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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Every low is different

There are few things that surprise me anymore since diabetes came into our lives. There is one thing though that happens now and again that makes me shake my head in confusion...low blood sugars.
We have had countless lows over the years. I've seen everything ranging from a 2.0 to a 33.0 staring back at me from that blood sugar meter. When Emma was diagnosed, it was drilled into my head by the nurse and doctor to be on guard for anything below a 5.0....anything below that number was cause for panic and needed to be treated immediately with juice or some other form of fast acting sugar. In the beginning I used to freak out and shake nervously right along with her. I remember on the second day of junior kindergarten, I got a phone call from Emma's teacher telling me that they just checked and she was 2.0. We were still new to the diabetes world at that point, and I heart began to pound as I ran out my front door and to the school to save her. I was shaking, I was sweating, I was saying prayers in my head to anyone that was listening to please save her and make sure she was ok. I ran down the hallway of the school and to her classroom and as I walked through the door I saw her standing there at the teachers desk....giggling....juice box in hand...a big smile on her face. She was calm...she didn't even look low to me...she was just standing there doing what she was told...drinking her juice and waiting for me to arrive.
Fast forward a few years to yet another low. We were shopping at Walmart in evening and as we were paying for our purchases, Emma told me that she felt we checked...and sure enough she was low. I don't remember the exact number now, but I know it was a 3 something....not terribly low...I had certainly seen lower. So, I pulled some candy from my pocket and gave it to her as we walked to the car. I always have candy on me....always. No matter where I go or what I am doing, I always have some sort of candy in my pockets and my purse for situations like this. It's odd to think of candy and juice as things that can save my daughters life. Anyway, we got to the car and she started panicking....telling me she still felt low...she was shaking uncontrollably and her face was pale...and her eyes.....oh her eyes could tell a story all their own...they were filled with fear. I have never seen her look that scared in my life...aside from the time she decided to do gymnastics in bed and hit her head on the steel frame and had to get an MRI done because they thought she fractured her skull.....but that's a tale for another time. She was terrified. She looked like she felt helpless and sick and worried and afraid that something awful was going to happen. I remember thinking...but she is onl in the 3's!!! She's been much lower than this before and hasn't had this bad of a reaction! I handed her a jug of juice that I was beyond greatful to have just purchased. I told her to just drink it...drink it until she felt better. All of the rules I was taught years before were out the window...the old drink or eat 15grams of carbs, wait 15 min and check again...repeat if necessary. I didn't care about the rules...they meant nothing to me. I was focused on fixing my child...fixing the low...making it go away...making it better...making that terrified look disappear from her eyes. I am her Mommy and I was going to make it all better.
Fast forward another couple of last night. Emma was upstairs in bed watching a movie before bed. Se called down to me that she felt low, so we tested and she wasnt low...she was 5.8. I knew though...I have learned over the years to trust how she is saying she feels...not just what the meter says. So, I gave her a rainbow chocolate chip cookie and sent her on her way. The movie ended about 20 min later and she came downstairs to brush her teeth and get ready for bed. As she stepped off the last stair and into the kitchen, she giggled to me and said, "oh yea, by the way...I still feel low." She was giddy at this point...laughing at every little thing...bumping into the open pantry closet door as she walked by to get to the meter...she laughed at her bumping into it like it was the most hilarious thing she has ever done. We tested her and she was 2.8. She dropped that much in merely 20 min. She saw the number and laughed some more...I shoved a juice box at her and she snickered away as she slurped the life saving potion made of 100% apple juice. I stood there laughing with her because sometimes you just have to laugh. Sometimes this life with diabetes sucks so friggin much that the only option left aside from checking yourself into the mental ward of the hospital is to to laugh. So there we were laughing....acting like two drunk friends on a Saturday night that just got home from the bar and were looking for a snack as they remembered the evenings fun events. We laughed. It's what we do.
I don't know much....but I do know that diabetes is not a text book black and white answer disease. Nothing is the same. There are different reactions to things...different symptoms to lows...different behaviours...different answers to solving the immediate situation. It's always different...always's a mixed bag of 90% guessing and 10% past experience and 10% gut instinct. And yes...I know that adds up to 110%....I did that purposely.
Once you think you know how a certain situation will play out...diabetes pulls the rug out from under you and laughs maniacally as you stumbled and stammer your way back to solid ground again. The one and only constant with diabetes is that it's always different and how you manage to roll with the punches and grab ahold of those differences and changes is really all that matters......well, that and laughter....don't ever forget to laugh.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Go ahead and feel it

