Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lows with strangers on the floor

So yesterday Emma and I had to go out to the mall to pick up a birthday present for a friend of hers for a party this weekend. As we wandered around trying to decide what to get, I kept glancing at Emma and asking her if she felt low. My D-Momma senses were tingling. I knew something was up, but I wasn't 100% positive. I kept asking her and she kept replying with an annoyed "NO, I don't feel low! I'm fine!" I should know by now not to ignore my version of the "Spidey Senses"....I should know just to make her test....but I am trying to give her more independence and trying to stop hovering and asking and asking and asking. A gift was found and as I was standing at the counter to pay, Emma looks up at me and gives me the old familiar, "ok, NOW I feel looooow!" Awesome....I  knew it. So I hand her the meter bag and she tests right there at the counter...just like we have a million times before....and sure enough...low. So, she eats a Scooby Doo fruit snack as I am paying for our purchases and we make our way out the door and head to the grocery store in the mall to pick up a couple of things. It kind of hit me as we were walking. How many times have we done this before? I sort of felt like Alice wandering around Wonderland....knowing that I have done this before...standing there looking at my surroundings and feeling as if I am walking along that fine line between that old familiar dull sense of panic and normalcy.
As we entered the grocery store, my main goal was candy. It wasn't our usual grocery store, so I wasn't familiar with where everything was located. I felt like a hunter in search of it's prey......except instead of a jaguar seeking out that elusive gazelle......I was just a Mom....scanning the aisles for candy....for the quickest route to fixing the dangerous low she was currently experiencing...sugar. Thankfully the stores have out all of their Halloween candy, so I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found a huge box full of Nerds, Laffy Taffy, Runts, and other various trick or treat candies. I tore that box open feeling like a victor in the ultimate version of The Diabetic Hunger Games and tossed a couple of boxes of Nerds her way. We wandered around the store ever so slowly because I could tell she was struggling....her feet were betraying her...stumbling over each other...bumbling along. I wanted to stop right there and give her a minute, but she refused....the determined and angry look on her face made me sad and happy all at the same time. Sad because of what diabetes was doing to her in that moment......and happy to see that fire in her eyes...because in order for her to make it in this life, she NEEDS that fire...she NEEDS that anger...she NEEDS that determination...she NEEDS to not let diabetes beat her. So, we marched on....eating a low diabetics version of life support....candy.
We passed by an elderly couple as we made our way through the store. The man kneeling down beside his wife who was sitting on the floor. I remember thinking what a bizarre thing to witness out in public....why would she be sitting on the floor? Then I noticed the blood.....spatters of blood on the floor all around her...blood covering her hands...covering her husbands hands...pouring from the back of her head. This poor woman had fallen and hit her head somewhere. She glanced up at me as we trudged by and I saw the vacant and disoriented look in her eyes...she looked she was in pain...not sure what the hell just happened. Employees of the store surrounded her and were trying to help. It felt like I was trapped in bizarro world. There we were stuck in our low blood sugar bubble...people frantically bustling about all around us...seemingly stuck on fast forward as we were stuck on slow motion.
As time ticked on, Emma's blood sugar came back up....the colour returned to her cheeks, the elderly woman received help..........and life continued. Such a bizarre and unfortunate event in our day....intertwined for just a moment with a complete stranger.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Poem to Mourn

When the threat of death is constantly at your doorstep
very real
very true
The fear ever present
trying to consume you
Invading your thoughts
in the afternoon sun
Stealing your dreams in the dead of night
the dead...
of night...
wandering around in your crowded head
slipping in to your bed
placing the pillow over your head
gripping the edge
the beautiful edge
between twilight and dawn
Will I relent
and forget
or will I push back?
Do I live in the light?
Do I wallow in the mire?
Mourning comes
and a new day begins
to breathe life into the fight again.
For the beautiful and broken
left behind
always on my mind,
their spirits a whispered breath
as I shed a tear for their death.

