to her.....

There are pieces for being a wife:  actually TALKING to my husband, spending time with him, date nights (what is that?!?)....

There are pieces for being a teacher:  lesson plans, buying supplies, making crafts and centers, reading the newest curriculum research, keeping up to date, long range planning, picking out guided reading books, testing, data collecting, blah, blah, blah...

There are pieces for relationships:  spending time with parents, spending time with friends, listening, talking.....

There are pieces for ME:  reading a book - for fun, exercising, watching what I eat, getting enough sleep, taking a shower, doing my hair....

And then.....

There's diabetes.  Ugh.

There are pieces for carb counting, basal rates, carb ratios, ISF, IOB, when to change the pump site or the Dex site, trend information, ketones, sick days, glycemic index....

And when you put all those pieces together?

Well, it's SUPPOSED to make a beautiful picture.  

But I can't figure it out.  All I see are pieces.  I can't figure out how they are supposed to all fit together.

And today it hit me.  

It's because I have TOO MANY DAMN PIECES.

HOW am I supposed to be able to make my pieces into a picture if I have too many pieces?  

Something has to give.

The outside pieces are the non-negotiable ones.  The things you HAVE to do.  Like shower (at least occasionally!).  Take care of your child.  Work. Maintain a relationship with your hubby. 

The inside pieces are the ones where you have a little more wiggle room.

Before D entered our lives, my puzzle fit.  It was a little tight at times.  Or so I thought back then....  but I made it work.  The pieces fit together nicely.

And now....

Well, D entered our lives and took over those outside piece spots.  Above everything else, D became the HAVE TO in our lives.  

Think about that for a minute.  One day you wake up and your priorities have been TOTALLY reorganized.  What once was important, what you once considered a MUST DO, MUST HAVE... is not an outside piece any longer.  

And the NEW outside pieces?  They are do or die.  You might have thought you HAD to shower every day.  But now you realize that no.... you really don't HAVE TO.  You HAVE TO count carbs.  You HAVE TO administer the correct amount of insulin.  You HAVE TO .... because if you don't .... well, it's do or die.

So D took over the outside pieces.  Taking care of your child in the other, normal ways are still there.  Work is still there.  Family is still there....

But SOME of those pieces.... SOME of those details have been shoved into the middle.  And there's just not enough space for all the pieces.

At least not all at the same time.

So what do you do?  What gives?

For me, over the past year, what has "given" has been ME.  Taking care of myself.  Exercising.  Eating healthy.  I've been too tired to care.  

I'll be honest... time with my hubby has "given", too.  The concept of date night is laughable anymore.  We RARELY spend time alone.  Like I can't remember the last time we went out alone.  And after she goes to bed?  We're too tired.  It's not uncommon for us to not talk about anything but who's doing what and diabetes related things for days.

This is not good.  

I know I'm not alone in this.  

But if I make these things a priority, then what is going to give?   

How do you make it fit?

For me, this aspect of D has been very humbling.  I've always prided myself on being a go-getter, a do-it-all and do-it-all-well kind of person.  I DO NOT LIKE admitting that I can't.  I don't like not being able to give it ALL 100%.  

But I can't.

I have tried, and tried, and tried.  But I can't get all the pieces to fit.

The only thing left to do is sit down and really THINK about my picture.  What do I want this picture to look like?  And then decide what pieces MUST there to make it all fit together the way it should.   

I wish this was a post where I could fill you in on the secret at the end.  Where I could tell you what works for me.  What I've figured out.  What I've learned.

But I can't.

Cuz I don't know.  I don't know what the secret is.  

I don't know how to get all the puzzle pieces to fit.

But I'm determined to figure it out.  I just may have to get out the scissors to make it happen.



  1. GREAT analogy!
    I have too many pieces too which makes me want to throw my hands in the air and give up! But we can't because we can't put D back in the box and stick it on the shelf.

  2. I am left, after reading this post in awe. In awe at the amount of juggling we all do AND how our puzzle picture was totally re-arranged after "d" entered our lives. You know Hallie...I don't have all the answer either. Some days I feel like I.HAVE.IT. TOGETHER. And then there are the days that I feel like I am gonna lose it...those are usually the days when "d" hasn't been cooperating for awhile and I am starting down the helpless/hopeless slope.

