Saturday, April 30, 2011

My day with the Energizer Bunny

My D-Momma skills were definitely put to the test today. I kind of feel like I am just hanging out biding my time until we start on the pump May 10th. I feel like I'm on the home stretch of this thing and at times I'm barely hanging on by a thread. I'm rounding the corner past 3rd base and making my way home...except the problem is I'm wearing a pair of friggin slippery clogs or something instead of some good solid running shoes. I'm about to take a nose dive at any second and fall flat on my face hopefully sliding into home plate in half-way decent shape at least.
Anyhoo, today started out fairly calm...or as calm as things get in this house anyway. Emma and I of course slept in past the I had roughly 45 minutes to get us up, dressed, fed, needles, and packed to go for her piano lesson across town. Traffic was on my side though, so I actually wound up putting the car into park at 1 minute until the time class was supposed to start. The lesson went well and we left for home and lunch. We ate and hung out at home for about an hour before it was time to go to her 2 hour long gymnastics class. All was still going smoothly as we made our way into the gym. I got Emma dressed and off she went to sit down with her class. About halfway through she came running out to tell me that they were about to begin their "gymathon" circuit. UGH! I had completely forgotten that today was the day this was going on...the gym was holding a fundraiser in which the kids all had to run this circuit in the gym 25 times and people could pledge money per lap that they did. Well, first off...I forgot to bring our money and form...second off, I was completely unprepared for the inevitable activity burst about to happen. So, I checked her blood sugar and it was 9.8 (176 for those in the States) I gave her 10 grams of carb to boost her. I told her to tell her coach that I needed her to do 12 laps and come back out so i could check again to make sure all was ok. Well, I stood there at the window to the gym biting my lip...arms crossed in a death lock...trying to read the look on her face from 100 feet she pale? is she shaky? is she sweating too much? is she low? is she low? is she LOW? I was totally freaking out...pacing back and forth in front of that window like a lion stalking it's prey...I'm sure I looked like a complete lunatic. I watched Emma climb onto the high across it...leap down off a bunch of and vault onto a to another mat and flip over on it...back to the beam...again and again over and over. I kept count in my head each time she passed me...2, 3, 4, 5, 6....all the way to 12...I fully expected her to come running back to me to check...but noooo...she kept going...the coach didn't stop her...she just kept going. Her face was beat red, sweat was pouring off of her...the next lap she looked extremely pale to my overly focused eyes.  I was losing my mind...I felt like I would explode if I didn't catch her attention and motion for her to come by me. UGH! I HATE you diabetes! While I stood there slowly slipping over the edge into crazy town, I counted each time she passed me all the way up to 25...then she happily bounced on over to the doors to me...her ponytail swaying with each step. I quickly checked her again and she was 5.0 (90)...good LORD! She dropped that quickly even after a 10 g carb boost...the circuit really only took her about 20 minutes to complete...that was a FAST drop. I gave her a granola bar and used all of the change in my wallet to buy her a juice out of the machine...I told her to just drink as much of it as she could...don't worry about the carbs...I would fix a high later if I had to...she still had another hour left of gymnastics at that point. That was the longest hour of my life. I don't think I blinked once. Well, after class I checked again and she was ok thank God. We made our way home and she began talking about how her friend from school was supposed to call to meet us at the park near our house today. Awesome...more activity. We walked in the door at home and sure enough there was a message from her friends Mom saying the were heading to the park and if we wanted to meet them there that would be fun. So, needless to say...Emma took off out the front door and full out ran down the street towards the park. Where does this kid get the energy???? To make a long story short we spent an hour and a half at the park with her friend. We left about 15 minutes after she was supposed to have been eating I hurried as fast as anyone can hurry with a 7 year old in tow hopping and skipping over gravelly puddle ridden pathways. I decided to make things simple and make it a McDonald's night...she ate and got her needle only about 30 later. Well, after supper she decided it was time to jump on the trampoline...omg...seriously...I need to bottle this kids energy! She jumped on there for about an hour...laughing and giggling...doing gymnastics tricks...being a kid. I saw the old familiar "low" look so I dragged her off and tested her...2.7 (48)...can't I catch a break puhlease???? I treated the low and gave her normal bedtime snack....what a day...I have never had to deal with this much activity all jammed together in one time frame before in our almost 3 years with this disease. It was stressed me made my brain hurt and fried my nerves...not to mention the bite marks on my lower lip thanks to gymathon...sheesh! We lived though...we survived...we came out on the other side no worse for the wear...I can not wait for the pump to start...I hope my poor abused stressed out nervous broken insane heart will make it to that day!! WOAH!! I need a nap...or a drink...or both!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Going back to 1st grade for just one day!! woohoo!!

Tomorrow is going to be a day for the record books. I will be going back to grade 1 all over again...just for the day. I'm excited and anticipating a ginormous headache will have to see how it goes I suppose! Anyway, Emma's class is going on a field trip to the fire station in the morning first thing. I have always gone on any field trips with her just so i can be sure to keep a closer eye on her blood sugars and make sure she eats when she needs to. I would never expect her teacher or another parent volunteer to have to manage that task on top of keeping track of a group of 6 and 7 year olds too. So, Emma and I will get up and head off to school together in the morning. Instead of kissing her goodbye and leaving, I will go inside with her and we will all get on the awesome yellow school bus and head down to the fire station (I'm excited about seeing some cute firemen in!) After the field trip, we will head back to the school for a pizza lunch. From there I will bring Emma home with me for a few minutes and we will head over to the church (Emma goes to a Catholic school) for mass. From there I will drive her back to the school for the last hour of the day so she can attend a school assembly. whew....I'm tired already and we haven't even begun.
I have been thinking though and I really find it funny how the kids in her class think of me. They all know my name...they all joke around and laugh with me...they all seem to understand why I need to be there more often than their own parents. I sometimes wonder if her classmates and friends would be so understanding and non-judgemental if Emma had been diagnosed at say age 14 instead of age 4. These kids have all grown up watching Emma check her blood sugar every day at school...they've all seen me come in to help treat stubborn lows...they've all heard the term "diabetes" countless times over the past 3 years. I am so greatful that Emma goes to the school she goes to. I am so greatful that she has such wonderful friends. I hope that things stay this way, or close to it anyway, for the rest of her school years.
Kids really are amazing people...they are so much more compassionate and understanding than people give them credit for. I like the fact that they see me as the "goofy Mom who always has some sort of treat or candy on her". I like to make them laugh and I like to see Emma watch me talk to them. I like to see the look on her face when I can make her friends giggle and just have fun. She looks at me like she is truly happy that she has me for a Mom. It makes me feel good to see that look in her eye. I know she probably won't always look at me that way...there will probably come a point in her life where she won't want me around (eeeekkkk the teenage years!!)...and I suppose I will just have to deal with that when it comes. We aren't at that point in our path yet I am just going to sit down on the side where we are and enjoy the moment. I'm going to sit back and giggle and laugh and joke around with a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds and enjoy my daughter's happy eyes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The true meaning of fear

