There are some moments in this diabetes life that stick out and will probably always stick out for me. They are like permanently post-it noted to my memory....damn you post-it notes and your ease of use! Anyway, the past couple of days Emma has been dealing with a stomach virus. It wasn't one of the most severe scary cases we have ever seen in this house...but it was by far not the easiest either. I'll admit, there were moments were I broke down and allowed a few tears to fall, moments like when I drove to the pharmacy to pick up more ketone strips and I cranked the music, clutched my cell phone in my hand so I could still feel the vibration if my husband called to tell me Emma had passed out or thrown up or something while I was gone, and screamed/shouted along to the music. There were moments were I rested my chin on the edge of the computer desk, held my weary head in my own hands, and zoned out....thinking of nothing...a great big blank nothingness...and longing for the peaceful quiet non-diabetes filled open space of that blank nothingness. I longed for it. I wanted to silently slip away into that nothingness for just a moment and let the white noise crash through my tired brain and wash away all of the loud diabetes thoughts...thoughts of ketones that wouldn't go away, low blood sugars that wouldn't come up unless I suspended her pump which in turn would cause her ketones to go up, thoughts of her throwing up again, or having it come out the other end again....and why do I feel the need to state that delicately??? I mean we are all adults here....we are all parents or have parents or will be parents possibly one day....we've all done it...we all think it's gross...no one likes it...but we all know what I'm talking about so why don't I just freakin say it??? Diarrhea!! THERE I said it...I feel better now. So, anyway....those loud thoughts were crashing around in my head and I just wanted to slip away into the white noise and forget for a minute...forget that this is my life...this is our life...diabetes is a part of our life...there is no escaping it...there is no wishing it away...it just is....it is what it is...this is the hand we were dealt...this is the hand we must play. Sure we could choose to fold and lay our cards down on the table....but I've never been one to let a challenge pass me by. I am stubborn, I am strong willed...I am a fighter...I love deeply and I believe in us. Even in the face of all that loud diabetes insanity...ketones, lows, vomit, diarrhea, pumps, bolus, basal.....even when I am feeling lost and like I am wildly flailing my limbs all around struggling to find some sort of step...some sort of ledge...some sort of grip on something..ANYTHING...I know deep down that we can do this...we are strong and we can do this.
So, the physical aspects of diabetes and this particular stomach virus were hard...they are still hanging on by a thread as I type this actually because those stubborn ketones will not let go of their grip. However, the metal and emotional aspects of this particular bout are what almost knocked me flat on my face this time. Last night as Emma laid her head down on her pillow...camped out on the living room floor with me...she began to cry. Through her tears she whispered in her sweet angelic voice full of fear, "Mommy...I'm scared. I'm scared that this time I am REALLY sick." Another piece of my battered and bruised heart broken away again. It's hard to believe that I have any pieces left at this point honestly.
No one tells you at diagnosis about moments like that. The nurse doesn't prepare you for what to say. The doctor doesn't explain to you that your heart will break time and time again. No one tells you that you will have to see the fear in your child's eyes...your baby...the person to whom you gave life. No one tells you that you will have to hear them say these things...that you will have to somehow know what to say to comfort them. No one tells you these things. I haven't decided if it's because they don't want to scare you with too much too soon.............or if they just don't know.
Diabetes for me...almost 4 years in....has shown me that a good chunk of this battle is mental and emotional strength. I just hope I am strong enough to have the right answers for Emma when she needs them.