Feeling normal

So I was reading some posts on Facebook yesterday and i came across a status update from the wonderful Meri Shuhmacher. She had posted something along the lines of "You know you're a D-Mom when you are carrying your house phone in one hand and your cell phone in the other when you go out to get the mail. I had to giggle at this because how true that statement really is. I found myself smiling at all of the comments that followed...all of the other D-parents that said they did the same thing.
It got me thinking, sure we all know that we are out there...bolusing our kids, poking their fingers to check blood sugars, counting carbs, and jabbing them with needles day in and day out. We know we are not alone. We know that there are countless others doing the exact same things every single day. It's sad and yet at the same time, very comforting. After reading this post from Meri though, it made me realize that we also do so many other things the same. We carry our phones around with us all day long as we anticipate (and yet hope against hope that it doesn't occur!) a phone call from our kid's school or daycare to tell us of a problem blood sugar...a scary low...or a stubborn high. You can pretty much guarantee that when you are walking upstairs to your child's room in the middle of the night, that there is another D-parent somewhere in the world doing the exact same thing at the exact same time. When you find yourself strapping your phone (set to vibrate) on your body somewhere just so you can vaccuum and feel confident that you will feel it ring, you can find comfort in knowing that someone else somewhere in the world is probably doing the same thing too. When you find  yourself sticking your head out of the shower curtain in the bathroom just to listen a little closer and reassure yourself that that wasn't just the phone ringing....and then shaking your head and scolding yourself for being so paranoid when you see that it wasn't.....yep, you are not alone. When you are driving around town running errands and have your phone laying on your lap and the radio turned down slightly...just so you can be sure to hear that anticipated phone call, know that someone else is doing the same thing. When you have the number to the hospital diabetes clinic memorized, and yet you have to look through the contacts on your cell phone to find your neighbours phone can pretty much guarantee that you have a child with diabetes living in your house. When you can glance at a food item on the grocery store shelf and instantly know the carb count.....and yet can not for the life of you remember if you did indeed put deodorant on this morning....the odds are good that you are a D-parent. When you find yourself cringing when your spouse mentions picking up a pizza on the way home for dinner....yep...D-parent.
There are so many things that we all do that are indirectly related to diabetes. It's not all about the bolusing and finger pokes. It's not the blood. It's not only the insulin ratios that bind us together. It's the in between moments. It's the little quirky things that we all do...that would make absolutely no sense to anyone else outside of this D-bubble....those are the things that bind us together....those are the things that connect us and make us realize that we are not alone. Those are the things that we can find comfort in in the middle of the night. Those are the things that can calm our worries and make us feel normal.
Thanks for your post, made me smile....and made me feel normal.

Friday, September 21, 2012

No judgement

I think it's pretty amazing and special how children are so much more accepting of things than adults. At what point do we reach in our lives that forces us to become jaded, judgemental, or even discriminatory? Is it the events that occur in our personal lives that cause this to happen? Is it one particular moment or a series of them that flip the switch on that inner child and silence it? I think that a good portion of a parents day is dedicated to making sure that their children play nice with others, share, behave, and get along with their peers. We want to teach them to be these kind and caring individuals that play fair......and yet so many of us do not practice what we preach.
Over the past month or so, I have read things from people who have children that just astound me. One mother actually argued that she thought it was ridiculous for schools to ban peanuts "just because there is one child in the school with an allergy"....she said that it was unfair to the rest of them...they should be allowed to bring peanut butter sandwiches to school...the child with the allergy should just be taught to be more careful and not go near the kids eating peanut butter. Yea.....true story. This woman is a mother.
To say I was shocked and disappointed would be an understatement.
Today I went on a field trip with Emma and her school to a "Plowing Match"...lots of tractors, farm life, animals, etc. It was in a huge location outdoors and we were there for the entire school day. I was put in charge of Emma and two other girls from her class. We were all left to our own roam about as we pleased, eat when we wanted to, see what we wanted to....and just return to the exit in time to board the bus back to school at the end. The two girls that were with us have known Emma since she started junior kindergarten at school 4 years ago. They have seen countless needles, fingerpokes, and pump boluses. They know what Emma looks like and acts like when she is having a low blood sugar. They know that she needs to pause and step aside at certain times of the day to check her blood sugar. They know that she has to do all of these things....and they don't mind at all.
Think back to when you were 8 yrs old, if you were given free reign in an open field for the entire run in the mud, play, do and see what you wanted.....would you want to stop for another kid just so she could check her blood sugar? I think it's pretty amazing that these kids who are growing up with Emma are not only learning right along with her...........but they are accepting it.....they are seeing it as a normal thing. It is just another part of the day for them and they do not see her as different or an annoyance because of the diabetes tasks she has to do every day. It's the way things just IS.
I think we as parents need to take a step back and attempt to open that door that we have closed our inner child behind. We as role models need to practice what we preach and teach our kids through our actions as well as our words. We need to do this before our kids grow up and reach that point in their lives where they lose that inner child ability to accept things for what they are....and accept others for who they are no matter what life has thrown their way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You dirty rat

