What we do everyday as parents of children with type 1 diabetes is not normal. It's not typical. It's not right. We stick needles in our children every single day. We squeeze blood from their fingertips. We count the carbs in every single morsel of food that they put in their mouths. We worry about things like the weather...not because we're concerned about whether or not we need an umbrella...but more so because we wonder how it will affect their blood sugars. We become experts at pre-planning for things like sleepovers, play dates, birthday parties, and sports. We walk around with mini grocery stores in our purses and pockets. The neighbourhood kids refer to us as "the mom who always has candy" or "the mom who always hands out freezies" in the summertime. Our children's friends and classmates refer to us by our first names because we have spent more time than most with them....field trips, school activities, pizza days, and treating lows during class.
It's an intense life we lead. We have to somehow get it straight in our minds and our hearts that we are attempting the impossible every single day. We are attempting to take over the function of a vital organ for our child every single minute.
It's bizarre really if you take a minute to step back and think about it. We are constantly chasing that elusive perfect number...that perfect balance. I have this ultimate goal in my head at the start of each day....good numbers...an even balance...no spikes and no lows. Every morning I wake up with the need...the desire to strive for perfection...even though everything in me is screaming that it's not possible. I still set myself up for inevitable disappointment every day. I still do it even though the odds are stacked against me. I face failure and disappointment almost daily and I am forced to mask my anger or my sadness about it. I mask it because I don't want people to know it bothers me. I mask it because I don't want Emma to see that it bothers me. It's just a number....it's just a high...we can fix it...it's just a low...drink this juice...it's just pizza...it's a wrong guess...a failed site...a bad day. Fix it and move on to the next number...the next day.
Yes, we sometimes get it right. Sometimes we have perfect days. Sometimes we reach for the stars and we make it happen. Life as a D-Mom isn't completely bad...it's not horribly sad and disappointing every moment of every day. Most days I go about my business as usual...routines and pancreating while laughing and having fun with my kid. Most days I face the disappointing number or diabetes problem head on and use the knowledge I've gained to fix it, accept it, and move on without a second thought.
Oh, but some days....some days I hate it. I hate every tiny set back and every tiny disappointment. Some days I get in a funk where I let the whole unfairness of it all wash over me. I don't like feeling that way...but I think it's necessary. I think it's healthy. I think it helps make the good days all the more special.
So, while our lives are far from normal....in the traditional sense of the word, it's still our lives....and we make it work...we laugh in diabetes face...and we make it work.