There are moments in life that are forever embedded in our memories. Certain things can happen...a phone call, a chance meeting, a random choice....they all have the ability to turn our lives upside down and completely change everything that we have ever known. It's really a scary thing if you sit there and think about it too much. I've had quite a few of those moments in my life. The random message I sent my husband over the internet when I lived in a completely different country before I even knew he existed. That random message turned into a soon to be 9 year marriage to my best friend and gave me the most beautiful thing I have ever known in my daughter. The phone call from my family doctor telling me that I needed to bring my 4 year old daughter in to the hospital because she has diabetes. That phone call resulted in the largest upheaval of in my way of thinking, the biggest change in my lifestyle, the most difficult moments I've ever experienced, and the sweetest most proud victories in my life.
Well, today I experienced yet another one of those moments in life. It was just another ordinary Tuesday and I had dropped Emma back off at school after lunch. I walked her around the back of the school just like I have done every single day this year. I walked back to the front doors on my own carrying her backpack inside for her to hang on her hook in the hallway. I stopped to chat with her teacher about this Thursday because there is going to be a LOT going on that day...from a field trip to the fire station in the morning, pizza day at lunch, a visit to the church in the afternoon, and an assembly for the last hour of school. I will have to be there all day to keep an eye out on Emma. I will be going to the fire station with her to keep an eye on her blood sugars, I will be giving her the needle at lunchtime when she finishes her pizza, I will be driving her to the church so I won't have to worry about her going low on the walk over that the rest of the school does, I will be staying at the church with her and driving her back to the school afterwards to avoid the walk again. I might as well just consider myself a grade 1 student that day...
Anyway, we also chatted about how I was still waiting to hear back from the nurse at the hospital in regards to when we can get our pump start date. After we finished chatting I went home and saw there was a message on my was the nurse telling me that we could have our saline trial with the pump on May3rd and our actual pump start date would then be May10th. I hung up the phone after the message was over. I sat down. I felt like I had just been punched in the gut.
I'm scared. I've never been more scared of anything in my entire life. I am excited as well, but that fear is just seeming to overwhelm's trying to consume me. I'm basically scared of two things....I'm scared that once we get the pump and have it attached to Emma for a few days, she will hate it and ask to have it taken out and decide she doesn't want it. I'm also terrified that I will do something wrong. I'm almost paralyzed with fear that I will "eff" sometthing up and kill her. This is an insane amount of pressure. It's an insane amount of expectation and anxiety. It feels like if I decided to just for one split second let my guard down, that I would very quickly and quietly slip over the edge into the land of crazy town. That scares me. It scares me how often and how much my life as a diabetic Mom seems to be just teetering on the brink of losing it. Yes, there are some days where I feel confident and we just go about the routine with minimal problems. But then there are days like today, where I feel lost. I feel like I am hanging on by a thread and I feel like everyone around me thinks that I can do this...but I really can't. I feel like I have fooled them all into believing that I know what I am doing...i've pulled off the greatest sham in history...i've been trying for almost three years now to seem like I can do seem like I know what I'm seem like I am confident and that i don't worry all the time...i feel like I can't do this. I feel like I am building this up into something so gigantic. I'm scared. I just want to do the right thing. I just want to do what's best for my daughter. I want to be strong. I wish I was strong. I wish I didn't doubt myself. Sorry if this post is sort of ranting and sorry if it doesn't make much sense....i just needed to get it out of my head...because I'm scared....and I guess I'm just trying to convince myself that I can do this.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Your boldness stands alone among the wreck"

Ok so I have a huge obsession lately. I am totally and completely in love with Mumford & Sons...I love their music, I love their lyrics, I love them...oh and I also have a crush on Marcus Mumford. Anyhoo...I wanted to share a line from one of my most favorite songs. It's from "Little Lion Man" and I have probably listened to it nearly a million times by now...."your grace is wasted in your face, your boldness stands alone among the wreck" ......I love it....I absolutely love that line. It brings tears to my makes my heart smile and weep all at the same time. I love how songs will put a certain vision in my head when I listen to them. I think that is one of the greatest things about music. I think it is just amazing how someone's lyrics, thoughts, and words can make different people react different ways...and it is even more magnified when those words are put to music. I think it is just beautiful. When i hear that line, I picture Emma standing on top of a hill staring down at a pile of rubble and wreckage. I see the sun shining down on her. I see her tilting her little round face up to the sky just a bit letting the sun warm her cheeks. I see the wind blowing her hair all around her. I picture her face, hands, and clothes really having seen better days. She is covered in dirt and muck, her knees are filthy, and I can see the tracks of tears and sweat running straight through the dirt on her cheeks. I see her standing there on that hilltop surrounded by beautiful wildflowers...yellows, pinks, purples. I see the devastation far down at the bottom of the hill below her...smokey, black, and scary. I see her footprints in the mud on the path leading up to the hill where she is now standing. Her big brown eyes are shining with a fire behind them...a fire of strength, pride, and boldness. She is beautiful and she takes my breath away. Even through all of the dirt, sweat, and tears, she is amazing to me.
I know you are probably asking in the heck can she get such a detailed visual from one line in a song? I don't know....I just know that I have listened to it and thought of it countless times. Every once and a while I have come across, seen, read, or heard something that just resonates with sticks with me forever. I hope I'm not sounding like a complete idiot for writing this. If I am, oh well I guess...I'm ok with sounding like an idiot sometimes.
Anyway, I think that line of that particular song and the visual I get when I hear it sort of helps me and puts my heart at ease when i think of Emma and her life with diabetes. I see her standing there beautiful and graceful...being bold and strong...making it to the top of that hill and winning her fight with diabetes. I see her conquering it and clawing her way to the top...taking a moment to look back and see how far she has come and how much wreckage and hard times she has made it through. It makes me believe in my heart and soul that she will be ok...she will be more than ok...she will be graceful and bold.
Here is a link to the song on youtube