Sometimes diabetes is a rat bastard. You just need to learn to accept that fact and deal with it and figure out how to move on. People tell me all the's just a number....just one with it and just move on to the next one. I tell myself the same thing all the time actually. However when you have been dealing with continuous lows that occur at the same time of day every day for going on the 3rd week now....and you have lowered her insulin dosages day after day after day to try and stop those lows...........well, it gets a little hard to remember that's NOT just a's NOT just one low that you can deal with and move on to the next one. It keeps happening and it gets to the point of feeling like it is mocking you. It feels like you are failing. It feels like no matter what you do, it is not going to make any difference at all. It feels like you might as well just bang your useless head against the wall.
I try to be positive. I try to break it down and look at it as just one number...really I do.  It's exhausting though. It's exhausting and it makes me want to curl up in the corner and wave the white flag of defeat and surrender....I win diabetes....I'm not smart enough obviously and I will never get this figured out. I think one of the most frustrating things of all is the knowledge that I WILL eventually figure it out...I will do it...I just have to be patient...I just have to keep plugging along and do it...every day...every single frustrating moment....I just have to keep doing it.
It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't live this life what it feels like to drop your kid back off at school after lunch and know that they are low....know that you have shut her pump off for a while and given her extra carbs to bring it back up....but she's still teetering on the edge of that low. It's hard to explain to them and make them see that diabetes is a serious thing....a low blood sugar is a serious thing. it's hard to make them understand that when i kiss her goodbye and leave her on the playground for lunch recess...that it feels like a piece of my heart has been ripped out and in it's place there is an empty hole of fear....fear that her blood sugar will keep dropping...fear that she will pass out on the playground...fear that the playground supervisor will be distracted with the younger kids crying or the older kids fighting and not see my baby lying there in the grass convulsing from a seizure caused by a low blood sugar....fear that Emma will be so confused and so lost because that low blood sugar causes her thinking to become fuzzy and she won't know to speak up and tell someone that she is feeling that way....and then it will be too late and i will get that phone call to tell me she is on her way to the hospital...........because she is low........and because schools here in Ontario are not allowed to administer a glucagon shot to my child in an emergency low blood sugar situation. They aren't allowed to give her that life-saving shot....and yet they have no problems being able to give an epi-pen shot to a child with allergies. My diabetic child is on her own out there. She is 8 years old and on her own in the big bad world.....and it kills me.
It is a very real and very traumatic fear to walk around with everyday. After 4 years of living this d-life, I have gotten quite good at compartmentalizing that fear....stuffing it in a little box and shoving it way down deep....slapping a smile on my face and laughing as i go about my day. But there are still days like today, where i feel like I am Alice falling down the rabbit hole....grasping at the air around me and searching for some kind of hold on it....some kind of hope....some kind of real and honest belief that i will figure this out....i will do it. I WILL FIGURE IT OUT! I have to. She needs me to. I need to stop....breathe....and just do it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just believe

You don't need much to make it in this life. You don't need to be a genius. You don't need to have a college degree in mathematics (although somedays I feel like it would certainly help a little!) You don't need to have nerves of steel and ice water running through your veins.

You want to know what you need to make it in this life with diabetes?

You need tenacity. You need determination. You need such a huge amount of stubborness that it is almost bordering along the lines of crazy. Speaking of need a little crazy. You need to be ok with making mistakes, because you will. You need to be able to recognize that each of those mistakes you have made have all actually taught you something that you didn't know before.

Perhaps most of all, you need to believe in yourself...even when you don't. Even when you feel like you can't do it. Even when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing....believe in yourself anyway. Force yourself to do it. Believe in yourself even when no one else does.
Believe in yourself!
There is absolutely no one else on the planet who knows what you are truly capable of...except for YOU. So, give yourself a break and just believe. Believe that you can do it. Believe that you will make it. Believe that you know what you are doing and that you can make it work. It may not happen this moment...or at all today...or even next week. But if you believe in WILL happen eventually. You will make it work. You will make it through. You will show your child that anything is possible as long as you try. You will show them that the only true mistake they can make in this life is to sit idly by and do nothing.....not try...not give it their best effort. If you can't find the strength to believe in yourself for YOU....then look at your d-kiddo and do it for them. Show them that you believe in yourself and they will start to believe in themselves.
In this humble D-Mom's opinion, that is one of the most important things we can pass on to our kids...the ability to believe in themselves.

