Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you, diabetes!

As we enter into our sixth year with you....I'd like to take the time to let you know a little something. I've accepted you as a member of this family long ago...I don't like you...sometimes I have so much hatred for you that I can't even see straight...but I accept you. You're not going anywhere...your bag is unpacked...you have your own spot at the dinner table...I get it...it's ok...I don't like you, but I put up with you.

This year Emma will be celebrating her 10th birthday...and a few months later, you will be turning 6. We've been through a lot...scary times, stressful times, angry times, and even proud and happy times. I've yelled at you...screamed through tears of uncontrollable frustration and exhaustion. I've seen you go to school with Emma and watched her put you in your place and show you that she's in charge...not you. I've laughed in your face with each victory...knowing that you must be sulking in the corner...angry that you keep losing the fight. You've sucker punched me more times than I can count....but the stubborn side of me smirks through gritted teeth every time I pull myself back up off the ground...stare you down and prove to you that I'm not afraid..that she's my kid....not yours...and we will always win.

This year we will soldier on....with you at our side....living life on our own terms...because it is just that...OUR life...not yours. I know this is your home now too...but I'm ok with that. You can have the ratty old pull out couch in the basement. Sure, a few springs are shot and bound to poke you in the back all night...but that's all I got for ya. You weren't invited...and you won't be here forever. One day I will kick your ass to the curb, change the locks, and watch you disappear with the horizon.

Happy New Year old friend. Good luck finding someone to kiss as the clock strikes midnight.

15 Minutes

15 minutes

15 minutes can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. For example, I could tell my 9 yr old daughter that in 15 minutes she needs to go take a shower and put her pajamas on.....and she interprets that 15 minutes as being an hour and a half.

When I am on hold with the phone company trying to get some answers as to why our phone is out while my kid is at school and undoubtedly about to be checking her blood sugar before snack time, and the recorded message tells me they are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment and my expected wait time is 15 minutes.....I interpret that as I might as well grab a pillow and a blanket because I'm going to be waiting quite a while forced to listen to a Muzak version of "Mandy" by Barry Manilow.

When my Mom used to tell me that we were leaving our cousins house in 15 minutes to head home after playing there for the afternoon, I always knew it really meant we wouldn't be actually leaving for about another hour....because our Moms would talk....say goodbye....talk some more....grab the coats....talk more....walk to the door...talk more........aaaaannnd then yell to my brother and I asking where we were and why we weren't ready to go yet when she told us it was time to go an hour ago.

To me....as an adult....a D-Mom to be exact, 15 minutes seems like an eternity. When my kids blood sugar is low, and I have to sit there waiting to retest her to make sure it's coming back up after the snack or juice I've given her.....well, each individual second that ticks by is actually painful for me sometimes. I try to distract myself...make a tea, watch TV, go on Facebook, but it doesn't work. I sit there with this awful feeling in my stomach...just panic...will it come up? Will it work this time? How many minutes are left to wait? 13? You've got to be kidding me...that was totally longer than 2 minutes! Is she ok? She looks pale....but she's asleep...and it's dark in here, aside from the headlamp I'm wearing and shining on her sleeping face. She's breathing weird. Is she ok? Should I wake her up? How many minutes are left? 10?!!! This is insanity...I still have 10 more minutes to wait?! 10 more to agonize...staring at her...waiting...hoping the juice worked this time....insanity...this is total insanity....if people only knew what this feels like right now, they would understand...they would donate to research for a cure...they would understand....if only they could feel the heavy...intense...electric panic that shoots through your body with every tick of the clock. It feels like you're drowning in the dark...alone...helpless....no hope. If they only knew....they wouldn't brush off diabetes...or treat it like it's no big deal...they would understand.

15 minutes....it means something totally different to me than it used to.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Judgey McJudgersons

It's a tale as old as time....people judge others...they judge them based on appearance, behaviour, the words they choose to use, their beliefs and morals....the list could go on and on. People judge others. It's absurd to me.

When Emma was born, I learned very quickly that people will also judge your parenting style. You're not raising them properly...they should be breastfed....you should use cloth diapers....don't hold her all the time...let her fall asleep on her own...just let her cry it out...she will learn. It was enough to make my head spin. Everyone had an opinion and thought their opinion was right.

When diabetes entered our lives, I also quickly realized that people will judge the manner in which you choose to manage your child's disease. Don't refer to them as "diabetic"....bolus before they eat, not after....don't let them eat candy....don't let them drink diet soda...don't let them do this activity....make them check their own blood sugar, change their own pump site, inject themselves on their own, count carbs on their own.....make them do it on their own because it's their disease and they need to learn. Stop checking their blood sugar overnight! No, wait....be sure to check it at 3:00am! Make them wear an insulin pump...you're not a good parent if you don't because its the best option out there now! It doesn't matter if they scream and cry...you're the parent...you're in charge...tell them they have to! Let them stay home alone...don't let them stay home alone. Let them go on sleepovers...don't let them! Get the flu shot...don't get the flu shot! Don't let their a1c go too high...you need to keep it like my child's a1c...I have it in control....why aren't you doing it like me? I don't understand why you can't just do it this way....my way...the right way...the only way?!


Everyone is a critic. Everyone has an opinion. Why must there always be so much judgement in this life with diabetes? Why can't we all just accept the fact that diabetes is probably one of the most individualistic diseases out there? Why must we look down our noses at others that are living the same life as us...albeit their own version of the same life? Instead of beating each other down with our words and our unfair judgements, why don't we all just take a minute...swallow down that critique that is about to jump out of our mouths....and just offer a smile....a hug....a kind word of encouragement.