I will never understand why people in the diabetes online community judge one another. There are some that judge how others manage their child's they choose to handle the blood sugar checks, the foods they eat, the methods of delivering insulin that they choose. There are some that judge others on how often or how little they check blood sugars. There are judgements on how we as parents should it's not US living with the disease, so we should just stop whining and suck it's our children living it! There are many out there who will stand in judgement of how a d parent expresses their emotions...their anger, their frustrations, the sadness, their overwhelming stressed out mind boggling raise the white flag in the air totally done with it feelings.
Why do people living the same life as us think that it's ok to do this? Why do they think it's ok to tell someone else how they should feel? Who has the right to tell anyone how they should or shouldn't feel? I think in everyday the outside world...the one where people don't deal with's hard enough.........but for those of us that live in the diabetes world, shouldn't there be a little bit more of an understanding and an acceptance? Shouldn't there be a bit more of a realization that hey.....this life is friggin ridiculously stressful and hard....why don't we let everyone have the right to feel the way they feel and not chastise them for it?
I would think so. I would hope so. Then again, I tend to live in a naive dreamworld a lot of the time. I expect too much of people. I expect everyone to let everyone else feel how they need to feel. It's shocking to me that everyone else does not think that is a decent way of behaving.
If you are mad......feel it.
If you are sad....feel it.
If you are frustrated...feel it.
If you are pissed right off.....feel it.
If you are happy....feel it.
If you are proud....feel it.
If you are indifferent....feel it.
If you are in that numbness for as long as you need to!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with how you are feeling and what you are thinking and how your living and who you are being. You are you and you are allowed to feel however you need to feel in this moment of time. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
Diabetes sucks. It's hard. It doesn't go away. We don't get a break. It is what it is. However your heart needs to feel to make it through this life and be at peace with who you are......then let it.
You are the only one who knows how it feels to be you.
Right now in this moment of time in my dreamworld....
I am tired...and a little sad because I had to tell a friend of Emma's that she needed to stop making a big deal about Emma having blood on her finger when she goes to check her blood sugar. I had to tell her to stop jumping away from Emma like she was going to catch something. It hurt my heart and it made me sad to see the look in Emma's eyes when this occurred.
It is what it is...and this is what I'm feeling right this second...and that's ok.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Strut of Epic Proportions

I think a lot of times diabetes makes other stresses in my life that much more intense. Sometimes the everyday things like school and extra activities and obligations seem so much more overwhelming in my head because I carry around this weight of trying to keep my kid alive everyday. I don't know why it's taken me this long to realize this, but it has.
When I have something completely unrelated to diabetes occur, it kind of throws me off balance a bit. I guess because I get so in my groove of being my daughters pancreas...checking blood sugars, bolusing insulin, changing sites...that when something from the outside hops on board, it causes a little panic. It's like carrying around a pile of bricks..perched precariously upon my shoulders...and a feather floats down landing ever so gently on the pile...causing me to prance around from one foot to the next...teetering on the brink of failure...the pile of bricks wobbling and shifting. I feel like if I were to even exhale...the whole pile would just come crashing to the ground around me.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I walk around in a constant state of panic. However, I do feel that weight...and when outside things sometimes seems to become a juggling act of sorts. I guess  I need to work on removing my diabetes glasses more often...and try to see these outside everyday stresses for what they really are...the easy stuff...the "normal" stuff.
I need to realize that I can't do it all. I'm only one person. I'm not superwoman. I'm just a girl who happens to have a daughter with a bum pancreas. If my house is a mess and I don't get my kid to bed until 10pm on a school night one day, it's not the end of the world. If there is no money to buy myself a new pair of winter boots because the ones I currently have are useless and completely not waterproof, it's ok...I won't perish. If I am not sure how I'm going to make it through the day after having only a few hours sleep the night before, it's all good...I won't die...the world will not end. If I have to pull the car over and treat my own low blood sugar on the way to picking my kid up from school for lunch...causing me to be a little's ok...she will be fine...I will be fine.
As long as my kid is fed and healthy and has decent blood sugars, that's all that matters. There is no such thing as perfection. I can only do the best that I can with the tools that I have.
You are not perfect, Amy. You will never achieve perfection as a pancreas....because you know what?'re NOT a pancreas. Do your best. Sometimes your best will not be good enough...and that's ok. Sometimes your best will be enough...and that's ok too.
So, bring on the bricks...bring on the's all a matter of perspective. It's all about how you carry them...and today, I'm going to try to carry them with style....epic John Travolta strutting down the sidewalk on Saturday Night Fever kind of style.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tales from beneath the headlamp