So, take that moment to be be feel lost and incapable and like you are in over your head. Take that moment and breathe.....then start believing. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. I really do. I know that you can do it. Just believe!


To love is to breathe...
tasting the tiny droplets of beauty
as you inhale the world around you.
To love is to see...
to see the incredible light
pouring out of every moment...
every in-between moment
that you immerse yourself in
To love is to feel...
to feel your heart pound beneath your chest
and to know....
that it beats for someone other than yourself
To love is to savour
each individual ticking of the clock
to know that the dark shadows
will bring the light
to know that the arms around you
will save you from the fright
the night
the blinding white
To love is to fly
in a life

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ironic role reversal

Sometimes I forget. I forget that not everyone in the world knows about diabetes...about insulin pumps...about bolusing and basal rates. Sometimes I forget that not everyone that comes into contact with Emma on a daily basis knows all of this stuff....has 4+ years experience with this stuff.
I posted before about Emma's new teacher being incredible....helping, learning,'s all good stuff and I am eternally greatful. However, I need to remember that she has only been doing this for coming up on two weeks now. I need to remember to tell her the little things. I need to do things to ease her worry and stress. I need to make sure that SHE is ok with everything.
For example, today Emma's school walked to the church for mass for the first time this year. Way back in kindergarten, I used to panic because it's not exactly a quick little jaunt around the's actually a bit of a trek down a busy street. So, to help ease my own worry and the teacher's worry...I would drive to the school, pick Emma up, drive her to church, stay there with them, and then drive her back to the school afterwards. I eliminated the extra activity of walking with the hopes of avoiding low blood sugars. It worked for us. I managed to do the same thing for 1st grade and the majority of 2nd grade as well. Near the end of 2nd grade, Emma decided that she didn't want me around for church visits. She didn't want to be the only one who's Mom was there. See, she is 8 years old now.....time for taking those first steps out into independence and time for fitting in with your friends. I was ok with we talked, prepared, and I stepped back...I let her do it on her own...and she did well! Which brings us to today. Emma was all ready to resume the independence thing and not have me there at church again. I was ready to do my own thing and be greatful for the extra time to myself. That is until her teacher looked at me with worry and nervousness in her eyes and asked if I would mind coming along for the first church mass. She wasn't ready to be on the independence train yet...and i can't say that I blame her! After 2 weeks of diabetes living in my house, I was afraid to even leave the neighborhood!
So, I explained to Emma that we needed to be understanding and patient and give her teacher a chance to see that everything would be alright. We needed to let her see that we can do it and that all will be well........and if something turned out to NOT be well....that you know what to do to fix it. So, I went. I sat far away from Emma so as not to infringe on her coolness factor. I could still see her from where I was and, as always, I was ready to step in if she needed me.
To make a long story short, all went well. Her teacher gave her a hug before we left to go home for lunch which made me smile. I think it was a hug of relief and a hug of gratitude for Emma's understanding how that made her teacher feel more comfortable.
It's a funny thing really if you think about it......we as d-families have a tendency to be surrounded by people who want to make sure we are comfortable...that we are ok...that all is good. But as the years go by, I am finding myself more and more trying to make sure that OTHER people in our d-life feel comfortable and ok with it all. A little bit of ironic role reversal never hurt anyone, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cliques and Rants

