I get asked sometimes how I do it...how do I stick needles in my kid all day every day...how do I do that to my child and not break down in tears every time. At first, I didn't really know how to answer that question. I mean I know why I do it....because she's my child and I want her healthy and alive. Since June 26, 2008, I haven't had a choice....diabetes was thrust upon us and I just had to do it. I have hated every single injection time since day 1. For the first three months, I was scared to do them...scared that I would hurt her...scared that I would do it wrong...scared that she would hate me...scared that she would start to think of me as the bad guy...the one who is always coming at her with a needle. I was sad. I was frustrated. I was stressed And completely overwhelmed. I was dealing with a 4 year old child who is fiercely independent and strong willed and stubborn. She would thrash about and scream and cry and make every single injection time a living hell, to be honest. In the beginning I would cry right along with her. I would whisper soothing sounds of comfort to her as the tears streamed down my face and dripped onto my shirt. We cried together. My heart broke every time and I thought that there was no way on Earth that I was going to be able to continue to do this every day.
Eventually, she gave up the fight...and that in and of itself shattered me...to see her surrender to her reality at 4 years old. Injection times became easier. Life became routine. She stopped crying...and I stopped crying. Needles are just another part of our daily routine now. It's just another thing that we do every day.
So now five years later, when people ask me how I do it....I have a completely different answer. Yes, I say that I do it because I don't have a choice...I want my child to be healthy and alive. However now, I also say that I am able to do it because of the support of some amazing and incredible people I have met because of this disease. When I have bad days...battling highs for hours on end...fighting lows all night long...when I'm running on no sleep and I have no idea how I can possibly make it through the day, I know that I can count on my fellow d-moms and d-dads. They get it...they live it...they have been there and know what it feels like. They know that mind numbing exhaustion...they have had those days where it seems like the effort needed to even blink your eyes or take a deep breath....is just too...much.
There is one d-mom friend of mine in particular that I think of when I hear the words support...strength...drive...determination. Her name is Jen Hamilton Loving and she has three children...two daughters with type 1 and a son with hemophilia. She works...she is married to an amazing d-dad...she advocates for both diabetes and hemophilia...she educates others...she supports those who need it no matter how tired she is or how bad her day has been. She is always there to make you laugh...to make you feel loved and supported and motivated. I admire her more than I can even explain in words. She is the true definition of what a Mom should be.
Tomorrow is Jen's birthday and I want her to know that not only what she does in her life matters....but who she IS in this life matters. She is important. She is making the world a better place. She is raising some incredibly compassionate and strong children. She has a beautiful soul...honest and real and giving. Happy Birthday to you, my friend! I love ya and thank you for being who you are. I am a better person for having gotten to know you. Thank you for making this D-life a whole lot easier to live.