    Anyway...having you all here...knowing we all a sad, but real sort of way is comforting to me. It is telling me we are all "normal" and with each others help and support we will all make it through and be the better for it in the long run.

    Love you.

  3. Hallie!! I love, love, love this post!

    EVERYTHING you wrote is EXACTLY how I feel. TOTALLY.

    I so desperately want the pieces to fit together again.

    And I don't just want it to fit together---I want a pretty puzzle!!!

    Just like you....I've lost ME. And truthfully, I don't think I can find the old me. Too much has changed.

    But our kiddos (and our husbands!) need us to figure this out.

    Hugs to you..... : )

  4. Great post. I think this may be phase 2 (or maybe 10) of grieving over diabetes. In the first year or so you're consumed and grieving for your child, but still feel like you WILL get back to a place where it will all fit again. As time goes by, and it still doesn't fit... you have to come to terms with what else has been lost because of D. It's hard. It changes everything, forever.

    There will be more pieces for us as they get older and can take on some of the burden. It will get better. Until then priorities just have to be adjusted and a few pieces may have to be lost. Choose wisely.


  5. For me, the pieces only began to fit when I started saying, "no." All the extra was trimmed away little by little until it worked. I'm not going to lie, it isn't easy...and there is a lot of guilt thinking only of yourself and your family. But it is what it is. This is the first year in my four year hiatus that I'm actually saying "yes" again. Not to everything...but to some things. I'm in the phase of finding my picture again, but I'm confident I'll get will you friend.

  6. love the post! this is a tough one. fortunately Sweet Pea is getting older, and the older she gets the more independent her D becomes. hang in there, soon the only times you'll have to really worry about her is for doctors visits and sick days. one day she'll ask you even to step off! almost every one of my D friends (teens) don't rely on their parents for anything. the thought of my dad giving me my site change gives me chills.
    so hang in there! that day will come sooner than you expect!

  7. A big part of our marital stress (and seperation over the summer) was because of Diabetes stress....the fatigue. The sadness. The lack of "care" at the end of the day....we just restructured our life. Started over. Sometimes you have to. Take time...MAKE time...before you get to this point. Easier said than done, I know. But HEY! If you want to come vacation in AZ I know some pretty darn good D Moms who will take GREAT care of Princess for a WEEK!!! SERIOUSLY!! :)

  8. Nope, you're not alone. I'm struggling. I cut back and said "no" to all sorts of things this fall, but still I have too many pieces. I can't make them all fit. I can't keep up and it's very stressful. I obviously have to cut more, but I'm still trying to decide where and how.

    If you find the magic answer, please let us know. I promise to do the same. :)

  9. such an amazing post! So well said. You nailed it. Seriously!

  10. Great post! Word for word how I've been feeling lately and exactly why I can not find the time to blog! I thought I could do it all but after having Addison i realised I CAN NOT!!! Hopefully you find a good balance soon!

  11. Wow, Hallie. Beautifully written post! My puzzle pieces are all slobbery and chewed on and taped together so even if I get the pieces to fit, the final picture is pretty pathetic.

    Maybe I can shine up some of the pieces and trade some in for replacements and strive to have a really nice final piece. But then the wind woudl sweep them up again.

    I guess we are just left with trying to enjoy the proces, eh?!

  12. I am so there right now. I can't find my butt from my foot, from my face to my ear. I'm crabby and pissy and just blank minded most days right now. PISSSSSSSY! I am hoping that quitting my job and striving for more peace with the situation will bring some emotional calm and then I will work on the priorities!!! Meanwhile, there's Christmas and New Years! Ugh! What a life, eh? Ha! ((hugs))

  13. Hallie, you read my mind. This is where I am. My daughter is only 2 months post Dx. I was hoping that this crazy, insane schedule would slow at some point & we could go back to some new normal. But, I just don't see that coming. In a couple of months, we will add a pump to the mix of things to maintain. Currently, she has a Dexcom CGM (love it) hooked up to the cloud. Not looking forward to maintaining another site. Brain. Is. Full. When does it ever slowdown? Your posts make me feel not as alone. Thank you!


Thanks for commenting! Comments = Love


Related Posts with Thumbnails