You wanna know what really grinds my gears? I know, i know....petty problems, Amy...why are you even bringing them up? Well, cause I can....and cause maybe...just maybe someone will happen upon this post and take a second to think...hey, ya know...she has a point there...maybe we should change the way we view things.
Anyhoo, I am finding myself more and more irritated with the cliques in the DOC. There are the cool kids....and then the rest of us. I have no problem being a fact I like being a nerd. I have never been one to fit into one particular group of people...and I'm ok with that. I like having a wide variety of friends...being there to support them...knowing that when I need them, they will be there to support me. In the immortal words of the great Martha's a good thing.
I think the thing that bothers me the that we in the DOC are all living the SAME life...we are all dealing with lows, highs, injections, pumps, basals, boluses, ratios, schools, teachers, extra curricular activities, siblings, lack of sleep, illnesses......the whole lot of it....we are all living it day in and day out. So why does there have to be segregated groups of people within this community? Why does there have to be the nonsense? In the midst of incredibly amazing people going through incredibly difficult times in their lives, why does there have to be the seperation and the cliques?
Maybe I just don't get it because I am in fact one of the nerds. Maybe I am not wired the same way as these people. Maybe I am taking it the wrong way. Maybe I am wasting my time in even posting about this. Who knows.........
All I do know is...we are ALL living different versions of the exact same life.....wouldn't it be a nicer place for us all if we recognized that fact and stopped playing the cliquey high school game? I would think so.....but then again I am a bit of a hippie spirit and will choose peace love and harmony any day over elitism.
My two cents on the matter.....sorry if i have offended anyone with this post as it was not my intention....i just needed to get it out of my head because it was irritating me...kind of like that annoying little itch in the middle of your know the kind....that you can't quite reach and find yourself leaning up against the corner of a wall looking like a cat rubbing up and down? LOL!
Yes, clearly I need a nap.
Back to spending quality time with my favorite type 1 as she battles the sniffles and high blood sugars. Thanks for listening to my rant.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Independant Sunday morning

So yesterday morning Emma and I got up and went about our usual Sunday routine...breakfast, coffee, lounging about. I had been up the night before battling low blood sugars because Saturday was her first gymnastics class of the season and for some reason, gymnastics has a tendency to affect her blood sugars quite a few hours AFTER the actual class. So, needless to say, I was more tired than usual. I told Emma that I was just going to lay down on the couch for an hour and have a mid-morning nap and if she needed anything just wake me up. She is 8 now and more independent and doesn't necessarily need me to be hovering and entertaining her 24/7 anymore.....which I am extremely greatful for. So, I settled in all snug as a bug in a rug under my purple Snuggie and immediately fell asleep.
It felt like I had just blinked and an hour went by. I opened my eyes to see Emma sitting on the couch across from me, holding her meter bag in her hand, and putting a test strip into the meter itself. My heart instantly flew into a rapid beat making me think that this is what a teeny tiny heart attack must feel like. Instantly I felt sick to my stomach and the guilt washed over me like a cruel joke. How could I have slept? How could I have just laid there asleep and not been awake to see that my child needed me? I was totally beating myself up mentally. I sat bolt upright and asked her in a panic if she was ok....was she low? I was hovering above the couch about to run into the kitchen and get a juicebox for her when she said very calmly and rationally...."I'm fine Mommy, sheesh! I just felt low, so I got my meter and was going to check and make sure...then I was going to eat this fruit snack in the meter bag if I was low and just wake you up to tell you."
Huh.....simple as that. No ordeal...just another day in the life of a person with diabetes.
Apparently, while I wasn't looking, she grew up into a mature and responsible individual. She was playing. She felt low. She got her meter. She recognized and knew what to do to handle a situation that she will have to handle many times until a cure is found. She took charge. She did it.
It's a bizarre feeling to me. Knowing that she handled this particular situation on her own. I am proud of her...and yet sad. I have spent the last 4 years preparing her for things like this....teaching her...easing her into a routine...repetitively telling her and showing her the steps to take...the plan of action....with the hopes that it would sink in and be forever embedded in her mind. I always knew in the back of my own mind that one day she would be doing this on her own. I wanted her to be able to do them on her own. I want to give her the best life she can possibly have and in order to do that....she needed to know the steps...the rules...the routine.
I laid back down on the couch and forced a calm look upon my face. I tried to calm my out of control beating heart. I let her handle it. I watched her check her blood sugar, open up a Scooby Do fruit snack, tell me that she was 3.4, and eat the snack. I hated the low...I hated diabetes a little more in that moment....I still watched her...always watching her eyes for the low to disappear. I told her to look at the clock and see what time it was. I reminded her to watch and wait the typical 15 minutes to check again and make sure her blood sugar was going back up. We sat there in our little low time warp...waiting it out together. She rechecked and was fine. Emma zipped up her meter bag, threw away her fruit snack wrapper, and went back to playing.
I kissed her forehead and told her "good job, baby!" and reminded myself to never stop teaching her...never stop....even when she rolls her eyes at me and gives me the "I already KNoooOOOw!" replies.....never stop teaching her. Because inside my little 8 year old daughter lies the whispers of a grown woman...a grown woman who is learning to take care of herself...and she deserves to have the chance.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Please know the signs!!