Friday, April 22, 2011

My little cub

After bringing Emma upstairs to bed last night, I plopped down on the couch ready to zone out on some tv for a while...let my mind wander...calm the waves of worry over diabetes and blood sugar numbers that have a tendency to crash upon the shores of my brain. I found a movie on one of the kid's channels actually that instantly caught my attention. It was a nature movie and they were showing footage of animals in the Northern part of the world. They were following a polar bear Momma and her two babies (a boy and a girl). I'm an animal lover, so I sat there watching...I found it fascinating how this Momma polar bear was out there in the bitterly cold weather, walking ever so cautiously across the thinning ice, and managing to take care of her babies. She was teaching them all the them to hunt for food below the ice, showing them where to go to be safe and keep away from other dangerous animals. She showed them all of the techniques as they walked along. I know it may sound crazy to some, but I could sort of relate to this Momma polar bear. I saw her teaching her babies how to survive and I realized that I am actually doing the same thing for Emma. I am teaching her every day about her diabetes, whether I consciously know that I am doing it or not, I am still training her. I have taught her how to check her own blood sugar, I have taught her how to inject herself with her insulin pen, I have continuously day after day...low after low...and high after high...tried to teach her to listen to her body, to shut out the noise around her and listen to how her body is behaving at that moment in time, and to try and recognize what is actually going on in there. It is a relentless lesson.
I saw this Momma polar bear overcome with hunger and worry for her family. I saw her persevere through unimaginable conditions to find food for her babies. I saw her snuggle up to them to stay warm and keep watch over them through the night. I realized that I too have persevered through horrible situations...just kept moving forward...focusing on the light at the end of the stressful scary tunnel of diabetes. I snuggle up to Emma not to keep her warm really, but to comfort her none the less. I keep watch over her night after endless night simply because I love her...she is my heart...and I want to keep her safe.
I saw this Momma polar bear lay in a pile of snow in the middle of a horrible blizzard filled night, next to her boy cub as he succumbed to the conditions and his extreme hunger. I saw her try to lick the snow off of his fur all night and then finally leave his now still body in the morning so she could continue the hunt for food for her girl cub. I watched her take one last glance back at him before continuing on. 
My heart broke for her. I know it is all a part of nature...the circle of life...the way things are. I just couldn't get that image out of my head of her looking back at him. Near the end of the movie, they showed how eventually the Momma polar bear has to force the girl cub to go off on her own. The Momma had taught her all that she needed to know so she could survive and now it was time for the cub to be on her own and not rely on her Mom anymore. I'm not yet able to relate to that part of it yet. I suppose one day I will have to though. The thought of seeing Emma go off on her own to live her own life one day just scares the crap out of me. I know I want her to be independant. I want her to be able to manage her own diabetes. I want her to have the knowledge and the skills she needs to do the best job she can with it. I want her to achieve her goals and dreams. I want her to be happy. I know when that day comes that she walks out my front door to live her own adult life, I will be a wreck...but I will be proud. I know that I will never rest easy again for the rest of my life...if I live to be 90, I am sure I will still worry about her diabetes, her blood sugar, complications. I hope a cure comes before that day...but even if it doesn't I know that she will be fine. I know this because she is still my little cub and I will continue every single day to teach her. She will be just fine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jack Black, Starburst, and Big Dreams

I should probably warn you that this post sort of jumps around and completely does not have one particular theme. It probably doesn't really mesh and might not make a whole lot of sense, however it is a great display of the random-ness that is me these days...

I have one line from a song stuck in my head at the moment. It's on a continuous loop and it's driving me insane. Last night, Emma watched "Gulliver's Travels" before bed and she loved it...however, at the very end of the movie Jack Black (a.k.a Gulliver) sings "War". You know the one....."WAR!!! HUH!! What is it good for? HUH!! Absolutely NUTHIN! Say it again!!" Emma loved it and has been singing that line over and over and over again now. I can't say that I ever really hated the song, I mean it has a good beat and you can dance to it...lolol...but I do believe it is now going to be the reason for my slip off the cliff and into the land of crazy-town. If you don't hear from me or see a new post by this time next week, you will now know why. I will most likely be sitting on the floor rocking back and forth mumbling about War and chewing on some crayons or something...lolol.

I have recently discovered that Starburst candy will make Emma's blood sugar skyrocket like nobody's business. I have no idea why. Surprisingly she never really liked them, until recently she asked if she could try one again. Now she loves them. My kid has a sweet tooth, so she has most definitely had her share of candy or goodies over the past almost three years of living with this disease. I have not ever come across another piece of candy, goodie, or anything of the sort that affects her like this. Are we alone in this blood sugar reaction? Once I recognized the pattern after a couple of days of letting her have a few starburst after dinner, I decided to put an end to it and just not give her anymore. I didn't make a point of out and out telling her that she can no longer have Starburst because it makes Mommy mental having to deal with the high numbers later on. I have never wanted to blame anything on her diabetes. So, I very quickly and efficiently finished off the remainder of Starburst so they would no longer be in sight and she wouldn't ask for one. I find it strange though that this one particular food will affect her this way. Weird.

I also wanted to mention that I am now on page 84 of my (totally not a) book thing. I am actually considering looking into possibly maybe someday trying to get it published. I would love to donate the money from selling it to JDRF really. It has made me realize something though. When I was a kid, I would dream big about things all the time. I would think about how I wanted to be an astronaut, a gymnast, a veterinarian, a teacher, and artist. I wanted to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal just like Mary Lou Retton. I wanted to be on the front of the Wheaties box. I wanted to grow up and save the world. Somewhere along the way of growing up, I sort of lost that ability to dream big. I have no idea just sort of went away. Maybe I got too wrapped up in being an adult and married and kids, etc....and that magical ability just couldn't fit in there anymore? In any case, since I have began writing my (totally not a) book...I have started to retrain myself into thinking that it is indeed still ok to dream big. It doesn't matter that I am now 34 years old, married, a mom, have a mortgage, and responsibilities. I am still allowed to dream big. I can still reach for the stars and attempt to do things that seem impossible or silly at the beginning. It's ok. I can do anything I set my mind to. Learning this all over again is really putting a smile on my face, so I just wanted to share.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Awww phooey!!!'s just not the same