Diabetes is hard. It's a fact. The only constant is that it's ever changing and guaranteed to always keep you on your toes.

So, stop being mean. Stop judging others. Stop shoving your opinions down others throats. Stop perceiving yourself as being any better than the rest of us. We are all in this together. We are all the same....insulin wielding badasses that will get the job done no matter what it takes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

If there was Facebook in Heaven

If there was Facebook in Heaven, I would write on your wall and tell you thanks. I would put a smiley face emoticon and a heart too. I would tell you thank you for listening to me all day long as I struggled to get Emma's blood sugars down to a decent range. I wasnt looking for perfection....all I wanted was decent. I was near tears at one point this evening....ready to wave the white flag and let my guard down and just sob.....big ugly tears full of frustration and exhaustion. I was ready to let them go...but instead I closed my eyes as I stood at the kitchen sink....my back to the living room where Emma sat. I stood there and closed my eyes and talked to you again. I asked for your help. I begged for your help. I felt weak...and I was lost...I didn't want to shed any more tears for diabetes...especially on this day. See, I've shed enough tears over this disease that they could fill an ocean. I didn't want to give any more of my tears away to diabetes. I asked you to help me be strong again. I asked you to hold my hand and make me believe that I can do this...that this moment right here...right now...this moment is where I show myself what I am made of. I asked you to take away the sadness...take away the feelings of failure...take away the thoughts that I can't do this. I asked you to help me silence diabetes...silence it's negative shouting in my head...silence the way it seems to creep inside my head and convince me that I won't win...that I have no idea what I'm doing...that it's stronger than me...that it's a losing battle...that I will never succeed. I asked for your help...your comfort...your love.

And you were there. Her numbers are finally back down and decent. Christmas Eve...your birthday....wasnt ruined for her. Diabetes didn't win. We won. Together.

If there was Facebook in Heaven, I would write on your wall....

Thank you Grandpa. I miss you more than I can even begin to explain in words. I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration up there. I bet it's so beautiful where you are that if I were to see it now, it would take my breath away. I can't wait to hug you again...wrap my arms around your neck...hug you and smell your old familiar smell...stare into your bright sparkly eyes...soak in your kind and caring smile...and just hear your voice again...hear your laughter again. I love you. Thank you so much, Grandpa.

I would end it with a heart and a like.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Next Year

I'm not one to make New Years Resolutions, because it's too much pressure...and I have enough of that on a daily basis as it is. However, I do like to think about ways that I can make the upcoming year better.

I want to remember that it's just a number....be it an a1c number, a high blood sugar, or a low blood sugar.....I need to remember that it's just...a....number. It's not a reflection of how well I'm doing or how poorly I'm doing at playing the role of my daughters pancreas. We've been at this for over five years now and while I am getting better at remembering this fact, I still have my moments where the frustration over the number takes over and I walk around with a black cloud of unfairness over my head. I am going to work on letting the light through that cloud this year. I'm going to let it through and shine on the reality in front of my face. It's a number....just a number.

I want to remember that I'm good enough just the way I am right now in this moment. I'm a good Mom. I'm a good wife. I'm a good friend. I'm a good psuedo pancreas. No matter how hard I would like to try, I will never be able to please everyone all of the time. Not everyone is going to like me. Not everyone is going to agree with my opinions or beliefs. Not everyone is going to support me or be there for me and my family. Not everyone is going to get it. They just won't. And that's ok. I didn't get it before June 26, 2008 either. I can only do the best that I can do and that is perfectly ok. The only people who's opinions I should be concerned with our my family and close friends....because I know that they love me and care about me.

I want to remember that it's ok to make mistakes. Mistakes are the only way I will ever learn. It doesn't mean I've failed...but rather that I've succeeded in thinking outside the box and coming up with an alternative solution.

I want to remember that my kid is going to be 10 years old soon. She's going to want to spread her wings and fly away from the nest more often. She's going to want to be independent more. She's going to want to go on sleepovers and play dates. She will want to hang out with her friends and laugh and talk about boys and enjoy being a kid. I want to remember that just because diabetes is a part of her life, it doesn't mean she can't do these things. I want to teach her more and give her more responsibility and trust her more. I want to give her the chance. I want her to know that I will always be there for her and help her along the way no matter how old she is...because while, yes this is her disease....it is also forever embedded in my soul too...because she's my baby and I love her.

I want to remember that it's ok to be scared. Being scared means that you are doing something right...you are living...you are letting her live...you're not letting diabetes run the show. Being afraid is normal sometimes. It's what you choose to do with that fear that really defines your lives. I want to feel the fear and use the strength of that emotion to keep us moving forward.

Perhaps most of all, I want to remember that life isn't about the big moments...it's not about the victories or the defeats...it's about the steps in between...the small moments along the way...the moments where you feel like you can't go on...like you're losing...the moments where you are exhausted and ready to throw in the towel. Life is about those moments...it's about the journey....the smiles in the snow...the laughs late at night as the stars shine through your bedroom window...the feeling of your child's outstretched arms wrapped around your neck as they hug you and tell you they love you...just because. Life is about the games of Monopoly played on the living room floor on a Sunday night...or times walking through the grocery store hand in hand singing "Summer Nights"...or   walking through the rain trick or treating on Halloween with friends.