What do you do when your heart aches at hearing of a newly diagnosed child? What do you do when the parent of that child is one of the kindest most caring people you know, but have never met in person? What do you do when that newly diagnosed child is only 8 months old and her tiny little body is fighting DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis....please take a minute to google that term if you don't know what it means)? What do you do to let your anguish out in a productive manner? What do you do to figure out how to justify this news in your heart?
You write about it. You tell people. You tell them how the only blessing in this utterly tragic news is that this Mom was already one of us.....she was already a D-Mom. She has already lived through this moment once in her life because her son is also type 1 diabetic. Does that make it any easier on her? HELL NO! Does it offer her any comfort? I would assume not. The only blessing in this news is that because she already lives this life...because she knew the signs...because she had enough education on diabetes and enough experience in it that she had the foresight to know that she had to check her baby girl's blood sugar..........she probably saved her daughter's life tonight.
Why does the medical community not treat diabetes as a serious life threatening thing? Why do they not hand out information to each and every single doctor to pass along to their new mother's and patients? Why does the general public think that this disease is not a big deal? Why do they think that it is something that can be easily managed with simply cutting out sugar from your diet and exercising? Why do they not spread the word of just how serious this disease is? WHY NOT?
Because of ignorance. Plain and simple. Ignorance.
How do you cure ignorance? Through education.
So this post I am dedicating to my amazing friend and her beautiful family....
READ this...SHARE this...TALK about it...TELL everyone you know...because there is one thing and one thing alone that is certain about diabetes.........IT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE! It does not only happen to families that have a history of diabetes. It does not only happen to people who eat too much sugar or feed their children to much sugar. It does silently come into your house in the middle of the night and invade your child's body and throw every single thing you know to be true right out the friggin window. It could happen. It could happen to any one of you. It does not care who it takes. IT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE!
The following list are signs and symptoms of high blood sugar that would be a very real and very good indication of type 1 diabetes:

*frequent urination
*unquenchable thirst
*losing weight without trying
*weakness and fatigue
*increase in appetite
*dry mouth or throat
*diaper rash that doesn't improve with medicated cream
*heavy, rapid breathing

Read these signs. Know them. Share them. You could save or help save someones life if you do.
The only way to beat this is to do it together! Know the signs!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Diabetes Village

You know that old saying, "it takes a village"? In this D-Momma's humble opinion....truer words were never spoken. When Emma was first diagnosed, I thought that there was no way I would feel comfortable leaving her with anyone else. I thought that no one would be able to take care of her like I could. I thought that no one would be able to do it one would be able to manage her diabetes as one could possibly do it as good as me because I am her Mom. I thought that I couldn't trust anyone else to do as good of a job because they couldn't possibly love her as much as I do and want to make sure she was ok as much as I did. So, I shouldered the responsibility on my own (with the help of my husband, of course). It felt like I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I thought that it was my responsibility...diabetes was my cross to path in life. I was her stand in pancreas and no one else would ever be able to understand that.
Fast forward 4 years.........
Emma is now 8. I have sent her off to junior kindergarten, senior kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and now 3rd grade. I have sent her off to school for 6 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week from September to the end of June...every single year. I have learned that I can trust the school. I can trust the staff. I can trust the teachers she has had. I can trust the students that are her friends. I can trust HER.
This school year is only 4 days in...and I am quickly realizing how blessed I am. We have quite possibly one of the most amazing teachers I have ever met. She is kind. She is funny. She is caring. She is smart. She is a Mom. She is a compassionate individual who is teaching my child about the world around her, encouraging her love for reading, teaching her math, science, social studies, spelling,....all of the required education for a 3rd grader in Canada. She is helping her transition from that little 2nd grade girl who is dependant upon others for direction and guidance and that path towards independance. She is teaching her to care for others. She is teaching her that SHE is special...she is important...she is unique. Yesterday, she had the class bring in 4 items to share with the class that meant something special to them. Today she had the class draw names out of a hat and write a little note to the person the chose....just a little kind gesture to make them feel good...she called it "Thoughtful Thursday" and they will be doing this every week. I LOVE THAT! I love that she is encouraging this type of thing.
On top of all of these things, she is keeping my kid alive. She has been visible...been involved...asked questions...reminded Emma to test before eating...looking at her number...making sure she boluses correctly...called me with questions...forewarned me of upcoming events...gym days, field trips, daily physical activity. She is right there by my side. She is helping. She is doing all of these things out of the kindness of her heart, because you see....we live in Ontario. There are no laws in place here that require a teacher to be this involved. There are no rules that require her to help out at all...not in the slightest little bit...not a single thing. She does these things anyway. She doesn't get paid extra. She takes 2 min out of her extremely busy morning to monitor Emma's blood sugar checks and boluses.......and then she does it again in the afternoon. She is learning. She is asking questions. She is there.
I wish there were words out there to express how much she already means to me. Her smile...her calm voice...her desire to learn. When she told me that she is trying to appear calm about diabetes to Emma so that Emma will not be scared or stressed about it, I knew...I knew I won the lottery. We are lucky. I have a feeling that by the end of this school year, I will have a new friend for life. I will have another beloved member of my diabetes village.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's ok