Sometimes I have a smart mouth...ok...MOST of the time I have a smart mouth. I am sarcastic and I have a tendency to swear (unless I don't really know you...or if you are over the age of 70 like my Grandma...and then I try to reign it in and say things like "what the heck?!" instead of "what the f-word?!") I know, I know...swearing is bad...but sometimes I just can't help it. For example, when I am frustrated beyond all belief at a high blood sugar that comes out of no where...saying things like "Awww phooey!" just doesn't give me that same sense of releasing my anger as when I respond by saying "Awww S-word!" instead. Honestly, I think if that is my biggest fault in life, then I am doing pretty good.
In any case, I have realized something that I do and it makes me wonder if I should stop it. On occasion when I check Emma's blood sugar and I get a really stupid number that I wasn't expecting, I will comment with something along the lines of "Curse you pancreas!" or "why are you mocking me, diabetes?!" or just the general incoherent groan. Usually Emma will laugh hysterically at my response. Mostly because for some reason she thinks I am hilarious....and also because she herself has sort of a sick sense of humour that causes her to giggle at other people's grievances. She finds it funny when other people trip up the stairs (which I mean, who doesn't really?), she laughs when it's MY turn to go to the dentist cause she knows I hate it there (which is extra funny to me today, because I am leaving in about an hour to go get her from school for HER turn in the dentists chair! HA!), she snickers away at the thought of me circling the parking garage at the hospital searching for what seems like hours for a parking spot...somewhere...anywhere...only to find that the only open space is on the a huge puddle...farthest away from the stairway going down to the sidewalk. Yep, she is the sweetest kid on the planet...she has a heart of gold...she is a super well behaved child, but she has a twisted sense of humour already at 7 years old.
Anyhoo, back to my problem...i am wondering if I am scarring her inner psyche or emotional mentality when i make comments like that about her diabetes or her blood sugars? I'm wondering if I am doing harm to her mental health by making jokes or being sarcastic? I wonder if I should stop it? Or am I actually doing some good with my sarcasm and jokes? Am I teaching her through my comments and actions that life doesn't really have to be all that serious ALL of the time...even with diabetes? I just want to point out before I post this and I invite the judgement...that I would not and have not ever said anything mean to her or about her regarding her diabetes...that is totally not something I would ever do...I love her more than anything in this world. I only want to try and make her laugh during a stressful time. When she laughs, it makes my world a better place.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm in a funk....

So, I just can't seem to get in the mood for fundraising for the Walk this year. I don't know why...but I just feel sort of blah about the whole thing. I should be more excited and more into it seeing as how Emma is the youth ambassador this year. I should be working my bum off trying to come up with new ideas for fundraisers. I should be knocking down doors, visiting businesses, asking everyone....but for some reason I'm not. I wish I could snap out of it. I feel like I'm in some sort of funk. I will fully admit that I am probably the world's biggest procrastinator...but I don't feel like I can even blame my lack of enthusiasm on that.
This will be our 3rd time participating in the Walk. I think I am kind of burned out on begging people for money. I'm tired of even asking family members for money to be honest. We have been really blessed in the past with people wanting to help Emma and support her in her fundraisers...but to get to those caring helpful people, it always seems like I have to wade through a mountainous supply of meanies who could care less. For some reason this year, I am finding it hard to even ask people for that help. It's actually starting to make me feel like a bad Mom. I mean, I should totally be out there fighting for a cure every single day. I should be doing everything in my power to help raise as much money as possible for a cure. I should be doing it to help my daughter as well as all of the other diabetics out there......but I just can't get in to it this year. UGH!
It's really frustrating me. I think I just get discouraged and disappointed in the majority of people's reactions...that I feel like I just don't even have the energy to listen to all the "no, I'm sorry...I can't help out with even $5" responses right now. It's draining and it feels like I might as well be banging my head up against the wall instead.
I want a cure. I want it with every single part of me. I want to be able to tell Emma that she doesn't have to live this way anymore. I want other people and other parents to understand. I know it sounds horrible of me, but sometimes I want to tell them "what if it was YOUR kid? would you be so quick to say no then?"....but I bite my tongue....because I wouldn't want to wish this life on anyone. So, instead...I sit here in my funky silence...procrastinating...I need a swift kick in the head I think.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two off the wall dreams in one night!

I had not one...but two crazy dreams last night/this morning. Usually I have a hard time remembering my dreams at all (I think because I rarely get enough sleep...and when I do, it is always broken and only a few hours at a time...thank you ever so much diabetes!), but this time I actually remembered both of them. The first one was just before 4:00am and I remembered it because I was abruptly woken up to Emma yelling from her bedroom next to ours that she just had a bad dream. In any case, my dream was about Emma, myself, my Mom, and my Grandma all driving in my Mom's car. Emma and I were in the back seat, my Mom was driving, and Grandma was in passenger seat. For some reason my Mom was driving around like a maniac and going as fast as (insert super fast professional race car driver's name here (I know nothing of the Nascar world) ). I have no idea why she was in such a hurry, and for some reason I didn't think to ask. Everytime she would speed around a corner, Emma would go sliding across the back seat and smoosh right into me. In the real world, she would have been in a booster seat still...but apparantly in dream land, no such thing! This wouldn't have been ALL that bad really, except for the fact that I was trying to also give her a needle at the time. I kept trying to grab ahold of her arm and hang on to it long enough to get the needle in...but my Mom kept flying around the corners and she would slide away! It was really driving me crazy! But, I didn't say a word the whole time...I just kept at it and kept trying to grab ahold of Emma's frustrating! That is where the dream ended though because I then had to go attend to Emma's bad dream in the other room.
Once that was taken care of, I fell back asleep and into my second dream of the night. Emma and I were walking downtown super early in the morning...before the sun was even out (which is totally out of character because I am the complete opposite of an early morning person!) We came up to a Western/Cowboy style store and before I knew it, Emma darted inside. The lights were on, but I didn't see anyone in the whole store. I ran in after her and was calling for her in my loudest whisper. I heard her giggling away and clomping around on the hardwood floors in her own cowboy boots (which is weird because she doesn't even own cowboy boots!) I finally caught sight of her hiding amongst this huge display of carved wooden statues of cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and indians. I ran up to her to try and grab her so we could get the heck out of there, and just as my fingers were about to close on her arm...she took off up this giant wooden staircase giggling away. ARGH! Just then I heard someone that I assumed was the store owner stomping up the stairs from the basement and I knew we were busted. I chased up the stairs after Emma furiously calling her name and yelling that we needed to get out of there NOW or we were going to be in HUGE trouble! Then I woke up...this time to Emma's face about 2 inches from mine telling me that it was time to wake up now.
How weird!! I wonder what the heck these dreams meant? The only thing I can see that is a common theme between the two is that in both of them, I was feeling out of control, trying to get ahold of Emma, furiously trying to hold on to her and help her and get us to a safer place (be it out of the store...or giving her the insulin she apparantly needed). So strange....

