There are a few things in this world that are guaranteed to make my heart swell...my daughter being the obvious first thing...my husband, seeing my parents interact with my daughter, being in the same vicinity as a group of other diabetic families. I could go on and on, I suppose...but I really want to talk about one in particular here. Emma was invited to a friend's house yesterday for a birthday party. It originally was going to be a camping party and I would sleep in the tent with her to check her blood sugar and be her pancreas, but the rain put a damper (i love a good pun...lol) on those plans unfortunately. So, the party was moved to her friends house. The friends Mom offered the pull out couch to me for the night, but Emma told me that she would feel embarassed to have her Mom stay there too....totally understandable....so we were left at the threshold of one of my greatest fears coming to life....the sleepover. I knew this day would come sooner rather than later...I mean really...she is 8 years old...it's a normal thing to do. I have panicked about it many times over the years anticipating it, wondering what I would do, how I would handle it, if she would even be asked to a sleepover honestly. I would never in a million years expect another parent to willingly take on that responsibility for the night....it requires setting alarms, waking up to poke a needle in another kid's finger, squeeze some blood out, and get a blood sugar reading.....AND know what to do with that particular number. How could I ever expect someone to do that for me? Just so my kid could enjoy the party too? I envisioned a sleepless night for me sitting at home worrying, a sleepless night for the Mom of the birthday girl sitting there worrying....pretty much the only one sleeping would be the kids...eventually :o)
Well, the morning of the party started out great...Emma had a good breakfast reading, ate well, looked well, as was well. Lunch time rolls around and I check her and she was low....not just your average low either....it was one of those frightening kind of lows where she looks scared...she looks panicked...she is shaking from the low as well as the fear....AND she felt sick to her stomach. Well, no sooner did I get the juice in her when it all came back out. Then the real fear settled in....deep into my bones...my heart...her body...her face...her eyes......We got it back up thankfully...score another one for us in the "have you saved a life" department today. Then a couple of hours later she had a lovely rebound high blood sugar....which I overcorrected for and sent her plummeting back down to a 2.7 as we parked the car at her friends house for the party.
Yep...awesome....I was a stellar pancreas yesterday....stellar.
So....I told her that I wouldn't feel comfortable letting her stay the night because of the wacky numbers...and she understood...and it killed me. It shattered my heart into a million pieces because I have always said from day 1 in this battle that I would never let diabetes be the reason for her not being able to do something. i would never let it get in the way. I would never let it prevent her from being a kid. Well, there I stood.....saying these words to her disappointed face...she was crushed and I was screaming at myself in my own head that I was being a hypocrite and I was a failure and I was losing and I wasn't doing good enough because I failed and it was my fault that the numbers sucked because I am her pancreas and i failed...i failed i failed i failed....and I hated myself in that moment.
Well, we did what we always do...we moved on...we picked ourselves up and walked into that party with her chugging back that juice box like a pro.
In all the years we have been doing this...living this life with diabetes...I have never left her at a birthday party either. I've always felt bad expecting the bday child's parents to watch Emma and pay close attention for lows. I mean it's their kid's party...why should they have to take that on and be distracted with diabetes too? So, I have always stayed. Well, until yesterday that is. The Mom of the party, who also happens to be a friend of mine, was fine with me leaving...she took over as Emma's pancreas for a few hours. THEY were a team...my friend and Emma. She texted me to reassure me things were fine...she texted me to let me know blood sugar numbers and carb counts on foods Emma wanted to eat. She was doing it. They were doing it together and I was sitting at home....not being a pancreas. It was a bit of a surreal feeling honestly because the only other person besides my husband who has taken over pancreatic duties for me....is Emma's teacher. I have never had anyone watch Emma ever...my family lives in the States, so they aren't around to help, we don't often talk to my husband's family either because they are busy, and my friends have busy lives as well. So, it has always been us....us and school. It was weird for me to know that diabetes duties were happening a few streets over and I was not a part of it. It was an incredible relaxing feeling...and yet panicked feeling too......i know that makes no sense...but it's how I felt.
I think that my friend is amazing. She is one of those rare people walking around out there in the world who would do anything to help you...anything. She actually honestly cares about my child. She wanted her to be included and she wanted her to have fun. Even though Emma didn't sleep there, those few hours she got to just be a regular kid...at a birthday party...without her Mom there.....that was priceless. It meant more to me than I can even begin to explain. It meant more to Emma than I will ever know. Because of the kindness my friend showed....my kid was able to just....be...a....kid. I sit here with tears in my eyes typing this...greatful that I have been so lucky to have a friend like this. I hope those of you reading this are lucky enough to have a friend like her too.
Oh....and when we got home, I checked her blood sugar and she was a perfect 7.4......not too shabby for a first time pancreas, eh? :o)