I want to remember that time flies by and she will be grown and gone before I know it....so I need to enjoy the little moments...the steps along the way. Diabetes is always there....but when I look at my child, I see life...I see joy....I see love. That's what I want to remember this coming year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dear Children of Today

Dear children of today,

First of all, I'd like to say thank you for being so incredibly awesome. It can't be an easy thing to do when you are constantly bombarded with a media blitz of brightly coloured tech toys that make fantastic noises and teach you that the only way to happiness is to get to the next level. See, I grew up in a time of Saturday morning cartoons full of pastel coloured bears that taught me how to share, late summer nights playing kickball in my front yard with the neighbourhood kids that taught me how to lose with grace and win with good sportsmanship, and spending hours upon hours outside at friends houses...only coming home to grab a quick bite to eat before heading back out again which taught me independence. We had Christmas parties at school, cupcakes for the class with every birthday, and Halloween parties where I was actually allowed to wear my plastic Wonder Woman mask on my face and not have it be considered a hazard or a weapon. Cookie Monster actually ate cookies. Bert and Ernie had arguments...but they always got resolved and life carried on.

I want to tell you that I'm sorry. I'm sorry my generation has changed the world for you in certain ways that seem ridiculous. I'm sorry that we are teaching you that the world is full of instant gratification...instant acknowledgement...instant recognition. I'm sorry that we have taught you that everything you see on TV is going to corrupt you. You know what? Watching Cookie Monster stuffing a cookie in his face shouldn't be reason for you to grow up being nutritionally challenged. That big blue monster is not your parent...he's not the one you should base your food choices or eating habits on. WE should be the ones who teach you....US...your parents....not some furry monster on TV. See, some people my age have this tendency to want to pass the buck....place blame anywhere else that they can think of...deflect the root of the problem onto things that you may see...or hear...on TV, the radio, in books, at school. Some of us just can't accept the fact that these problems are our problems....it's our responsibility and ours alone to make sure that you know the truth. It's up to us to tell you that yes.....cookies aren't always the best choice for a snack...and it's not always good behaviour to just shove it in your mouth with crumbs flying everywhere as you shout "coooookie!" It's up to us to say no once in a while and hand you that banana instead...and teach you that it's fun to peel it and pretend like you're a gorilla while you eat it. It's up to us to teach you that sometimes a cookie or two is not going to hurt you. It's up to us....not TV...not anyone else...just us...your parents. It's up to us to teach you to put down the video game controller sometimes...and go outside for a game of kickball. It's up to us to teach you how to play kick the can, hide and seek, and red rover. It's our job....no one else's.

See, we have gotten lazy sometimes. We have created these devices...iPads and iPods....iPhones and blackberrys. We've created these things that make our lives easier...but also distract us from what is truly important.......


So, I want to apologize. You are incredible kids...smart kids...funny, kind, compassionate, and capable of greatness. If I may be so bold as to speak for my generation, I want you to know that we are trying our best...and we love you...we want you to be happy above all else. So, while you may see these ridiculous things we have changed in your world...please remember that we are trying...and we're bound to make mistakes along the way. Be patient with us and together we can get it right in the end....this I am certain of.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Take time

Did you know that it's ok to say no? It is....really....I mean the world won't suddenly implode if you do. People won't hate you. Friends won't desert you. The skies will not open up with deafening thunder and vicious claps of lightening.

Time will keep ticking away....people will get over it...they will find a way to do it on their own or ask someone else. It will be ok. You don't have to do everything and be everything all of the time. You need to sit down, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just.....be. It doesn't mean you are not good enough. It doesn't mean you failed. It doesn't mean you are a bad Mom or a bad friend or a bad person.

Take time for yourself...whether it's five minutes or five hours....don't forget to take time for yourself. Diabetes has a tendency to become all consuming some days. It seeps into your thoughts and your feelings when you're not always expecting it. It can sometimes make you feel like you're drowning in a sea of numbers desperately searching for that pattern amidst the chaos...your life raft of consistency.

When Emma was born, everyone told me...sleep when she sleeps...take naps with her...it's the only way you will survive. When she was diagnosed, I quickly learned that diabetes doesn't sleep....so I couldn't just apply the same advice and sleep when she sleeps or nap with her. At times it feels like it's me against the world....this big world full of uncertainties and problems with no solution. I live in a perpetual state of coffee assisted semi-controlled chaos...interspersed with sleep that is too short a time length to be considered "sleep" and too long to be considered a "nap."

So, I take time for me. I take time to just....be. I take a minute or sixty to just be Amy....not Shawn's wife...not Emma's Mommy...not Mrs. Ermel...just me...only me...the me I am beneath all of those layers...the me I've always been. Sometimes I lay down on the floor next to the cat and feel her purring beneath my hand as I pet her. Sometimes I watch ridiculously stupid programs on TV...ones that have characters named Snooki...or involve Amish kids trying out life in L.A....I watch them because they require no thinking on my part...and they make me laugh. Sometimes I pour myself a cup of coffee, sit down on the couch, close my eyes, and slowly sip the warm deliciousness. Sometimes I turn the radio up extra loud as I drive down the highway and sing along at the top of my lungs...not caring who sees me or if I look silly. And sometimes I just sleep....curled up under my soft comfy blanket...the cat at my feet...sleeping silently...dreamlessly...peacefully.

Whatever it is you choose to do, is the right thing to do. Don't lose yourself in this disease. Don't lose yourself in this life. It's too easy to get lost and find yourself beginning to drown. It's hard to hang on. It's hard to keep going. It's hard...but it's not impossible.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Emergency Room ignorance

In our diabetes world, there are few things that will strike fear into my heart more strongly than the awful combination of a stomach virus, low blood sugars, and high ketones. I can handle a lot...lows, highs, colds, pink eyes, ear infections, even broken bones and bee stings. I can handle pizza, birthday parties, sleepovers, and hormones. I can handle pumps and needles...finger pokes and blood sugars...carb counting and temp basals. I can do it. For the most part, these things have become second nature to me now. But the dreaded low blood sugar, high ketones, and vomiting combination platter....sigh...well, lets just say it scares me more than spiders...and if you knew me, you'd know that's a whole lot of fear right there.