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dogs and Cats are so underrated

Emma and I had an interesting conversation the other day that I thought I would share on here. My Mom has two dogs and it was actually one of their birthdays not that long ago. She is the sweetest dog around and Emma just adores her. When I mentioned to Emma about the birthday, we sort of got on the topic of how my dog growing up (who actually passed away many years ago now) had diabetes for the last couple years of his life. Emma is just fascinated by that...I think it must seem so weird to her that this disease not only affects humans, but also the family pet. It sort of fascinates me too...not in the same sense though I suppose. I find myself more so thinking of how that is really my first experience with diabetes. I remember sitting there watching my Mom practice giving injections on an orange. I remember her getting the dog, Barkley, to sit down in front of her so she could grab some skin on his bum and give him his insulin needle for the day. He would yelp and cry for the first few times, and then he seemed to get used to it and just accepted it as part of his daily routine....just like Emma. I'm not trying to compare or belittle my child's diabetes by any means...I just find it interesting how they both went through basically the same process of acceptance. When Emma was diagnosed, she would scream and cry and flail about every time we needed to give her a needle. My husband would have to hold her on his lap in a bear hug while I did the job. It broke my heart to see her look at me with such hate and terror in her eyes. I will never forget that look for the rest of my life. it took her about 3 weeks to admit defeat and just accept the fact that this was now her life...she was now going to get needles every day, multiple finger pokes, the whole deal.
I think a lot of times people just write off animals...they think of them as "just a dog" or "just a cat". To me it is obvious that they are so much more than just that. When we were in the hospital on the day Emma was diagnosed, I told her that I would get her a kitten. I wanted to give her something to distract her from all of the chaos and pain that was going on. I wanted her to get the comfort and love from a pet who would always be around for her. I wanted her to experience a bond with this kitten just like the one I had with Barkley growing up. At the time, I knew the road ahead of us was going to be anything but easy...and I knew that by Emma having someone like our cat, Daisy would make things a little more bearable for her.
Daisy is definitely a crazy cat, but she has gone above and beyond in her role as companion for Emma. She has been there through every screaming painful needle, every low blood sugar, every illness, every stressful event. She has always been there to help ease Emma's pain by cuddling with her, to make her giggle when she runs around playing with her toys,  or even just laying at her feet and watching over her while she sleeps on the living room floor when we camp out during stomach viruses. She has been there to lay next to me purring while I pet her, helping me cope with the stress of keeping my child alive. She is there with me in the middle of the night when i am up checking blood sugars. She has actually even suddenly gotten up from a sound sleep on the couch and went up the stairs and stood at Emma's bedroom door meowing away...going back and forth from me to the door until I went in to check her blood sugar....and found it to be low. She sees me cry silently sometimes late at night when I feel like I just can't take it anymore...and she will curl up on my lap or lick my tear stained cheek.
Animals are amazing and loyal creatures. I am greatful for the ones I have had in my life. I think those that just write off animals as nothing more than simply an animal...are really missing out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little bit lighter

Last night I reached a milestone moment. I made it to page 50 of this "thing" I've decided to write. I've never written anything this long before in my life. I've gotten a lot of words, thoughts, and memories out of my head already in doing this....but I feel like there is so much more left still. I'm finding myself wondering how long this "thing" is going to turn out to be and if it will be any good. I wonder if it will even make any sense to any one other than me? At times, I find it really hard to get back into that feel those re-live it, so to speak. Sometimes, I will sit here with tears falling from my eyes trying to will my fingers to move faster on the keyboard just so I can get the memory out and be done with I can stop crying and just leave that horrible place in my head again. Other times I find myself laughing and sitting here with a big stupid grin on my face as I recall something hysterical that occured and I try to get the memory out slowly and stay in that light and happy place for as long as possible. All in all though, I am finding it to be a very interersting journey. Sometimes after writing a few pages, I feel a sort of emptiness inside. Not so much a "bad emptiness"'s more like my heart feels a little bit lighter. I think over the years diabetes has stolen so much of my heart and hardened my heart so many times, that by getting my thoughts and feelings out in this writing is slowly helping to rebuild it and make me feel that light feeling again. It's such a weird thing though because this lightness feels so strange to me now. It feels weird. It makes me wonder if this is how I felt before diabetes moved in to our house. I wonder if this is how your average person feels every day? I wonder if I just don't recognize this feeling anymore because I haven't felt it in almost 3 years now?
I know the second the doctor told me that my daughter was diabetic, I was changed for what I thought would be was just one of those proverbial moments in life that changes you and will either make you stronger...or drag you down in defeat. So here I sit, wondering if by writing this "thing" I am sort of bringing a little bit of that old version of myself back...the happy and easy going version. I think that would be nice. I could handle having a bit of that part of my soul around again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Animas it is...that's my final answer, Regis

