Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Denial

I read a post online today from a newly diagnosed D-parent. She shared how she is only 2 1/2 months into this life and she felt like she was in denial. She asked if this was normal.

I don't know why, but this post hit me. I read countless posts every day that are diabetes related...and many of them stick with me...many I feel compelled to reply to...offering up support or encouragement. I am usually able to carry on with my day and the post is gone from my thoughts for the most part.

Except for this one.

I can't stop thinking about this parent. I think because that parent was me...six years ago.

I remember taking Emma to a children's museum just a couple of months after her diagnosis. I remember watching her run around with the other kids there...playing...laughing. I remember thinking how this just couldn't be true. I mean look at her! She looked just like those other kids. She didn't look like anything was wrong. She didn't look unwell. I remember thinking that maybe the doctors were wrong...maybe I would wake up tomorrow and she wouldn't have it anymore...maybe the doctors would call me one day and say that they had made a mistake...she didn't have diabetes...she just needed an antibiotic of some sort and she would be right as rain before long. I remember thinking if I just went to bed that night...and closed my eyes extra tight...and slept the night thru...that I would wake up in the morning and this all would have just been a really long...really horrible nightmare.

And then I took her for lunch at the little cafe in the museum.

And diabetes smacked the denial right out of my head again. I pulled out her meter and jabbed a needle into her tiny little finger...saw her wince from the pain...just for a second though...a quick second...because at that point needles in her fingertips were already no big deal to her...she didn't cry anymore...she didn't voice to me that it hurt...it was already just her accepted reality. I scoured the menu for something that I knew the carb count on...I ordered that even though it wasn't what she wanted...because at that point I still wasn't comfortable guessing the carbs in her food...and I didn't know that many by heart yet. She got her food...ate it...and I jabbed another needle in her arm.

I lived in denial for a while. It was something I held onto for dear life. I had to. It's what got me through those first few weeks.

Looking back on it now, I think I confused denial with hope. I hoped it wasn't true. I prayed it wasn't our reality.

Here we are all these years later and I still sometimes will randomly feel that waking nightmare scenario seeping in to my thoughts. The way we as parents cope with this life is really a beautiful thing if you think about it. We grieve the loss of what will never be. We strive for unattainable perfection. We hope.

So, to you, the newly diagnosed parent sharing your innermost thoughts today....I say thank you. Thank you for being brave and speaking from your heart. Thank you for allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you're feeling whenever you're feeling it. Hold on to each day...hold onto it with everything you've got...and know that you can do it....know that you ARE doing it...and it will be ok...I promise you that.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I believe

I believe
I believe in love at first sight
I believe in dreams come true
I believe in wishing upon all the stars in the sky
I believe in that inner voice whispering to give it a try
I believe in perseverance
I believe in fate
I believe it can be done
I believe it will be done
I believe in choosing happy
I believe in hope.

I also believe in facts
I believe in experience
I believe in making mistakes
I believe in making mistakes
I believe in making mistakes

I believe in learning from my mistakes

I believe in trying my best
I believe in you

and

I believe in me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staring at my kitchen

I think too much.

I do...really...it's ridiculous at times, if I'm being completely honest.

Sometimes I find myself sitting there in the middle of the day, while Emma is at school, and I'm thinking about the numbers. It's not so much that I'm worried about what her number is at that moment (that was me about 2 years ago though lol), but more so I will think about what her numbers were the night before...or that morning...what her ratios is currently for her breakfast bolus...what her basal rate is for 2:00am. I will catch myself blindly staring into the kitchen...because that's where her meter sits..on the counter...that's where I keep my tools of the trade...my command central, really. I stare off into the kitchen and the numbers swirl around my brain. Throw a little sleep deprivation for the last six years in there..add a little....ok a LOT...of caffeine in there from that mornings pot of coffee...and you sometimes wind up with a whole murky mess of confusion sloshing about up there.

I guess it's because I have been conditioned over the years to try and decipher the patterns...echoes of the diabetes nurses voice in my head encouraging me to "loooook for the patterns. Seeeek out the pattern. The key is in the patternnnn!" I wish the numbers would connect and form a brilliantly obvious and beautiful pattern for me every time. In reality, it's not that easy...and sometimes...more often than I care to think about....the pattern remains elusive to me.

After all these years, I'm definitely not as panicky as I used to be about it. I'm not a slacker either though. I guess I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. It is what it is and if I find the pattern in her blood sugar numbers and am able to make the adjustments needed, then great...fanfreakintastic. BUT, if I don't find it...if I can't find it....I hunker down and wait....I sit on my couch and gaze into the kitchen...waiting...letting it swirl around in my head....holding onto my patience....OR, I ask for help.

See, the thing about diabetes that has been uber hard to accept still, is that sometimes there is nothing to be deciphered...sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why shitty numbers occur...sometimes it just is what it is...and you have to remind yourself over and over again that it's ok.

Patterns can be a beautiful thing. But, so is the ability to have a quiet mind...free of numbers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Orange Moon

Lighting up the night with orange bursts of dreamy moons and stars yet to be wished upon
I reach for you beneath the trees
The leaves above us a blanket of strength and hope
Softly enveloping us in a cocoon of peaceful beauty

Your breath even and whispered against my neck

There is no time
No ticking of the clock
No number shouting from the rooftops
No pressure
No fear
No anxiety polluting the air between us
A thick fog of misty madness

The passage of time does not exist in this moment
Beneath the trees
Beneath the orange moon
Beneath the wishing stars
Star light star bright
Where are you hiding tonight?