Last Saturday started out like normal, we had breakfast...got dressed...went to gymnastics class. With about 10 minutes left of class, Emma came running up the bleachers to tell me she didn't feel well...she had to throw up. I had instant chest pains, my palms started sweating, and my mind went into overdrive panic mode envisioning her throwing up all over the other parents sitting below us. Well, to make a long story short, I got her to the washroom and she threw up...sweat was pouring off her face...and she looked like she had been hit by a transport truck. We made our way home and settled in on the couch for the old familiar routine of checking blood sugars, ketones, and trying our best to keep her hydrated.

After almost six years of raising a child with type 1 diabetes, you kind of develop a sixth sense for knowing when it's time to wave the white flag and head down to the emergency room for some help. I tried my best at home, but it just wasnt working...she needed an IV. So, we packed everything up and headed down to the hospital.

I hate the hospital for a number of reasons...since diabetes came into our lives, the main reason though is because I have witnessed first hand just how little the emergency room staff know about type 1 diabetes. It's shocking to me really. I mean I get that they are not specialists...they haven't specifically studied type 1 for a length of time I'm sure. I am assuming that they are kind of a jack of all trades, so to speak. They need to be prepared for any situation that may come through those doors. I get that. I respect that. I admire it...because I know it took a lot of hard work, intelligence, and determination to get where they are today.

BUT....and yes, this is a big but....I believe there is an unacceptable lack of knowledge about even the basics of type 1 diabetes. In my experiences, I have had emergency room nurses argue with me that I did not need to know the carb count of the food Emma eats...but rather the calories. I've had other ER nurses, try to give Emma double the insulin she needed. I've had ER doctors forget about us in the acute care area of the ER for not just an hour or two....but SEVEN hours...he forgot we were there...just plumb forgot. I've had to follow a nurse around the ER begging her for some anti-nausea meds for Emma because she had been throwing up non stop for the entire seven hours we had been in the room of forgotten patients. I've had triage nurses yell at me to not give my child ginger ale when her blood sugar was dangerously low while we sat there waiting to be seen. Needless to say, I gave it to her anyway...I wasnt about to let my child pass out because of a yelling nurse. And last Saturday night, I had the ER doctor actually ask me if Emma's insulin pump monitors everything for her...so we don't have to do anything. Uhh...no...I wish, but no.

So, I am aware of this ignorance in the ER...I know not to trust them...not to leave my child alone with them...not to believe them all the time or give them my full trust...because every single time I've had to take her there, I've encountered unacceptable levels of ignorance about her disease. The thing that terrifies me the most though, is the newly diagnosed family that may walk through those doors. The family that is still kind of naive...still trusting...still believes all doctors and nurses know what they are talking about all of the time. It scares me.

I plan on doing something to rectify this situation. I plan on pushing for at least the basics to be re-taught to the ER staff. If I have to do it myself, I will. The way things are right now...currently...is not ok...it's not acceptable...and it must be fixed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I just wanted you to know

I just wanted you to know that I get it. I understand you. I know the worry...the fears...the moments of panic, and the stress. I know what it feels like. I know how overwhelming it is and how some days you literally have to force yourself to get out of bed. I know what it's like to sit there waiting for the phone to ring. I know what it's like to feel your heart skip a beat when it does...and it's your child's school on the caller ID. I know what it's like to carry your phones around the house with you...even into the bathroom...because you have to be ready at a moments notice to run...you have to be ready to grab your keys and fly out the door to fix a low or correct a high. I know exactly how hard it is to send your baby off to school for the first time after diagnosis. I know the courage you have to muster. I know how it feels like you can't do it and you shouldn't do it. I know the argument you will have in your head as you kiss them goodbye and walk away. I know how every single fiber of your being...every single maternal instinct you have...every thought in your head is screaming at you that this is wrong...this is bad...this is dangerous...this is scary. I know it. I get it.....because I live it.

I just wanted you to know that I understand what it's like to be tired....totally and completely exhausted mentally and physically. I see you standing there at the kitchen sink...leaning against the counter...your eyes heavy...trying to focus on the number...always the number. I see you standing there...because I'm standing there with you. I know that you just want your kid to be healthy...and happy..and not be treated any differently because of this. I know that you will spend your days battling this disease trying to ensure that your kid can just be a kid. I know it. I get it...because I live it.

I just wanted you to know that you are strong beyond belief. You are special. You are made of the stuff that others only read about in books and fairy tales. You are that silent hero. I promise you that it can be done. I promise you that even on your darkest days...in the midst of your darkest hours...when you feel broken and battered.....know that it can be done...know that you can do this...know that you have the strength and the bravery and the determination to take that next step. You do. It's in you. I know it. I get it....because I live it.

Don't ever stop laughing. Don't ever stop learning. Don't ever stop loving.

These are the things which will get you through those moments where you feel like you can't go on.

I know it. I get it....because I live it too.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

First Shirley Temple

When I was a kid and my family would go out to dinner together, I would always ask my parents if I could order a Shirley Temple to drink. I remember thinking it was fancy and I absolutely loved the little umbrella that the bartender would stick in my glass for me...along with a couple of cherries or pieces of pineapple. I remember feeling grown up drinking it...like I was cool because I didn't have a drink that came in some little kids plastic cup with Care Bears on it. I would sip it holding the heavy glass carefully in my little kid hands...not wanting to tip it over or spill a single drop. It was sweet and fizzy and I loved it.

