Everyone always says to write what you know. Well, I know diabetes.
I know what it feels like to creep into my daughters room in the middle of the night to check her blood sugar. I know what it's like to stand there feeling the exhaustion coursing through my veins...the weight of it all on my shoulders and on my eyelids. I know what it's like to let out that breath I wasn't even aware I had been holding in once I see a good number staring back at me from the meter...knowing that i can now go to sleep and have a shred of confidence that she will survive the night. I know what it's like to pause for just a minute before I open her bedroom door in the morning to wake her up for school...thoughts racing through my mind of all those Mom's in the world who made the very same walk and opened their own child's door only to discover their baby was lost sometime in the night...sometime while the exhaustion won and took over their body in sleep. I know what it's like to stand there...my hand on the doorknob...saying my own little mantra...praying to God that I will find her chest still rising and falling with each breath...a smile upon her face ready to take on another day. I know what it's like to kiss her goodbye as the school bell rings and watch her run off to get in line with her friends....knowing that it could have very well been the last time I ever kissed her goodbye...knowing that diabetes could take her from me at any moment. I know what it's like to see her almost 9 year old face talking about carbs and bolusing and how she doesn't like having to get her infusion set changed because the anticipation of the pain scares her. I know what it's like to see her almost 9 year old face and be stunned that the past 5 years have flown by right before my eyes. I know what the pain of that thought feels like...I know how much it hurts my heart to know that she will probably not remember life before diabetes. I know how screwed up that is...how unfair that is...how totally and completely messed up and wrong that is. I know how it feels like my insides are on fire and my every nerve is humming with worry when she has gone to sleep at a friends house. I know how physically ill it actually makes me feel when I hear of ignorance being spread about this disease...how I want to take over every tv channel and crank the volume on every TV set in the world and stare at the world and tell them that no one with type 1 diabetes did anything to themselves to get it...that it wasn't from eating too much sugar or not exercising enough. I want to scream at them that their magic juice and their cinnamon and their cannabis oils will NOT suddenly jump start my daughters pancreas into producing insulin again. I want to tell them that there are carbs in fruits and veggies. I want to tell them that the sugar free labelled foods of the world are NOT sugar free. I want to tell them that instead of corrupting the innocent minded people of the world with their ignorant drivel, they ought to consider googling that shit first!
I know what it feels like to give all that you can of yourself....and then give some more. I know what it feels like to never eat a hot meal because I have taken care of everyone else first. I know what it feels like to not get my way. I know what it feels like to be judged. I know what it feels like to not fit in. I know what it feels like to be sad....really sad. I also know what it feels like to be overwhelmingly happy...proud...triumphant...and satisfied with who I am and where we are in the moment.
I know what it's like to try...get knocked down flat on my face...broken and lost....and still get back up and try again. I know what it means to live in the moment and relish in the tiny seemingly irrelevant tasks. I know what it's like to take comfort in the routine and rejoice in the patterns.
I know what it's like. I know diabetes because I am the mother of an almost 9 year old daughter who just so happens to have type 1 diabetes.
I know diabetes because I have lived it every single day for almost 5 years.
I know diabetes because on June 26, 2008...it invaded my daughters body without warning and without invitation.
I know diabetes.