As I was driving home from the store just a bit ago, rocking out in the car all by myself to some Foo Fighters "I'm learning to walk again! I believe I've waited long enough...where do I begiiiiinnn?", my thoughts as usual turned to Emma and diabetes. Immediately I stopped singing along and chair dancing...and the tears burned my eyes threatening to spill over if I let them. I realized that I spend the majority of my "diabetes/Emma" thought time dedicated to thinking about the logistics of it all, the prevention of worst case scenarios, and how it makes me feel...how exhausted I am most of the time...how the sadness and depression can slip in at any moment when I least expect it...the sometimes overwhelming urgent firey feeling in my gut of how I wish that I could make those in our lives fully and completely understand the seriousness and gravity of this disease. It's constantly swirling around inside me...inside my head...inside my heart. I have gotten good at drowning out those ugly feelings and thoughts over the years. I've built up a serious strength inside myself because of diabetes.
However, I began to think about how much this disease affects Emma in her day to day life. Don't get me wrong...I do care about how she feels tremendously...more than my own feelings to be honest. I have always been one to put others wants, needs, and feelings ahead of my own...and that just goes double for my child...but sometimes I think I get so caught up in the day to day-ness of it all that I lose sight of how she handles it all every day. Starting 2nd grade this week, I have realized the whole importance of her independence with this. I'm learning to walk again...I'm learning to release some of this burden and lifestyle and give a little bit of it to her. It's scary and it honestly freaks me out...but I will do it...I know I will...because I have to...it will benefit her in the long run.
Anyway, I have to remember the emotional side of it for her too. On the night before the first day of school I was talking to Emma about what to do if she feels low at recess time. The whole...find an adult, go inside school, eat a "low snack", check BG" scenario. Just to share some of the "worst case scenario" situations I think of with her, I then asked her what she would do if in fact she couldn't find an adult she knew. She said she would tell them that she is diabetic and she feels low and needs to go inside. So I asked her what she would do if then this unfamiliar adult on the playground told her that it was ok...to just go sit down and relax and they would go in soon. Emma didn't know what to do then. She had a look of complete and total fear in her eyes. It broke my heart. I emphasized to her that if this worst case scenario happened, that she would need to go sit down and eat the fruit snack I stuffed into her pump pouch...and if anyone had a problem with her eating to or gave her trouble (they aren't allowed to eat on the playground at her school)...then to just keep eating it...don't listen to them...I would deal with any issues once she got back in and told her teacher she was low and the teacher calls me. I tried to stress to her that her health comes first above all else. If she's low and people aren't listening to her or taking the appropriate actions to help her...that she needs to eat...she needs to do it herself...regardless of if she were to get in trouble or not. (getting in trouble or getting yelled at is the WORST thing in Emma's eyes) I wasn't trying to scare her or worry her...I just wanted her to understand that basically...shit happens in this life with diabetes...and if no one else is listening...she needs to know that she can always count on herself. I hope I did the right thing. I hope I didn't scar her by sharing this bit of information with her. She is only 7. She seemed ok with it all and even giggled a bit at the thought of me giving the school a piece of my mind if something like this ever happened. I know that the odds of it actually happening are slim to none...it's a small school and everyone knows Emma and that she is diabetic...but you never know...shit can happen. One small step in educating my kid about what is truly important in her life I suppose....learning to walk again...so very true for us today.