Seeing as how Emma was only four years old when she was diagnosed, I never really had the opportunity to order her a Shirley Temple of her own when we'd go out. I always stuck to milk or water or sometimes juice. Once she was diagnosed, I remember how scared I was to go out to eat at a restaurant. I was afraid of not knowing the carb count in the food she ate, let alone any drinks. I would research ahead of time on the Internet and try to find the carb counts before we left just to make it easier on me. I focused on the food...kept it simple...basic typical foods that I knew she'd probably order like chicken nuggets or pizza. She ordered water to drink...every time...partly because she preferred water...partly because she didn't really know what she was missing out on when it came to soda or fancy drinks...and partly because I think she knew how hard it was for me to figure out the carbs in those special things.

Well, tonight....at 9 years old...Emma had her first Shirley Temple ever. 5 1/2 years into this life with D and she finally had the chance to partake in something that many kids do in their lifetime. I didn't know the carb count...I didn't bother asking the waitress if she knew what it was...mainly because I didn't want to have to go into the big explanation of "my daughter has type 1 diabetes...I need the carb count because...yada yada yada..." I just didn't want to do it this time. So, I guessed....I thought back all those years ago...to my little self...sipping the sweetness...remembering how good it was....and I guessed at the carbs. I gave her insulin for it and for her meal....and we sat there as a family enjoying our night together. I worried and second guessed myself on the carb count....but I smiled as I watched her own small hands holding that glass...sipping her Shirley Temple slowly...enjoying the taste...savouring the sweet fizziness.

I smiled because it was a sweet memory for me relived in my daughter. Sure it was just a drink...a silly little kids drink...but to me, in that moment...it was so much more. We've come a long way in this life with diabetes over the years. I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not afraid to try. I'm not afraid to go with my gut and trust that in the end everything will be ok because I know what I'm doing and I know that I can fix any mistakes or wrong guesses if need be. I know that I can do it...and I'm not afraid. I stick needles in my kids fingers, arms, belly, and legs every single day...many times a day....and if I can do that without flinching....I can do anything.

Tonight, that Shirley Temple meant the world to me. Her smile while drinking it and her comments of how good it tasted meant the world to me.

By the way, I'm a damn good guesser sometimes....because she was a decent 8.8 two hours after she drank it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Diabetes Milestones

Do you ever sit back and think about how weird our lives are? I mean seriously...the things we do every day with diabetes thrown into the mix are just bizarre. Needles and blood and carbs are just as normal and commonplace in our day to day lives as things like brushing our teeth, washing the dishes, and vacuuming the living room. It's weird.

The things that most parents remember and celebrate in their children's lives seem so.....different to me sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I partied like a rock star and danced around the house with Emma when she learned how to go on the potty. But I mean the things that we as D-parents celebrate are just...different.

For example, the first time Emma gave herself an injection, I was nearly in tears because my heart was overflowing with pride. When she figured out how to change basal rates on her pump and set temp basals, I found myself giving her a high five and twirling her around the room. Today, I was out  running errands and Emma called me on my cell phone. She informed me that her blood sugar was 6.5.....which is typically a pretty good number for her. I was about to ask her why she felt the need to leave class to call me and tell me about a good number, when she kept talking....she told me how she was 9.8 at lunch...just one hour and forty-five minutes earlier. She said that she called because she thought that was a bit too big of a drop in that amount of time and she wanted to make sure that she should bolus for the full amount of carbs in her afternoon snack. She told me how she didn't feel low...but she just wanted to double check because of that drop. Her snack had 28 carbs in it and she suggested that she only bolus for 18 just to be on the safe side because she was about to head outside for recess after she ate. Yea....I made a fool of myself dancing a little jig in the store and telling her that I was proud of her and that I think her plan sounded perfect and to just go with it.

It's a different kind of pride. It's kind of hard to explain to someone really unless they live this life too. I mean how bizarre to get excited and proud over a phone call like that, right? How can it be the same thing as hearing your kid read to you for the first time? How can it compare to that moment when you are running along behind them holding onto the seat of their first bike...and you take a deep breath and....let go....watching them ride off down the sidewalk...one more milestone completed in their lives? It can't compare. It's not the same. It's on a whole different level really.

When you see your child reaching a milestone in their life with diabetes, it's such an overwhelming feeling of pride....because you are seeing them get one step closer to becoming masters of their own life. They are learning one more thing to keep themselves healthy...to keep themselves alive. It's one more step towards independence....one more skill they have mastered....one more piece of knowledge that they will carry through life with them. So, yes....it's different....it means more....it's a victory of living.

It's seeing that they can do this....they will do this...and they will be just fine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Words that hurt

I read something on the internet tonight that hurt my feelings. I know it shouldn't....because it was simply one persons opinion...one person I don't know...one person who was just sharing their thoughts...and everyone is entitled to share their thoughts. But it still hurt my feelings to read the words nonetheless.

It was an adult living with type 1 expressing their frustration at parents of children with type 1 whining about this disease and complaining about it...when really it's not their disease...and one day they will be able to let it go...because their children will grow up...and they will be the ones dealing with it for the rest of their lives...or at least until a cure is found.

I'm happy this person was able to let their frustration out...but it stung to read their words. I know without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that if it was possible, I would take this from Emma. It's agonizing to know that it's her disease...that there's nothing I can do to fix it...there's no possible way for me to take it from her. It's a heartache that is indescribable. I've spent the last five years trying to keep her healthy...trying to do it right...trying to be the best pancreas I can be for her because I want her to live a full and healthy life. Even though, I know it's ridiculous to feel it, sometimes the guilt is so overwhelming that it is almost paralyzing. I know I did nothing to cause her to get this...but she came from me. I carried her inside me for 9 months...I gave birth to her....I gave her life...and this happened. How can you NOT deal with guilt every once and a while? When her BG's are high because I screwed up guessing on the carbs....it's my fault...I caused the high...I am responsible for the damage that high and all of the other highs may do to her body....me...I am responsible for it. The pressure to get it right is insane, to be honest.