Sometimes I get tired. I get tired of the whole process. The talk...the routine...the monotony. It's just too much. It kind of borders along the lines of obesessing really. I know what you're could you not be obsessive when it comes to a disease that affects your child's health and well-being...their life? It's kind of an oxymoron I guess. Sometimes I can easily put on my D-Momma cape and fight the good fight and advocate and be the voice and try to help others and be there for them as well as be there for my own family. Other times I just want to leave that cape in the closet, curl up on the couch underneath my purple Snuggie, and nap away the day. It gets to the point where I have had enough. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to do anything except what I absolutely have to do....check blood sugars, give insulin, and count Emma's pancreas, in other words. I just lose that extra bit of oomph.....the hootspah is gone...I go on auto-pilot. It only happens sometimes...but it happens.
It's normal. It's all part of the process I think. When the doctor walks into the room and tells you that your child is type 1 diabetic...people first sympathize with you. There might be pity involved...people offering words of sympathy and comfort...trying to ease your stress and your pain...tears of sorrow for the loss of the life of ease that ended the day prior. As time goes on, people tend to move on....they lose interest...they stop encouraging unless they themselves are also part of this lovely club...they see you as having taken charge, mastered this life, made it work. They have seen your strength and they feel like there is no reason to offer up as many words of encouragement. So, there you are left on your own....with the DOC beside you for the most part....left to live this life...fight the fight every day. It's just expected of you. Sure, as time goes on it gets a little easier....the sting of the reality goes away a little. You are fully entitled to have those days though where you shouldn't feel guilty about not wanting to talk about it...not wanting to hear about it...not wanting to do anything about it other than what is needed. It's ok to feel that way. This d-life isn't a straight and narrow's not smooth and clearcut and obvious. There will be ups and downs. There will be moments of glory and there will be moments where it takes all of your strength to get out of bed in the morning. It's just the way it is. We just have to take the bull by the horns and realize that we can't all be positive and uplifting on the same days....we can't all be happy all of the time...we can't all be withdrawn and tired of it at the same time either. It's ok to be whatever you need to be on whatever day you choose to be that way.
Most of all, it's ok to feel however you are feeling on whatever day you are feeling it. It doesn't make you a bad parent or a bad person or even a bad pancreas. You are doing the best you can...and if on any particular day your best finds you on the couch napping and not thinking of or talking about diabetes at all the entire day.......then that is ok too.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Well hello there first day of school panic!