No need to phone a friend and use up one of my life lines (a la "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"((speaking of which, is that show even around anymore?)) ) I love that I just made a comment within a side comment...lolol...shows you how my mind is working these days! Definitely NOT like a steel trap to say the least! Anyhoo......we have made our pump decision...we are going with Animas!!! I am so relieved to have the decision making portion of this whole process done and over with. At least I can remove that stress from my mind now.
So, we met with Stephen from Medtronic yesterday evening and I can honestly say that I was way off in how I pictured him looking. I had this image in my mind of a paunchy middle aged man with glasses and a receding hairline, of course wearing the uniform of a plaid sportcoat and too short dress pants that make him look like he is actually wearing "man capris". In reality, Stephen was around my age, very tall and slim, light brown hair, and good looking. He was wearing a striped dress shirt and had a snazzy sweater vest over top of it. We sat down and listened to all of his statistics and percentages. We listened to him go on and on explaining how his pump is the best and how everyone and their brother was choosing Medtronic pumps. He offered up all of these freebies...spybelts, skins, etc. Before leaving, he even went out to the car and brought back a couple of stuffed animals and a book for Emma. I am sure he is a very nice man, but I found it extremely difficult to wade through all of his sales pitches and manipulation of things. It was very off putting to me to sit there and watch him hand over to Emma the nice glossy, laminated, and brightly colored booklet showcasing the huge variety of fun looking skins for the pump. What little girl is not going to change her mind about pumps when she learns that she can have one with zebra print on it, or bright pink and purple? I felt like I was sitting there watching someone dangle a gigantic lollipop in front of my kid and telling her that she needs to whine and beg until I buy it for her. I'm sorry....I am the grown-up in this situation...I am the one who will be purchasing the pump....not my 7 year old kid. Thankfully I have a smart kid. Once he left, she said she changed her mind and wanted the Medtronic now. I didn't comment at all really because I was disappointed that she was swayed by the glitz and glammer of a stuffed animal and some I just went about my business of making supper. About 2 hours later, Emma came up to me and said that she changed her mind again...she wanted Animas. She said that she thought about it and realized that the only reason why she said she wanted Medtronic earlier was because of the cool skins and because Stephen gave her stuff. What a kid. I'm glad she came to that conclusion all on her own though...I think it will mean more to her now once she gets her Animas. She will feel more confident in it and be proud that she decided on that one all on her own.
In any case, I can honestly say that the best thing I saw of the entire visit was the one stuffed animal he gave Emma. It is a small version of Lenny the Lion and it has a zipper on its back. It is to be used for storing the pump in while your child is sleeping! How cool is that? Instead of clipping it to her jammies or wearing a spybelt or even just laying it on the pillow next to her, you just pop it in the zippered pouch on Lenny's back! I thought that was so cool!
So, we made it past this first hurdle of decision...and now we've turned the corner on our path and made it to the land of "freaking out panic because this is now a real reality-Ville"...population-1. I am so glad I have this blog to write about these experiences! Thank you all for all of your supportive comments and for being there by my side as I take these first steps into the land of means the world to me to know that I'm not alone and have you there to stop me from getting lost on the way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Used car Salesman approach to pumping

After school today we will be meeting with a Rep (Stephen) from Medtronic. He is going to come over and give us a little showcase showdown of their version of the pump. We already met with the Animas Rep a couple of weeks ago and we are most definitely impressed with the Ping. I told my husband that Stephen is going to have to really impress me and throw out all the stops to make me change my mind about going with Animas. He is already sort of starting out on the wrong foot in my books honestly. A few weeks back, I called both Reps on the same day and he seemed very put out and very "used car salesman-ish" to me on the phone. We had scheduled an appointment for one day last week right after school because he told me that he couldn't come at a time any later than that. I was disappointed because I had wanted my husband to be able to be there as well and I knew he wouldn't be home from work at that time. Such is life though, so we booked our time for immediately after school. Stephen called me the morning of our appt. and had to cancel because his daughter was ill. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that whole scenario...sick is put on hold. So, we rescheduled for today. Before hanging up the phone, he made sure to throw some statistics at me about the percentage of people in my area who use the Medtronic pump...blah blah blah...percentage of this and percentage of even has that new car smell...ummmm ok! I am looking forward to him showing up this afternoon, but I am bracing myself for that fake smile and the classic salesman "lemme show ya all the bells and whistles" demeanor. I do not mesh well with people like that. I will however keep an open mind and see how it plays out. I have set a goal for myself to make a decision by the end of this week regarding which pump we are going to go with. Wish me luck! Here's to hoping that Stephen doesn't show up wearing a cheesy plaid sportcoat and handing out complimentary Bic pens that say "Buy a pump from Steve and get a free weave!" or "Help me break even and buy from Stephen!" or "Don't get mad and leave! Buy from Steve!" that would be funny actually.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Educating the kids

I am sitting here trying to begin writing this post and have now written and erased my opening line at least 5 times. I have no idea why, but for some reason I am having a hard time jumping into things this morning. Anyhoo, I wanted to write about this past weekend. On Saturday, Emma and I went about our usual routine of piano lesson in the morning and gymnastics in the afternoon. I was sort of on high alert diabetic Mommy mode as soon as I pulled in the parking lot of gymnastics to be honest...simply because of our experience there last week which I wrote about in another post. I was on the look out for the father who so rudely and ignorantly pulled his daughter away from the general vicinity of Emma and I when I had been checking her blood sugar during snack time last week. I parked the car and we walked inside with no sight of this man. Emma went in to her class and I took my usual spot on the floor and began reading my book. (I'm currently reading "127 Hours" by the way...amazing true story of Aron Ralston getting trapped in a canyon and forced to amputate his own arm after a week of being stuck so he could rescue himself and get out alive). So, there I was lost in Aron's world, near the end of the story, reading about him finally coming to the conclusion/decision to amputate...when in walks the father with his kids and his ex-wife. He gave me a short glance and went about his business of waiting for his kids class to begin. A short while later, Emma came out for her snack time and I tested her just as I always do. She was a tad higher than I would like her to be for that time of day, so I decided to give her the snack and a correction needle as well. I wondered how this would all play out with the ignorant father and his daughter standing nearby. Honestly I could care less if it bothered him again...I was simply doing what needed to be done for my kid. I was doing my job as her her a little boost and helping get those blood sugars down a bit. So, I pulled out the needle, dialed up a dose, and grabbed her arm to have at it. As soon as the little girl caught sight of what I was doing, she walked over and stood there staring at us. I noticed Emma look up and stare back at the kid. At first she looked annoyed because Emma really isn't fond of people (especially strangers) openly staring at her...who is really? I waited to see if she would say anything to this little girl. Apparantly Emma decided that it wasn't worth instead of opening her mouth, she just gave the little girl one of her award winning cheesy to the max smiles (which I find adorable seeing as how she is missing all of her front teeth). The ignorant father was apparantly too wrapped up in chatting with his ex-wife to notice that his precious daughter was now witness to me giving Emma an actual needle...GASP! Which I found absolutely hilarious for some reason. I had a little giggle as well at Emma because not only was she grinning away like the Cheshire cat, but her eyes said something totally different. Her eyes said "Whatchu lookin at girlie? Got a problem?" This all occured in a split second really...and Emma was off to join her class and eat her snack. I put the needle away and began reading again.  Score one for us in the psuedo-education of the future of the world on diabetes management!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The bravest person I have ever met