I wonder if this person has children of their own. I wonder if they know what it feels like to have your heart walking around beside you every day...out there in the big bad world...carrying a heavy weight...this disease...all that it entails...in their tiny little four year old body. I wonder if this person knows what it's like to be the one responsible for keeping them alive...the one who is stabbing them with needles day in and day out...needles filled with a "medicine" that they need....a "medicine" that if miscalculated, could kill them. I wonder if this person has ever thought about things like that...if they've ever tried to put themselves in another persons shoes...a parents shoes...and see just how tortuous it is to hold that precious life in your hands and see the tears fill their eyes and know that you are about to inflict pain on them and you don't have a choice...you have to do it...you have to because you want them alive.

I don't know the answers to these questions because I don't know this person. I am sure they were just venting and releasing some frustration...and that's ok...it's good actually...I'm happy they had an outlet to let it go.

But the words still stung me. I'm disappointed in myself for letting it get to me.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Miles to go before I sleep

Do you ever sit there and think that maybe this night I will go to sleep...I will rest my weary head...I will close my eyes to the day and wake up the next morning and it will all have been just a bad dream? It will all have been just a really long...really intense...really stressful and vivid nightmare?

I do.

Even though it's been over five years now, I still think that sometimes. Maybe it's that flicker of my old self still screaming in the back of my mind. Maybe it's her. Maybe she has been screaming so hard for so long that now her voice is but a mere whisper...and I only hear it randomly...when the day is done...and my ears are filled with the silence of my own bedroom.

Do you ever feel like you just can't do it anymore? Like you'd give anything to be able to just wave the white flag in defeat and lay down...in the dirt...and fall asleep as the tears fall from your eyes. A sigh escaping your lips. You're so tired....so very tired...and all you want to do is just lay there in a heap and never move again?

I do.

Some days I feel like I have been doing this so long that I don't even know how to live without it. I don't know how to have a day without diabetes anymore. I don't remember what it's like to just go to sleep and not think twice about my child sleeping in the next room. I don't know what it's like to send her off to school without diabetes along for the ride. I don't remember what it's like to prepare a meal and just give her food without measuring it or counting the carbs or giving her insulin first. I don't remember what it's like. It's been so long. And yet.....how does that poem go again? You know, the one by Robert Frost? "...The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." 

I have miles to go before I sleep.

And yes....these woods ARE dark and deep.....

...but they're also lovely...

Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself of that fact. Sometimes I lose sight of the loveliness. And that's ok. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What WDD means to me

Tomorrow is World Diabetes Day. It's a day to advocate...commemorate...celebrate...and honour the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting. I have seen countless posts online today from friends and members of my diabetes family. Posts lighting up my screen a beautiful heartwarming shade of blue.

Tomorrow means so much more to me than just wearing blue...or spreading awareness...or sharing my experiences in this life. (All things which i will still be doing.) Tomorrow is a day that makes me realize how lucky I am. It's a day that makes me realize how much all of the people in my life mean to me. My fellow D-Moms....my sisters in this life...the hands that hold me up...the smiles that heal my heartache...the spirits that ease my burden and help me to carry on. Tomorrow is a day for me to honour them...thank them...let them know just how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate what they do for all of our children. Tomorrow is a day to make sure they know....truly know that what they do matters and is noticed and appreciated. Tomorrow is a day to embrace them and look them in the eyes and let them feel the gratitude. It's a day to somehow find the words to let them know that I would be lost without them...that they are the sisters I never had and always wanted...that they are my heroes...that I admire their strength...their courage...their tenacity...their humour...their guidance, advice, kind words, knowing glances, simple yet silent hugs filled with understanding. Tomorrow is a day to make sure they believe in themselves. Tomorrow is a day to turn the mirror on them and let them see what I see when I look at them.

Tomorrow is a day to be thankful for all of my adult friends who have type 1. It's a day to let them know that their mere presence in my life is something I hold dear. I am blessed to have them in my daughters life. They are role models. They are friends. They are beautiful proof that this disease will not stop her. They are inspiring and I admire their incredible strength and am honoured to be a part of their families.

Tomorrow is a day to hug my daughter. It's a day to hold her close...breathe in her joy...her bravery...her laughter...and her love. It's a day to be greatful for the small moments...each ticking of the clock is a gift and sometimes life gets in the way and I forget that. Not tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a day of love for me. It's a day of gratitude.

Tomorrow is a day that matters to me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pretty little package

I think a lot of times people try to wrap diabetes up in this pretty little package and tie it with a nice neat perfectly knotted red bow. We try to decipher the impossible and we sometimes get lost in a swirl of numbers and circumstances. It's been five years now, and I am not an expert....not even close, actually...but I do know a couple of things.

Diabetes will never fit in a pretty little package. It will never be something that can be explained in certainties and black and white answers. There is sometimes no logic or reasoning to the number...the outcome...the problem. It is what it is. If we spend our days getting caught up trying to figure out why that one high blood sugar occurred that one time she ate that order of fries, we will wind up driving ourselves crazy.

It's all about learning how to roll with the punches and make it work in that gray area of guessing at carbs and predicting how activity and insulin will affect the blood sugar. We have to teach ourselves to be ok with not knowing why a high blood sugar occurred. We have to accept that sometimes shit just happens. What worked for you one time last week, can have a totally different outcome today.

