Monday, January 20, 2014

Life or death decisions

As I dropped Emma back off at school this afternoon after lunch, I asked her if she felt low still and if she wanted me to stay and recheck her blood sugar in 15 minutes after she came back inside when lunch recess was over. She told me no, that she was fine...and if she felt low, she would handle it. We kissed goodbye and I left her running off to play in the snow.

It kind of hit me all at once as I drove away...just how bizarre it is that we make many life or death decisions every single day. I think that's the thing that is so difficult to explain to someone who doesn't live with diabetes in their house. That's the thing that can't really be put into words. That's the thing that is so difficult to wrap your head around in the beginning days after diagnosis. Every single day...every time you hand your child something to eat or drink...every time you stick a needle into their arm or push a button on their pump and give them are making what could be a life or death decision.

I use to agonize over some of those decisions in the beginning...hell, I agonized over every decision honestly. I didn't want to make a mistake that could harm her. I thought about all of the factors involved...the food, the weather, the activity, the mood, past trends, if the stars were aligned...and then I would second guess myself. I lived that way for nearly a year...doubting confidence in my abilities...afraid that the thing I used to keep her alive would turn out to be the thing which would kill her...and it would be my fault...because I was the one giving it to her.

I was at the store with Emma the other day and I mentioned how we needed to grab some more AA batteries because I had just used my last one to replace the old one in her pump. She laughed and said to me, "weren't you scared when I started pumping and you had to trust a AA battery to keep me alive? That must have been hard." Yes, it was hard. I thought about it for months beforehand honestly. I couldn't believe that I was taking a leap of faith and trusting something that hangs on a rack by the the checkout line at the grocery store to keep my child alive and well.

Over the years I think I've become sort of numbed to the brutal reality of the decisions I make every day. I don't doubt my abilities anymore. I rarely second guess myself. I don't agonize over the extreme magnitude of it being a life or death decision......I just do it...I push the button on her pump. I run through the factors in my head in a matter of seconds....and I just do it.

Don't get me wrong, I still know my decisions can be life or death...I know it in my head and my heart....but it's not in the forefront in the same way anymore. It is what it is and we choose to live every day.

We choose life. We choose making memories. We choose to be in control.

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