I am sitting here breathing a HUGE sigh of relief! Today was the day that Emma and I went to the hospital to try out the infusion sets for the pump. The appointment was at 3:00pm and honestly this afternoon seemed like the longest one of my life. Emma had off of school today, so she was happily playing with her toys and playing various games on the computer. I was sitting on the couch and staring at the clock...watching the stupid minute hand draaaaaaag around in a circle. I might as well have sat there and counted "one mississippi...two mississippi...three mississippi..." at least I would have felt a little more productive. In any case, when it was finally time to leave, we gathered up our stuff and headed out the door. My stomach was starting to tense up with that familiar panic/nervous/oh my gosh what have i gotten myself into feeling. To try and distract myself, I decided to focus on driving and made idle chit chat with Emma. We talked about her latest obsession...Mad Libs. They are a blast! I am however getting over the whole "Mommy, what's an adverb? Mommy, what's a past tense verb?" scenario...I feel like I am back in English class. Anyhoo...back to the drive! I made my way downtown to the hospital and parked the car. We walked inside and met up with the nurse in the "family room." She jumped right in and began showing me how to use all of the different infusion sets on this creepy fake skin looking thing. Once that was finished, we decided to try one out on me. I stood up and she wiped my stomach off with an alcohol swab and got everything ready. I wanted to try to do it myself, but my hands were just shaking like crazy and I was starting to freak out a little bit seeing Emma cringe and partially cover her eyes. So, the nurse took over and did it for me. I was completely surprised because it didn't hurt at all!!! Emma was totally not convinced though. Once the nurse asked her if she wanted to try one on herself, Emma immediately burst into tears and put her head down on the table. The nurse told Emma that she could just try next time if she wanted to...there was no rush at all. So, we got up and made our way out to the car. On our way though, I asked Emma to sit down for a minute and talk with me. We sat down and I saw this look of total disappointment and fear in her eyes. I wanted to help her, but I knew that she needed to decide to make this leap on her own. I told her that I love her more than anything in this world. I asked her if she believed me when I told her that it didn't hurt and she said yes. She was sobbing still and through her tears and hiccuping breaths, she managed to blurt out that she DID believe me, but she was just scared. She was afraid that it would hurt and she didn't think she was brave enough to try. She thought that she would never be able to do it and she would then never be able to get a pump. She thought that she would screw up her chances and she wouldn't get to live a somewhat more "normal" life. My heart ached seeing her this way...seeing her speak about things that should be waaay beyond her years...watching her shoulders shake and her eyes so afraid and disappointed in herself. I wanted to make it all better...i wanted to fix it and convince her that she IS brave. So, i told her that she really only had two choices in the matter...she could accept the fact that she was scared, realize that the fear wasn't going to go would always be there until she actually did it and knew first-hand what it felt like, walk back to the nurses office and ask her if she could try it now, and just hold onto my hand and work through the fear together, stand up to it, kick it in the bum and do it anyway......OR she could walk out the hospital front doors, get in the car and drive home with me, still wondering, still nervous, still worrying, still stressing over the unknown, and just put it off until the future. She sat there for what felt like an eternity and then looked up at me with her big brown eyes, her jaw set, he shoulders squared...and said, "ok...I'm scared out of my mind, Mommy....but I WANT to do this...let's go." we did. She was great. She was brave. She was, is, and always will be my hero. I have never been more proud of anything or anyone in my entire life.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

With shovel in hand, I attempt to make it happen

So, I've decided to take the plunge and write something. I'm not calling it a book...simply because that seems to daunting to me. It seems too much and too overwhelming. I haven't come up with an appropriate term for what I am doing yet. So, I will just stick with calling it "writing something". I am finding it difficult and yet easy all at the same time. It's easy, so to speak, because the words just keep flowing and it is constantly on my mind. Since I have decided to do this, I find myself going about my daily tasks always thinking about what I want to write next. It's like this constant urge or need drawing me to the computer making me want to just hurry and get all the words and feelings out of me before it's too late. On the other hand, I am finding it extremely difficult because I'm having to go back to that dark and frightening place in my head of when Emma was diagnosed. I am trying to get all of the true feelings out so I'm attempting to dig up all of those emotions that I've worked so hard over the years to bury. It feels like I am purposely and intentionally torturing myself. I'm grabbing the hand of that naive and meek version of myself from nearly 3 years ago and dragging her along. I'm forcing her to take hold of the shovel and dig through all of the muck and horror of those first few days. I'm standing there at the edge of the hole she is digging...just yelling at the top of my lungs at her to keep digging...keep moving...keep going!! There she is covered in tears and sweat and filth...and I am forcing her to keep at it. It's hard. I know that I am the only one standing in my way. I know that I, more often than not, am my own worst enemy when it comes to accomplishing something. So, I hope that when all is said and done, I am able to finish the job. I hope that I can find the right words to express what I am feeling. I hope that I can force myself to just keep digging. I hope that what I write will be good enough. Most of all, I hope that it will help someone going through the same things I am going through. I feel selfish though because it is honestly helping me too. It is turning out to be an extended version of my little blog therapy sessions. After each writing session, I feel better. I sit there typing away, getting the words...the story...the memories out of my head, with tears streaming down my face. Once the words stop flowing and I put it away for the moment...I feel better. It's a long process...and one of the most difficult things I have attempted to do so far, but I think it is the right thing to do. Even if I am the only one who ever reads it or likes it, I think it will be worth it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Mommy's Promise