Diabetes isn't pretty. There's the pen needles masked in brightly coloured cases, the insulin pumps with fun skins of every imaginable pattern and colour, the meter cases shaped like frogs, and pump pouches with flowers or rainbows or superhero patterns on them. We try to make it pretty. We try to make it less....medical. But it's still a needle beneath that pretty packaging. It's still a medical device that we use to keep ourselves or our children alive. Beneath it all, no matter how much we try to make it pretty....diabetes is ugly.

It's so ugly that sometimes it makes our thoughts ugly too....sometimes it makes our spirits ugly...our mood ugly. And you know what? That's ok! It's ok to get pissed. It's ok to be sad. It's ok to see that ugly number pop up on the meter and let an ugly word fall from your lips in frustration. It's ok to cry. It's ok to let whatever ugly feelings you are having just pour from your heart. It's more than just ok....it's good actually...it's healing. If you leave those ugly feelings and thoughts trapped inside, they will fester and grow and become too heavy a burden to bear. So, let them out. Unleash the ugly when you need to...it's ok.

Don't ever forget though....that once the ugly thoughts and feelings are out of your head, you just might find yourself seeing the beauty once again. The smile on your child's face...the laughter that escapes from their lips...the hugs...the embrace of a true kindred spirit who knows all about the ugliness. Let the ugly out....but always keep an eye out for the beauty when your done.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I wonder too much

I wonder what it will be like when a cure arrives. I wonder if I will find out from a breaking news story on TV....or a call from a fellow D-Mom...possibly a call from Emma's doctor. I wonder if I will even believe it...or if I will be jaded and leary about the whole thing. I wonder how it will work....will we all march down to the hospital and wait in line to receive it? Will we find ourselves standing there surrounded by hundreds of our friends...our family...our people? Will we cry...hug....scream with joy and victory...dance in line bursting with excitement? Will we stand there stunned...in shock...overcome with emotion that renders us silent?

I wonder how it will feel to stand there waiting for our turn. Will they call our name? Will we have to take a number? Will we have to make an appointment first?

I wonder how that car ride to the hospital will feel. Will I remember that first car ride to the hospital...when she was about to be diagnosed...how everything seemed to be moving in slow motion....people smiling and holding hands as they walked down the street....no idea that inside that car, my world was crumbling all around me. I wonder if it will feel like a short ride...or the longest one of my life. Will I run every red light? Will I continue on like normal...in a daze of disbelief?

How will I tell my daughter? How will my heart and my head be able to withstand the magnitude of emotion that will surely come when I utter the words, "they found a cure....it's over...we did it!" How will my heart not burst with love and relief and pure joy in that moment?

These are things that I think about. Things that have crossed my mind countless times over the years. Things that keep me moving. Things that hurt my soul if I linger too long imagining the day. It's easy to say...just have hope...just have faith...just keep plugging along...patience is a virtue. It's easy to say. It's easy to convince yourself of these things day in and day out while you are living it. Oh, but when the day is gone...and the night sky wraps it's silent arms around you in a weary embrace.....it's hard...it's hard not to think....

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holding my breath

It's hard to explain to someone how diabetes doesn't only affect the person diagnosed, but rather the entire family. I mean..yes...obviously the person diagnosed is the one feeling it and living it and enduring the needles and pain and highs and lows. But this disease also affects the family too.

I've found it harder to relate to things that upset "regular" people. Things like getting frustrated over one sleepless night...or not being able to find a babysitter so I can go out with friends for some adult beverages...or not getting to go out on a date night with my husband. I can't relate to it because it's not my life anymore. That life was ripped from me years ago.

When I'm around other D-Moms, I feel like I can breathe. I feel like all of my minutes up until the point that I'm with them are spent with me holding it all in...holding my breath...holding my feelings inside...pretending to be the old me. And then when I get around my D-Mom friends....I can just let it out....breathe...be the me who I truly am now. I would walk to the ends of the Earth for these women. I would give them the shirt off my back...the last dollar in my pocket...anything. I would do anything they needed me to do because they know...they get it...we are one.

I think I spend the majority of my time trying to live in spite of diabetes....live loudly...live freely...live with ownership. Sometimes, I think that I need to try and live more alongside diabetes though. I need to learn how to live with it and somehow merge the two parts of myself together...the old me...and the current me.

I wonder if the old me would understand how important that is....to hold onto a shred of that innocent carefree light. I don't think she would, to be honest. Maybe that's why the 'me' that I am now tries so hard to put myself out there and be that friend to others.

It's funny how diabetes makes you feel torn in two sometimes.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to save a life

Seeing as how it's Diabetes Awareness Month, I thought I would share a little bit about the days leading up to Emma's diagnosis.

In April 2008, Emma, my Mom, and I all went to Disney World for a little family vacation. Emma was only four years old, but beyond excited to go. I mean, it's Disney World...the home of all her favorite characters...Minnie and Mickey...the princesses...Lilo and Stitch. I remember the day we arrived, sitting next to Emma as we watched the parade come down Main Street at Magic Kingdom. It was incredible, this was her very first parade experience! I snapped a picture of her face to capture the moment forever....the look of awe in her eyes...the huge smile on her face...wait....the pale skin...the dark circles under her eyes? I noticed it, but I thought to myself that maybe she was just tired...jet lagged...overwhelmed from the excitement of where she was and what she was seeing.

The next morning I took a picture of her and my Mom as we headed to breakfast. Again...I noticed the pale skin...the dark circles...the slow steps...slow even for a four year old. She wasnt jumping and running. She wasnt squealing and talking a mile a minute showing her excitement. She was quiet...sleepy looking. Again, I attributed it to jet lag.