It was 2:00am this morning and I was sitting in the couch. The only sounds were my tv playing a continuous loop of the theme song on the main menu of my season 4 DVD of "Sons of Anarchy" and the cat running around the living room pouncing on her mouse toy like it was high noon and time to party.
I sat there forcing my eyes to stay open...feeling the frustration and anger at diabetes taking over my body. I would have given my left arm in that moment to just be able to lay down on the couch and pull my purple Snuggie up over my head and just go to sleep. But I couldn't. I had to stay awake. Emma's blood sugar was higher than I was comfortable with and I knew that if I set an alarm and went to sleep, that I would have just turned to alarm off in my sleep and never gotten up to check her. So, I stayed awake. I sat there...angry...tired. The irony of my realization of the never-endingness of it all while sitting there listening to the never-endingness of the "Sons of Anarchy" theme song made me giggle in spite of it all.
I sat there giggling and thinking about how I was most definitely not the only person in the world in that moment of time playing the waiting game. In fact, there were probably thousands of other Moms and Dads and people living with diabetes in their house doing it too. It was like sinking my teeth into a perfect combination of a comforting depressing sandwich with a side of determination fries.
This is what we do. We defy all the odds. We walk through life with this unimaginable weight of worry and stress upon our exhausted shoulders. I can't tell you how many times in the last almost 5 years I have been told, "I don't know how you do it. I could never do it. I could never give my child needles or figure out their insulin needs or stay up all night. I need my sleep...I just couldn't do it!" More often than not I usually respond to those statements with a polite attitude and just smile and nod and pull out one of the standard replies of, "Sure you could!"
We weren't given a choice. The fates laid this life at our feet and we were never given the option to turn the other cheek and just ignore it. There is no ignoring diabetes if you want to continue living. This is our life. This is what we do. It is what it is.
So, there I sat at 2am beneath my trusty headlamp...waiting out the clock...and drawing on my reserves of energy to make it through the last 1/4 mile of the day. I made it. She was fine.
This post is dedicated to all of you who sat there on your own couches in the wee hours of this morning. You weren't alone. I was sitting there right beside you. Holding your hand and counting down the minutes together. We did it. We made it. We will continue to make it because we have that little something special that lies within our spirits....perseverance. I tip my headlamp to you and hope that we don't have to meet again at 2am on the couch.....but if we do, I promise to save you a spot.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Carnival Ride

When I see the silence moving between the empty branches
I am reminded of the voice that lies within.
I feel the sun shining though the bitter biting cold
Warming my cheeks
Thawing them just a little
I see you high above
A beautiful shadow across my eyes
The crisp crunch of every footstep echoing through the open air.
Cold and new.
I wish that you
Knew what I knew
The first moment I laid eyes on you.
It is a path of newly fallen snow
Unbroken and never used
Just waiting
Calling to you
I will lead you for a little while
Clearing the path for you
Until that moment arrives
When you are ready
And you will gallop
Hair flying behind you like a stream of fiery passion and fierce independence
You will soar
And I will smile
As I hear your shouts of laughter and joy.
You will fly
I will wave my arms above and giggle as I see that you will still
Turn back to wave and catch my eye.
Just like years before on a carnival ride.
And I will wave to you endless times
For you will always be mine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I know diabetes

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 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 unfair that 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 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, invaded my daughters body without warning and without invitation.

I know diabetes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My List of 35 Fantastic Things

So tomorrow is my 36th birthday. I find lately that I get so caught up in the day to day rush of things, that I have forgotten to pause and take a breath...stop and smell the roses...focus on the little things. So I decided this morning that I was going to attempt to do 35 fantastic things before the day was done. They could be things that I have never done before, or learn something new about the world around me, or even just let someone know how much they mean to me. Honestly I wasn't sure that I would be able to finish the task. 35 things is a lot to accomplish in one day on top of all the other normal things. So, I thought I would just give it my best shot and see how it goes. I wanted to share my list with you here. Some of the things on my list may seem silly or small....but honestly I look at the big picture and it makes me smile. This whole day made me smile because I actually took quite a few pauses during my day to try and decide what I could do next that would be fun or different. I am a huge believer in the idea of once we stop trying to better ourselves and once we stop trying to learn.....the world will seem like a sad and pointless place. I would much rather squeeze every last moment of fantasticness out of each and every day.