Tomorrow will mark the 4th time I have sent my kid and her diabetes off to her first day of school. 4 times I have done this and while I can't honestly say that it ever gets any "easier" exactly....more so just different. I think it is really just the fact that I am so used to the panicked feeling that comes along with this process and this transition....that I have kind of just accepted it as being normal. I suppose in a way it IS's our version of normal.
That first time I sent Emma off to school was only a mere 2 months after she was diagnosed. I was in shock still...I was numb....I had only one thought in my head....if I don't send her to school now, I never will. I didn't ever want diabetes to be the reason for her not doing something. I knew that if I didn't wade through the murky waters of panic and stress and fear and just do it.......that I would never be able to do it. I would just continue to use her diabetes as an make it ok in my ease my own fears. I knew I needed to push through that sick feeling in my gut. I needed to do it for her. I needed to show her that her life is normal....even though diabetes had joined us on this journey. So, I walked her up the pathway to the kindergarten room, kissed her, hugged her tighter than I ever had, took her small little shoulders in my shaking hands and looked her right in her nervous eyes....I told her I loved her and I hoped she had a fun first day...and I would see her at lunchtime. She walked into class and sat down in the circle of kids that would soon become her friends....and I walked away. It felt like my heart would explode from my chest. It felt like I was doing the wrong thing. It felt like I was making a mistake. It felt like I was the worst parent on the planet. It felt like I was losing my mind. I walked away. I made it to my husband who was waiting in the car...I got in...shut the door...and cried. I cried out of sadness that my daughter was growing up. I cried out of the situation we were in with diabetes. But most of all, I cried out of fear....that gut wrenching panicked feeling that was choking me from the inside...that fear....a red hot firey stabbing pain in my stomach, my heat, my chest, my throat. I cried. It was all I could do.....accept our new life....and cry.
Here we are 4 years later. They say time heals all wounds. I would agree to a certain extent. Time has not healed the wounds of diabetes. It has not healed the panic I still feel on this night before her first day of 3rd grade. It has not healed the fear. Instead, time has numbed me. It has numbed me to not be AS panicked as I was last year...or the year before...or the year before that. It has numbed me to accept it. It has numbed me into realizing that if that panicked feeling was not in my gut right now.....then I wouldn't be doing the right thing. I wouldn't be a good D-Mom. I wouldn't care about her more than anything in this entire universe. Time has numbed me and made this feeling normal for me.
My heart and my thoughts are with all of you D-parents out there. Those sending your d-kiddos off to school for the first time with diabetes...those who have sent them off to school for many years now...all of you. I will be thinking of you tomorrow and want you to know that  you can do it. You will will will breathe a sigh of relief when they are back in your arms again. You can do it! Diabetes has forced our kiddos to grow up before their time. It has made them see the world through eyes that are a little wiser. They can do it. You can do it. We will all be ok. We can do this!

One Step at a Time

When you wake and discover that the world is but a dream
When the light that guides you seems to leave
The days are short and the nights are long
never ending haunting you with a single note
of a long awaited song
When your sweet breath is trapped inside your chest
When the numbness of time sends shivers down your spine
Your mind is filled with a never ending loop
of memories past
moments shared
laughter erupted straight from your core
stolen glances across the room
quiet kisses shared in the silence of the night
a life that was lived as one
loved as one
forever entwined as one
Take comfort
find peace
the light will guide you home
hold you close
whisper a sigh upon your neck
place an arm around your shoulder
and carry you
one step

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Road trippin with the big D

The older I get, the more I am starting to realize that life is much happier and easier if you just go with the flow. You can't please everyone all of the time. You can't make everyone like you. It's impossible to always do or say the right things to the right people. This might come out sounding selfish, but I am learning that the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself. If you can lay your head down upon your pillow at night and take comfort in knowing that you did your best that day.....that's all that matters. If you were the best YOU that you could be that day...if you are happy in your own heart and honest in your feelings and beliefs....than that's all you could ever hope for. Do your best. It's that simple.
Emma and I just got back from our annual road trip to visit my family back home in Wisconsin. Yes, it is stressful to drive 10 hours across the border, across a few states, across many many miles in a rental car. It is even more stressful to do this with diabetes packed along in the back seat. You can prepare, pre-plan, pack for double the amount of supplies you will need while you are can anticipate the worst case can play them out in your head ahead of time and try to think of a coherent plan of action to take if one of those awful situations should arise. Images of an emergency site change on the side of the road in Michigan fly through your head. Chuckling to yourself as you drive along and find your eyes immediately drawn to the big "H" road signs in every city you pass indicating a hospital is near. Mentally filing that information and that exit number away in your mind as you cruise along singing at the top of your lungs with your daughter to Mumford and Sons as the late summer sun shines down upon you. Diabetes does not come in a neat and tidy little package for you to store away in the trunk. It is more along the lines of hanging out in a plastic grocery bag full of holes and a torn handle....spewing garbage and crumpled papers all across the back seat. It is what it is. You can decide to take each high blood sugar as it comes and rage bolus to fix can decide to fix each random low that occurs and be greatful as you stare at the aftermath of juice boxes strewn about the car. You can take the fast lane and make it work. You can hop behind the wheel and take charge. It's in really is. No one has ever claimed that this life is easy...and we all know it....we want it to be easy...we want the smooth paved road in our travels...but that is just not reality.
So, we do our best....we be the best US that we can be. We put the petal to the metal and take it all in stride, because that is what we were put on this Earth to do. We each have our own path...our own road trip lies ahead of us all....and as long as we are honest and know in our hearts that we have done our best....everything along the way will be worth will be another memory made...a memory to last a life time.