So here it is....I feel like I have been dreading this day, thinking about this day, anticipating the awfulness of this day for the past year. Emma's 4 yr anniversary of her diagnosis is tomorrow...just a few short hours away. 4 years.....when I say it out loud it makes my heart hurt. When I read it on the screen...my eyes begin to fill with tears. I look at my girl now and I try to remember how she was 4 years ago and it seems like a distant memory to me....a completely different girl...and completely different life. I look at my own face in the mirror and I know that I am different. I come across pictures of myself from years ago and I hardly recognize me. I am not that girl anymore. That girl was lost forever when the doctor walked into that dismal room in the hospital and uttered the words, "Emma has type 1 diabetes." That version of myself died that day. She wilted away into a puddle on the floor and sighed her last breath into the world around her. The Amy you all know and hopefully like...if not love...emerged from that puddle of naive innocence. I look back over the years and I still mourn the loss of the old me. I wonder what her life would have been like if the doctor had simply walked into the room and told her it was a freak bladder infection and had written me a prescription for an antibiotic. I wonder if she would have gone along about her merry way and I wonder where she would be today...if she would be happy.
I stand here today and look behind me at all of the years past...all of the experiences that diabetes has brought us...all of the lessons learned...the failures...the victories...the bonds...the love. I look back and I am proud. I'm proud of that tiny shred of confidence I have in my back pocket now. I'm proud of the Mom I am today. I'm proud of the D-Mom I have become. Most of all I am proud of Emma. I'm sure you all know from reading my blog just how special I think she is. I am honoured to be her Mom. She is my heart. She teaches me more every single day than I could ever hope to teach her. I am proud of her strength, her bravery, her beauty, tenacity, humour, and stubborness. I am proud of her.
And yet I still mourn the loss of that 4 year old little girl she used to be. My heart is heavy when I think about who she would have become as a person had diabetes not been in the cards.
She is 8 now. Tomorrow will signify 4 years of living with diabetes....half of her life. She has lived half of her life with diabetes. The day after tomorrow will tip the scales the other way....she will begin accumulating more days with this disease than without. That thought has been running through my head for days...weeks...months. Typing it out hurts. I can imagine the pain that I would feel if I attempted to say it out loud. I don't want the scales to tip in the other direction. I don't want her to have more days with it. I think the enormity of that fact will completely demolish me. I don't know that I will be able to breathe tomorrow...or the next day. I don't know that I will be able to keep it together and hold it all inside...shoving it way down deep like I have trained myself to do over the years....shoving it down to push the sad thoughts...the tears...push them away and hide them from Emma. I don't know that I will have the strength to do that tomorrow. 4 years with this disease is enough. I am so tired. I'm so tired of trying to be positive....trying to be upbeat and focus on the good things that have come to us. I'm tired of the cliches....it will be ok...you will be fine...you can do this...you are strong...you have done this for 4 years...just keep going....you can do it...you have to do it. I hate the fact that I say those things to other people....when i find it so hard to believe them about myself right now in this moment. I hate that i don't feel strong right now. i hate that i can't stop crying adn the keys on the keyboard are all blurry and i hate that i keep blinking back the tears and wiping my nose on my sleeve. I hate that diabetes has stolen more tears from me. I hate that i have that sad lump in my throat and i can't breathe. I just want to breath again. I just want to let out a great big sigh and breathe.
I am sad.
Plain and simple....I'm sad....I'm sad for the shit we have had to endure as a family...I'm sad that there is no way out of this...we just have to make the best of it and keep moving. I'm sad that we have to still wait for a cure. I'm sad.
4 years.....is a long time. 4 years of waking up with my heart pounding and hoping that she lived through the night. 4 years of educating the ignorant masses about type 1 diabetes and feeling like a broken record...yes she can eat anything...yes ANYTHING....no she didn't get this from eating too much sugar...no there was nothing i could do to prevent it...no she will not outgrow it...yes it is awful....yes i know that you think you would never be able to give your baby needles everyday....but as i smile and nod i am shouting inside my own head that you WOULD be able to do it...you WOULD because it is your baby and you would do anything for them..to them...to keep them alive. 4 years of checking blood sugars, giving insulin, counting carbs, calculations, math, ratios, adjusting. 4 years of feeling like i have no control in this. 4 years of fighting for control over this. 4 years of making it my daily mission to show diabetes that I AM THE ONE IN CONTROL of this. 4 years of tears streaming down my baby girl's face from pain....4 years of battling highs and lows and ketones and illnesses. 4 years of joys and pride and victories and a connection formed with my daughter that would never have been there otherwise. 4 years of smiles and laughter and fun.
4 years of living. 4 years of growing. 4 years.
It's a long time...and yet there are days where it feels like the blink of an eye. 4 years of our lives.....
So, if you see me tomorrow and I look a wreck...or I look sad...or you see my eyes are red and puffy...or you see tears falling from the corners as I furiously try to brush them away to hide them from you...from her...from all. Please understand. Please know that I am just a Mom...trying to make it through a day....a day that I will never forget.