1) I wrote a message to my parents to tell them how greatful I am for all that they did for me growing up and all that they continue to do for me to this day. My parents live in the US and I live in Canada, so I don't have the privilege of seeing them except for once a year. I envy those that get to have their children spend time with their grandparents frequently. Writing them made me feel good because I was able to express how much I love them and appreciate them.

2) I wrote a message to a special friend of ours that is a huge inspiration. She is an adult living with T1, she is one of our biggest cheerleaders, she is smart, funny, has a kind and generous soul, she has a contagious zest for life, and I wanted her to know how amazing I think she is.

3) I called a customer service number today for the makers of Orville Redenbachers flavour shakers popcorn to tell them that the box I bought last was missing Emma's favorite white cheddar flavour shaker powder. The woman I spoke with was incredibly nice and during our 20 min conversation I learned that her husband has T1 and that popcorn has as many antioxidants in it as many fruits. It's a fabulous snack.

4) I laid down in the snow all by myself and made a snow angel. Why? Because it was fun and because I haven't ever done one by myself as an adult before.

5) Emma taught me how to do two new dance moves at lunch time. I am a horrible dancer, but it's fun to do and even more fun when my daughter does it with me.

6) I bought a coffee for the woman behind me in line at Tim Hortons. Why? Because I could...and because I wanted to see her frown turn upside down. It worked.

7) I spent a full 20 min playing with our cat. Sometimes I feel like she is overlooked because we are so busy and I feel guilty about that because I love her. So, I played with her and cuddled her and told her I love her and thanked her for being such an awesome cat.

8) At dinner, we ate dessert first. I giggled at the delicious irony of this as I ate my ice cream first....seeing as how diabetes lives in our house.

9) I played a game with my kid. Again....we get so caught up and busy with our days lately that it's been a while since we have gotten a chance to sit down together and play a game.

10) I actually answered the door and was polite to a Jehovah's Witness. Nothing against the Jehovah's Witness people of the world. I just usually would prefer to not answer the door because I have no desire to convert. I answered today though. I smiled and said thank you as she gave me her booklet and I told her to have a nice day.

11) I learned that there are 16 grams of carbs in 1/2 a cup of pomegranate seeds. My friend and our dietician at the diabetes clinic gave me this information and I was greatful because Emma has a new four love for pomegranates.

12) I hugged Emma. A lot. All day. Because I am greatful for her presence...her love...her beauty.

13) I learned that a gallon of gas was only 62 cents the year I was born. I got gas today and it was $5.16 a gallon. Crazy.

14) I learned that one of the top movies out the year I was born was "Rocky"...which I find ironic and funny because it is one of my favorite movies.

15) I learned how to say "Happy Birthday" in German..."Alles gute zum Begurstag!"

16) I watched cartoons all afternoon. Why? Because cartoons are good. Cartoons are easy and light and fun and they make me laugh.

17) I made something new today. Emma told me that it would be awesome if I made an insulin pump charm necklace. So I made one. It's adorable.

18) I realized that I have some pretty amazing friends out there in the world when I opened my mailbox to discover a birthday card from another who I speak to online quite often, but have only seen in person twice. She made my day. Honestly her kind gesture brought tears to my eyes. I am a lucky girl.

19) I ate a raw baby carrot that was dipped in ketchup. Why? Because my kid told me I should because it "tastes kind of like a funny tasting french fry." She was right. However it was gross.

20) I actually received a compliment from someone today and I accepted it. I didn't brush it off or get embarassed or quickly turn it around to them. I accepted it. I thanked them. For me, that is huge. I do not handle taking compliments or praise very well at all.

21) I touched my wedding ring every time I thought about my husband today. I lost count after 20 times.

22) I talked to my Grandpa in Heaven. I dont know if you would call that praying or not, but whatever its called...I did it. I told him how much I miss him and love him and wish that he could still be here so he could meet Emma. I told him that I hope he is proud of me and who I have become as an adult. I told him I would give anything to be able to hug him and hear him laugh just one more time.

23) I talked to my mother in law in Heaven. I told her the same things. I also told her that I wish I could drink a Cesar with her again. That was OUR drink together. I miss it. I miss her.

24) I came up with a surprise for Emma on her birthday next week...exactly one week after mine...on Valentines Day. I like to surprise her with something special while she is at school...and I think I came up with a great one this year.

25) I doubted my ability to be able to finish this list of 35 things. Then I realized that I doubt my abilities too much in life and I need to stop it. So I moved on.