So I made a promise to Emma today. I promised her that she would be cured soon. I promised her that her days with diabetes would be over at some point in her lifetime. I promised her that she would not have to live the rest of her life with this stupid disease.
Now I am not one to promise things easily. I do not ever lie to my daughter. I am an honest person by nature. This all came about because I made a slideshow video of her for the Walk for a Cure this year. Naively (is that a word?), I showed it to Emma. There we sat at the computer desk together...watching the pictures of her roll by...reading the captions I posted to them. As I was staring at the computer screen, I heard what I thought to be Emma right beside me giggling at some of the silly pictures of her I put on it. I started giggling with her and turned to look at her face because seeing her giggle and smile always melts my heart. Instead of seeing her gorgeous smile, I saw tears streaming down her beautiful face. I was instantly crushed. Diabetes stole another piece of my heart today. I just sat there holding Emma to me and brushing the hair out of her face...kissing the tears away...trying to restart my heart and breath again. We watched the rest of the video (which I have now posted on here as well), and she told me that she is tired....she just wants a cure already. She's only 7 years old and she's tired of diabetes...of needles, pump talk, insulin, finger pokes...all of it...she's just tired. My sweet girl has been dealing with this disease for nearly 3 years now...and she's tired. I didn't realize the slideshow would affect her like this or else I would never have shown it to her. I never expected it to bring tears...I thought she would giggle at it and get a kick out of seeing all of the funny pictures.
So, here I sit...feeling horrible for showing it to her. Here I sit...wondering how much of my heart is actually left. Wondering if I will be able to keep my promise to her. I suppose that all I can do is hope.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ignorance at it's finest

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, I apologize ahead of time for repeating myself about what went on today...but I felt the need to write about it on here too.
Anyway, today started out like any other ordinary Saturday...I took Emma to her piano lesson in the morning, came home for lunch, and went to gymnastics in the afternoon. Her gymnastics class is 2 hours long with a small break in the middle for the kids to eat a snack (which works out awesomely for a diabetic!). So, there I was sitting on the floor in the hallway reading my book when her class came walking out for break. As usual Emma bounced over to me holding her finger out waiting for me to check her blood sugar and hand over the snack. I went about my business...right there on the floor...with a room full of other parents and kids around us...just like I always do every single Saturday afternoon. Since day one, I have never tried to hide Emma's diabetes. I've never made her go into the washroom or the car when we are out in public to give needles or check blood. I made that mental decision pretty much immediately after she was diagnosed. I don't want this to be something that she feels should be hidden or secret. I don't want to promote the feeling of shame or embarassment. She is a normal 7 year old kid. She happens to have diabetes. She needs needles and finger pokes to stay alive. Simple as that. There is no shame in simply wanting to stay alive. There's no shame in wanting to do what needs to be done to stay healthy and alive. I have never flaunted the checks or needles either though. I've never made a grand deal of them or anything of that nature. I have always just treated them as additional steps in the whole "eating food process". That's it...nothing more, nothing less.
So, I was checking her at gymnastics, I happened to glance up and notice a father standing nearby with his daughter who appeared to be around Emma's age. He was watching us and had this utter look of disgust on his face. At first, seeing as how I am somewhat of a naive person still, I thought maybe he was just one of those people who gets nervous at the sight of blood. I was wrong. This "Dad" proceeded to grab his daughter by the shoulders and quickly pull her all the way across the room away from us...and then stand there giving me the most awful look...pure disgust and rudeness. Thankfully Emma didn't even notice any of what happened. She was too anxious to just get her container of strawberries and water bottle from me and get back to the rest of her class in the other room eating their snacks too. I sat there on the floor putting our supplies away in my bag...I could feel my face burning...not out of was pure rage boiling inside me. I was clenching my hands so hard into fists that they still hurt well after we left there. I was at a loss...I didn't want to look up or even move at all for that matter. I was so completely dumbfounded by this man's behaviour. I have no idea what he thought...if maybe my daughter had some sort of contagious blood disease that his daughter could catch? I don't really care what he thought I guess. Aside from the obvious reasons for my anger, I was...and still am...actually very sad and upset and hurt that this ignorant man is teaching his daughter to be ignorant as well. Just continuing the cycle of stupidity. It breaks my heart because kids are not born that way....they aren't born hating others...or judging them...or not accepting differences in the world. They are taught those behaviours by their parents.
So, there I sat...waiting for my temper to calm down...waiting for the rational thinking part of my brain to kick in again. I have learned that I can't control anything or anyone else in this world other than my own actions and how I react to things. That is all I have control over. I decided to let myself be upset and sad for his little girl. I decided to let myself be greatful that Emma was oblivious to the whole situation. I decided to not try to waste my time, energy, or breath on someone like him. Instead I put away her diabetes supplies, take out my book again, and held my head high knowing that I accomplished my diabetic Momma duties for this weeks gymnastics class. That was all I could do...and that's all I did.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Great Wall of Giant Needles

One week from today, Emma and I will be going to the hospital to meet up with the diabetic nurse educator. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She will be showing me the infusion sets for the pump and actually trying them out on me. I think it will be a good thing for Emma to see. I am hoping that I won't flinch or say "OW!" or anything that will cause her to believe that it hurts too much. I will definitely have to pull out my award winning acting skills, because honestly I am a big wimp when it comes to needles. The nurse mentioned to me that after we do the infusion sets on me...she would like to see if Emma would let her do one on her as well.
This makes me fact it scares me and is already starting to stress me out. This has always been the big brick wall standing in our way...seperating us from the world of pen needles...and pump freedom. It's the one thing that Emma is scared of when it comes to the pump. It was the main reason why she screamed and cried and shouted that she NEVER wanted a pump when we first showed her one almost 2 years ago. Well, now that she is a bit older...and a bit more reasonable...she has made up her own mind that she in fact DOES want the pump...but she is still terrified of the needle. That little infusion set needle might as well be the Great Wall of China for us. Here I stand, with Emma at my side...facing our side of that wall...the bricks all worn and smooth and familiar. I can hear all of the laughter and playing and freedom on the other side of that wall...and Emma and I both want nothing more than to climb on over and join in. That stupid wall is so big and looming and impossible looking to Emma...she feels like there is no way in the world she will ever be able to get over it.
I need to find a way to help her get over it. I need to figure out a way to reason with her and make her realize that the needles aren't that scary and they aren't going to hurt her as badly as she is imagining. I need to think it through and figure this obstacle out so I can help her over the wall and onto the other side where she will have a bit more freedom in her life. Diabetes makes my brain hurt sometimes. I think the majority of people don't realize how much this disease really affects you mentally and emotionally. I can handle the physical management of it day in and day out....but sometimes the mental and emotional part of it just makes me want to crawl back into bed and tuck my head under the covers...and hope that maybe someone else will figure it out.