Fear is a huge part of diabetes. That is one thing I have learned many times over the past 3 1/2 years. Sometimes the fear is so overwhelming that it threatens to take over my whole mind. Fear to go to sleep at night. Fear that if I give in to my exhaustion and accidentally let my eyes slip shut that I will miss a severe low blood sugar in the next room and she will leave me. Fear that she will die while I am asleep. Fear that I have guessed wrong at the number of carbs she is eating and I will have given her too much insulin. That she will die because of a simple push of a button on her insulin pump...a button that MY own fingers pushed...a button that was pushed, because it's what I do...I push buttons to give her the insulin that her body no longer produces on it's own. Fear that when I drop her off at school in the morning and kiss her goodbye...that it will be the last time I kiss her goodbye ever....because she might give herself the wrong amount of insulin at snacktime and have a low and die....or she might pass out and have a seizure from all the activity in gym class. Fear that I am not doing enough to prepare her to take on the monumental task of managing her own diabetes one day when she is grown and living on her own. Fear that no one else cares. Fear that the rest of the non-diabetically affected world will always just continue to go about their days without a second thought to this. Fear that they will perpetuate the ignorance and in turn make my daughter's life that much more difficult.
Fear that a cure will never be found.
It's a powerful and yet weak emotion all rolled into one. It is enough to knock you flat on your face and leave you writhing in pain, anguish, and grief. Yet it also steals away your strength, your pride, the fire that burns within. How do we as parents of diabetics or diabetics ourselves somehow learn how to manage that fear and still go about our daily routine? How do we learn to bury it way deep down and still plaster a smile on our faces? How do we learn to deal with it...the enormous weight of it and still find the energy to laugh with our kids?
I honestly have no idea. All I know for certain is that when you are faced with fear like we are on a daily basis, you don't have a choice...you don't have the option to choose the easy way out and sit there cowering in the corner. Diabetes has made us strong. Yes, I know without a doubt that most days I do not feel strong...I don't feel capable...I don't feel like I'm good enough to be doing this job.
However, I do know that I am a lot stronger than I was 3 1/2 years ago. I am a lot stronger and more capable than I was on June 26, 2008. I am a lot less naive. I am no longer ignorant. I have a lot more compassion.
I am stronger than the fear.