1963...The DR’s ORDERS we should have ignored
Retrospect is defined as “contemplation of things past.” How easy it is to do that & to see where life’s journey COULD have gone, instead of where it actually WENT.
In 1963 our family moved to upstate New York from the city. We needed a family doctor...primarily for Dick who was a Type 1, very brittle, diabetic. Endocrinologists were unknown then and we settled on a sweet and kindly country doctor.
Our “getting-to-know-each-other” visit went well and, in all good faith, he gave us two recommendations that he felt would ease our lives. #1 was addressed to me. He said that diabetics react adversely to stress and that I could make Dick’s life much easier if I were to always keep a calm house-hold and try not to argue or do anything that would upset him.
#2 was in answer to his question about our lifestyle. Did we smoke or drink? “No” to the smoking and “yes” to the drinking, but only on weekends or when we were out socializing. His advice was to either quit drinking or to have just one drink a day. He felt that keeping the same daily pattern would help in regulating Dick’s insulin intake.
We took his advice to heart. “Not drinking” was never an option since we’d never had a problem with it. So, now we were daily drinkers and our house-hold was as calm as I could possibly make it with three small children and a brand new Real Estate business that we were trying to make work.
I guess you can see where I’m heading with this. I was convinced that I could never express my feelings for fear that it would “upset the apple cart” and, as the years passed I regressed further and further into myself. We were like many couples who find themselves not communicating...living side by side, sharing a household but little else.
The children were a great diversion and we kept our energies concentrated on them. We never lost our love for each other or for the family unit but I found myself relying more and more on our nightly “one drink” ritual. The progression had started. The handwriting was on the wall but it would be 25 years before I was able to read it.