I know the question has been thrown out there before to many people living this life....what would you do if you had just one day without diabetes? How would you spend that day? What would you eat? Would you do anything differently?
Well, I thought I would take a different approach to this question and ask you what YOU as the parent of a diabetic child would do? How would you spend your day of freedom from this disease? Would you sleep soundly for the first time in years? Or would you rise early and squeeze every last ounce of fun out of the day relishing every little moment without diabetes? Would you feed your child all of those "problem foods" for every meal...bagels or muffins for breakfast with a nice big glass of cold orange juice? Ooey Gooey cheesy pizza and a Dr. Pepper for lunch? Pasta, garlic bread, or Mac and Cheese for dinner? Ice cream and cotton candy for dessert? Or would you simply carry on like usual and stick to your normal menu for the day and simply smile at the fact that you didn't have to count carbs...figure out boluses...combo boluses...dual wave boluses? Would you run laps around the park with your child all day...go swimming, spend hours jumping on the trampoline, play hockey, soccer, and dance the night away without the thought of a low blood sugar entering your mind even once? Or would you stick to your routine...enjoy the comfortable normalcy and soak in the fact that you haven't had to check a blood sugar one time? Would you take your child to the movies and hand them their own bag of popcorn...put your arm around their shoulder and simply enjoy the movie....without having to fumble around in the dark and check their blood sugar?
Or would you just hold them.......hug them tight...and feel the tears upon your cheeks as you realize that there is no insulin pump hanging from their belt, in a pump pouch, or attached to their little body anywhere......it's simply a hug...no tubes, no pumps, no nothing in the way....just you and your child...hugging like you hugged them all the days before they were diagnosed.
How would you spend your day?
I can't know for sure, because the thought of a day like this is like a fairytale to me...soft and glittery...just out of my reach...and yet at the same time...it seems completely within my grasp. I want to experience MORE than just a day...I want a lifetime without this disease, obviously...but if I could have only one day I believe I would spend it wisely. I would rise early...even though sleep is precious to me now. After 4 years of getting little sleep...that of which is usually broken as well, I still believe I would choose to rise early. I would run into Emma's room to wake her and we would leave the house in our jammies and fuzzy slippers to go for McDonald's breakfast. We would laugh and sing the whole way there, not worrying about bringing along the blood sugar meter. I would get her anything on the menu that she asked for plus an extra large orange juice. We would cut through the park on the way home and spend some time there...running and playing, swinging and sliding, hanging from the monkey bars and not worrying about a low happening at all. We would skip home and giggle at the fact that my pockets aren't loaded down with juiceboxes or candy...in fact my jammie pants don't even HAVE pockets! We would change into our swimming suits without doing that shimmy manuever to make sure pump tubing is not tangled or twisted in the suit. I would pause for a moment to notice that there was no pump site attached to her belly...or thigh...or anywhere else. We would spend the day swimming and laughing and not giving diabetes a second thought. We would eat lunch late...play in the sand at the beach...build sand castles...enjoy the feeling of the sun on our skin...and just live in the moment. We would have a big campout in the backyard with all of her friends...toast marshmallows on the BBQ, make s'mores, and the kids would jump for hours on the trampoline. I can just hear their squeals of laughter and fun as I type this. I can just picture the look of pure joy and freedom on Emma's face. I can feel the weight lifted from my shoulders as I stand there witnessing this moment of childhood innocence. As the sun sets in the west and the sky takes on that breathtaking orange hue, I know that I will find myself getting anxious...the minutes ticking away...our time will soon be over. I will feed her pizza for dinner and savour the moment...as I watch her take each individual bite, I will savour it...I will be greatful for the fact that I won't have to worry about how to make the insulin pump act like a functioning pancreas would in a meal like this. I will recognize that it really is about the simple things in life. I will realize that I am lucky enough and that I take it for granted every time I put food into my own mouth. I will enjoy that pizza more than any other gourmet meal available on the planet. As the end of the day draws near, I will feel the sadness returning...the fear...the stress...the old familiar blanket of worry that I wrap around my meager shoulders every single day. I will feel it coming and I will laugh at the thought of Cinderella in camparison. I will feel that moment drawing near and I will force myself to return to my old self...my D-Mom self. I will carry Emma exhausted and truly happy up to her bed. I will tuck her in and kiss her goodnight just as I have every single night for the past 8 years. I will hug her tight. I will whisper in her ear that this day meant more to me than she could ever imagine. I will tell her that I am sad for the return of our version of normal...but I am confident that I can make it work...I am confident that I will continue on as I have for 4 years now...soldiering on getting ever closer to that day where we can return to our freedom again....where ALL of our days will be like this day. I will tell her that she is strong...she is beautiful...she is graceful in this life...and I hope that she had an incredible day. I will lay my head down upon my own pillow that night and close my eyes upon the greatest day I've had in years. I will fall into a silent and peaceful sleep content in knowing that we can do this...we will get there again...we will...I know this because there is no turning back...there are no do overs...there is no such thing as defeat.
That is what I think I would do with my day free from diabetes. To me, it is the most beautiful day I can imagine. How would you spend your day?