Time stands still
As I hold you tight and
Dream of your smile
Your smile that holds the power of a thousand untold stories
Just waiting to be heard
As the last flickers of the moon burn out
And turn once again to the light


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Defeat isn't real

Victories happen all over the world...every second of every day. People reach insurmountable goals and achieve greatness all the time. It's a fact.

In my opinion, defeat is non-existent. Defeat is something we tell ourselves when we feel like we are too tired...or too weak...or too small...or too...whatever. We tell ourselves these things and we whole-heartedly believe them in that moment. Other people might even tell us these things. They might scoff at our lofty dreams and snicker behind our backs at what they consider to be something silly. However, defeat is not real. Defeat is not an option. Defeat is non-existent. It's simply a moment in time where we must choose to continue on or wait a while longer and wallow in our setbacks.

In this life with diabetes, I feel defeated all the time. A strain of ugly blood sugar numbers...a failed pump site...a combo bolus gone awry. I feel like a failure when I see the effects of my mistakes all over my child's face...the dark circles under her eyes...the shaky hands of a low blood sugar...the tiny holes in her fingertips from countless blood sugar checks as I battle yet another high blood sugar. I see my own defeated feelings mirrored back at me in her eyes. I see it...and I feel it...but I am NOT it. I'm not defeated anymore.

I kicked ass at being her pancreas today. I have been battling high blood sugars for what seems like forever...due to seasons changing...the hormones of a ten year old body...the randomness of summer day schedules. I have felt like a failure a lot lately.

But not today.

Today I won. Today we won.

Today was a victory of epic proportions in my eyes.

So I am writing this to acknowledge those of you out there who might have been feeling the weight of defeat...and those of you who won today as well. I raise my glass to you and smile in silent victory...together. It's a quiet victory on the outside as we sit here after midnight...but it's a sweet victory. A hard fought win. I'm proud of you for sticking it out. We may stand in solidarity in the wee hours of the morning...meters and lancets in hand...squeezing blood from our babies fingertips...but we stand as one together in spirit always and forever...and for that I'm greatful.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our shoes

So, I haven't blogged in a while. As we were driving to the beach today, I started thinking about it actually. I wonder if I've said all I need to say about diabetes for now? I wonder if my heart and my mind has somehow found some sort of peace with it finally? I wonder if I've just gotten to the point on this journey where more of my mind is focused on living and making memories with my kid...that I just don't really focus on the diabetes aspect of things as much anymore?

I mean I still think about the numbers...I'm sure I always will. I still get that panicked tightening in my chest when she has a dangerously low blood sugar...like she happened to have this evening in the deodorant aisle at the grocery store...and I had to open a bottle of soda and hand it to her...haul her into the cart because she could barely walk...and quickly finish our job of checking out and getting home. I still feel it. I still don't like it. I still worry.

But it's just not always at the forefront of my mind anymore.

LIFE is.

LIVING is.

I look back at how far we've come and how long we've been on this journey and I'm amazed that we've made it. I'm amazed that we've survived the insanity. I'm proud of us.

I look forward and...yes...I worry...I wonder what sort of obstacles we will encounter up ahead and how many times my heart will skip a beat at an ugly number...how many more site changes she has yet to endure...how much longer we will have to wait for that elusive cure. I look ahead and I wonder.

Yet, for now....right here...in this moment...I'm ok. We're ok. We are living and laughing and learning. I stand here at this spot on our path and look below at my feet and I see acceptance. I see strength. I see two feet firmly planted below me...and her two feet beside me. Our shoes are worn and slightly tattered....but they are still bright...still sturdy...and they still have plenty of miles left in them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Step away from the edge

The 26th of this month will mark six years since Emma's diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. On one hand, it feels like a lifetime ago...I was a different person...she was a different child...it was a different life all together. I was naive to so many things in life. On the other hand, it feels like it was just yesterday that I stepped through the hospital doors with her tiny hand in mine...my heart pounding in fear...real honest fear...the kind that grips your heart in it's frozen hands and laughs right in your face as you struggle to put one foot in front of the other.

We did it though. We made it. We are still here.

If you had asked me six years ago if I could foresee a day where diabetes wouldn't always be at the forefront of my mind, I would've said no way!
If you had asked me if I would've thought that my kid would ever stop struggling and fighting and crying tears of complete fear before ever needle...every finger poke...every injection, I would've looked at you with hot tears burning my eyes and whispered no.
If you had asked me if I would ever feel capable and confident and like I could handle whatever diabetes threw my way, I would've laughed right in your face and sputtered out a maniacal NEVER!

And yet I say again....we made it...we are still here.

In a little over a week, Emma and I will be commemorating the day with a couple friends. I'm taking them ziplining out in the forest....80 feet in the air. I'm scared...she's scared...her friends are scared....but we are excited! Emma chose this activity because it's something she's always wanted to do....and who am I to stand in her way?

I know that I will stand behind her before she steps off that ledge to fly across to the other side...I will stand there and be in awe of her bravery. I will be in awe of her love of life...of living. I will be in awe of her ability to not let anything stop her...not even fear.

The way I look at it, fear is powerful. Fear is an emotion that can cripple you or propel you onward towards your dreams. Your ability to choose which path that fear will push you...is something personal to you.

When I walked through those hospital doors six years ago, I chose to let the fear propel me forward...I chose for her...because of her....because I wanted her to see from day one that fear is never an excuse or a reason not to do something.

Twelve days from now, when I stand behind my daughter and cheer her on as she steps off that ledge, I will be greatful for the memories we are making....I will be greatful and humbled and proud.