26) Emma and I made a spur of the moment detour on our way to Walmart and decided to climb to the top of the big hill beside her school. I have never climbed it with her. I have never climbed it in the winter. We made it. It was hard because it was slippery all covered in snow...but we made it. I was inspired by my daughter as I saw her race ahead of me bouncing from foot to foot as I struggled to catch my breath and not fall on my face. We made it to the top and the view was beautiful. It was dusk and all of the store and house and street lights were on. The sky was that breathtakingly beautiful purple color. We stood at the top of the hill and raised our hands above our heads in victory.

27) We slid down the hill together...hand in hand...on our bums. It was cold and wet and I hate the feeling of wet jeans....but it was worth it. My bum cheeks were numb at the bottom, but it was worth it because I got to hold her hand and giggle like an 8 year old girl with her the whole way down.

28) I smiled at the Walmart greeter and said hello. She had kind eyes and a sweet grandmotherly type smile.

29) I let Emma push the cart around the store without any help. She loves to do it. I usually get a little nervous that she will accidentally plow into someone or take out a shelf display...but she didnt tonight. She had fun. I think it made it feel grown up.

30) I bought her a new winter hat....not because she needs me, she has many...i think I have a problem with hats actually....I bought it because it was Animal from the Muppets and my brother used to have an Animal toy...and now everytime she wears that hat it will make me think of him.

31) I relished in the 5.5 blood sugar she had in Walmart. Perfect blood sugars should be relished....and Im not talking about the condiment...Im talking about the savoring of the goodness that is victory in the blood sugar arts.

32) I sang along at the top of my lungs to the song on the radio in the car on the ride home with Emma. This is not an unusual scenario....but it is a favorite thing to do. We need to do more of our favorite things more often.

33) I realized that I was almost done with my list and it made me sad....and yet relieved.

34) I treated a low blood sugar at bedtime. One of many. Im sure there will be counteless more to come in our lives. I was happy that I have the ability to treat it. Im greatful for the tools I have available to me in this daily life with diabetes.

and finally.....

35) I looked in the mirror and told myself that I am smart. I told myself that I am pretty...that I am funny....that I am a good Mom...that I love my family...and that I even love myself.

Making this list was fun. It taught me a lot about myself. I think I may even do it again next year.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Feeling like a failure

So, yesterday I posted a picture on my Facebook showing my daughter's blood sugar of 20.8 (374 for those of you in the US). It wasn't pretty. Ever since June 26, 2008, the day of diagnosis...I have never been able to figure out how to properly bolus her for Subway. I have tried combo boluses, temp basals, overestimating the carbs that are stated in the nutrition guide. I've tried it all....and it doesn't work...without fail she always winds up being high hours later. To say it's frustrating would be the understatement of the century.

In any case, that is not the point of this post. A friend of mine commented on the picture thanking me for making her feel less alone and like she was not a failure. Her comment really struck a chord with me. It made my heart hurt to know that this Mom and probably millions of other Mom's and Dad's out there at some point in their lives with diabetes feel like they are failures because of an ugly blood sugar number. I think a lot of the time, people have a tendency to post online about the good numbers...the victories in this fight. We want to share the happy numbers because we are proud of ourselves and our kids and we want to show the world that we CAN do this and we CAN be good psuedo pancreases. By no means am I saying that there is anything wrong with that. I do it too! I love sharing the victories. I love the feeling I get when we have had a particularly busy day...gymnastics and birthday parties and crazy weather and growth spurts and I still manage to get a good blood sugar number after it all. It makes me feel like I am in control of this and that I can do anything. I think it's important to share those moments with others because I think it might give them hope and it might make them believe in themselves a little bit more too.

I do think though that sharing the ugly numbers is just as important. I look at some people and I think to really seem to have it all together in the pancreating skills department. When I really should step back for a minute and realize that they too have ugly numbers...they don't get it right everytime...they screw up too. They are just like me. It doesn't matter how many days, weeks, months, or years they have under their diabetes belt. It doesn't matter if they have been doing this ten times as long as me. The fact of the matter is...they still make mistakes too...they are not perfect either...they are JUST like me.

When I read that comment from my friend, it made me feel less frustrated with the 20.8 made me realize that I helped her...I showed her that we are all far from perfect...we all make mistakes and that is ok...we are not pancreases...we are Mom's and Dad's and caregivers....we do our best and it doesnt always work out in our favor...and that is perfectly normal and ok.

It's what we choose to do after we see that ugly number that is a true testament to our character I think.