Thursday, February 28, 2013

I was that girl

No one ever thinks to themselves that one day they want diabetes to be a part of their life. I didn't sit there in my 2nd grade class and raise my hand to tell the teacher that one day I wanted to be a D-Mom. I didn't daydream about finger pokes and needles and blood and carbs. The thought never occurred to me. I always assumed...just like every other little girl...that I would grow up and one day marry my prince and have babies and take them to the park and play with them and live happily ever after.
I was the girl sitting there in math class thinking there's no way I will ever need to know this...there's no way I will ever want a job when I grow up that would require me having to use this stuff every day. I hate math.
I was the girl that would cringe and look away at the sight of blood and needles.
I was the girl who grew up having a dog that spent the last couple of years of his life with diabetes. I saw my Mom give him a needle every single morning. I saw the bags of special food he had to eat. I saw it all and I thought to myself, "wow...there's no way I could give someone...animal or human...a needle! My mom is so brave!"
I was the girl who had a friend in 5th grade that always had to sit aside with the teacher at recesses or take a special walk just the two of them at a field trip...and the teacher always gave her a candy bar...and I was jealous because I wanted a candy bar too and I wanted that special one on one time with one of my favorite teachers...I wanted to get to take a walk with her instead of sit in the crowded hot theatre and watch "Macbeth" with the rest of the kids.
I was the girl who ate what I wanted when I wanted without a second thought as to what I was putting in my mouth. I had friends sleep over and we stayed up all night watching MTV and drinking can after can of Jolt cola and ate pixie sticks as we danced around my basement being silly.
I was the girl who had a friend that lived around the corner and her Mom had something called diabetes...and it was scary to see her stick a needle in her own arm so I would leave the room or look away. I would sit in my friends room and listen to her cassette tape of TV theme songs and listen to her tell me that her mom had diabetes and she was scared for her mom and she was sick sometimes and they always had juice in her house, but it was mostly for her mom in case she was low....but I didn't know what low meant...I thought it meant sad...and why would she need juice if she was sad...why couldn't we have some of the juice too?
I was that girl. I was naive. I didn't know what cards I was going to be dealt in this life.
I am now that woman. I am that woman who stays awake all hours of the night to poke a needle into my sleeping kids finger and squeeze some blood out of it to check her blood sugar.
I am that woman who can calculate an insulin to carb ratio faster than a speeding bullet.
I am that woman who can temp basal and rage bolus with the best of them.
I am that woman who can change an insulin pump site from start to finish in less than 3 minutes.
I am that woman who's heart is broken and yet still continues to beat.
I am that woman who loves a little harder, hugs a little longer, smiles a little more....
because I know what it's like now.....I get it....
I am that woman who has diabetes living in her house too.


  1. I was the child/teen too that was afraid to death of needles and blood. But, now look at "us"
    I have to give my hubby most of his injections and pump changes due to his neuropathy complications. Needles no longer freak me out in the least bit. I 'get it'

  2. ha, I always told my friend (who is a nurse) that I could never be a nurse like her as I could never give anyone a needle. She is actually the one who diagnosed my son by testing his urine at her house. The first words out of my mouth were 'but I can't give anyone a needle- how will I look after him!' Guess, what I could do it. I too often look back at people I had crossed paths with in my life before D became so personal and am ashamed at how ignorant I was and how content I was to stay that way. If I could see each of those people now I would offer up a big apology!
    On a side note... I practically lived on jolt cola in my latter part of high school..... do they even make that stuff anymore?

  3. On Monday my 3.5 year old was diagnosed with T1D. My heart hurts for her and I feel so scared. I know it will get "easier" but this wasn't what we ever dreamed of. And we have an older daughter and a baby on the way. Just seems so overwhelming. I'm very glad to have found this blog. Thank you.

    It looks like we live close to each other (ontario) and what's kind of cool is our families are both from the States, mine in Iowa.
    Thank you for sharing your story, struggles, encouragements.