Fast forward to the beginning of June 2008. Emma began asking for cup after cup of water...especially at bedtime. I remember getting irritated thinking that she was just trying to prolong her time of being awake. She began to wet the bed again. I had no idea why...she had been fully potty trained for a good 2 years at that point. I thought it must have been from all the water she had been drinking. It was summer...it was hot...I figured she was just drinking more water than normal because of the weather.

One night I remember bringing Emma's little Dora sippy cup up to bed. I held it in my hand and told her that was all she was getting...one cup was enough...so she shouldn't chug it like she had been doing the night before. Let me be honest here.....I yelled at her. I yelled in the way only a Mom can yell....I yelled at my child to stop chugging her water.....because I was tired of changing her sheets so much and her mattress was going to be ruined. I yelled because I was frustrated at having to continuously run upstairs to her room to refill her Dora sippy cup. I yelled because I was irritated and I thought it was some sort of four year old behaviour thing.

I yelled.

I have since apologized for yelling....but the guilt I carry around from that will never leave me. She wanted all that water because there was too much sugar in her blood....because her pancreas had shut down...and I had no idea....I never knew the signs or symptoms of diabetes.

I yelled....and I will never forget that.

That night, I changed Emma's bed sheets three times in a two hour period. It honestly looked like she had dumped a pail of water on her bed every time. I remember laying her sleeping body on the bedroom floor and changing her and putting a blanket over her as I cleaned her bed and put fresh sheets on for the third time. I stood there crying....because I knew something was wrong...I knew that my Mom was right. I had been sharing the recent drinking and peeing situation with my Mom on the phone the day before and she told me that those were signs of diabetes. As I stood there in the wee hours of the morning that night before she was diagnosed, I cried...because I knew she was right.

I'm lucky I didn't lose my daughter that night. I'm lucky my ignorance didn't result in her death.

So, please....know the signs...share them with others so that they know. You could save a life.

Frequent urination
Extreme thirst
Fruity smelling breath
Dark circles under eyes

Monday, November 4, 2013

Embrace the Quiet

I think generally people just want to be understood. We have this need to feel like we make sense and like people get us. Being the parent of a child with diabetes is not easy. There are days where I feel like I want to throw in the towel. There are days where I feel like I just want to be quiet...because there's too much noise in the world...too much chaos...just too much.

I think being quiet gets a bad rap sometimes. People think you are sad or angry or struggling when you're quiet. When sometimes, I just want to lay down on my worn in green couch with a tear in the cushion that keeps ripping and getting bigger....lay my head down on the pillow...and be quiet. Sometimes I just want to lay there and stare at the ceiling and pet my cat and feel her purring vibrating through the palm of my hand...rhythmic and soothing.

Sometimes I talk to God. I am the furthest thing from being a good or dedicated religious woman....but I'm trying. I think I do it because it brings me peace. It makes my head and my heart feel better.

It kind of reminds me of when I was in kindergarten and we had a certain time every day where the teacher had us all just lay our heads down and be quiet. She turned the lights off...and we all were as still as possible. It wasnt for very long...and I'm sure it wasnt always successfully silent...but it was nice. I remember laying there staring up at the ceiling and listening to the sound of my own heart beating....my breath in and out...my thoughts calm and peaceful.

Sometimes on really tiring and frustrating days now...all these years later...I just sit there and close my eyes...and picture that little classroom. Its nice.

When my heart is calm again, I open my eyes and begin again.

I think it's important to find the quiet every now and again. It's important to turn it all off and listen to the silence. Don't feel bad or guilty for taking that moment to yourself. It's ok. I understand. I get you. I hear how loud your life is too...because it's the same sound as mine. Embrace the quiet sometimes...it helps.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I get it

Diabetes is perhaps one of the most misunderstood diseases. People think they know...but they really have no idea. There a lot of things that are in your face and obvious...the blood...the needles...the carbs. There's a lot of things that are sort of silent though. Things that most people wouldn't think twice about.

Have you ever skipped breakfast to stand in solidarity with your child as they prepare to have fasting bloodwork done? I have.
Have you ever been starving and wanted to grab a snack...but you choose not to...you choose to wait because your child's blood sugar is so high that it's unsafe for them to eat something...even though they are starving too...and you don't want to eat in front of them? I have.
Have you ever stood at the kitchen sink and shoved a cookie into your mouth with your back turned to the living room because you don't want your child to see you eating it and ask for one too...because you don't want them to have to endure another injection just to be able to eat it? I have.
Have you ever seen other Moms give their child a bite of their food...or a sip of their drink...without a second thought...and felt a red hot fiery jealousy burn in your chest? I have.
Have you ever sat there eating chips out of the bag with tears in your eyes as you think about the fact that your child can't do that? They can't just mindlessly eat chips out of a bag....or any food out of a bag...they have to count each chip...measure each bit of food and take insulin for it. Have you ever tasted the mixture of your falling tears and chips? I have.
Have you ever stared at your own hands and marvelled at the fact that the finger tips are unmarked...they aren't covered in thousands of tiny black holes...calloused over from countless needles being jabbed into them? I have.
Have you ever thought about where your child will put their insulin pump when they wear their first prom dress? I have.
Have you ever thought about where they will put their pump when they wear their wedding dress? I have.

Diabetes can be loud at times. It can be in your face...meters screaming ugly numbers at you...mocking you. It can be a mess...a complete and total mess. Other times though, diabetes can be quiet....it can be so quiet that no one else even knows it's there. No one but you notices the fact that your stomach is growling. No one notices the bag of chips. No one notices the fact that your child is counting each one they put in their mouth. No one notices the frustration in their eyes and the anger at having to wait to eat.

There's a lot of judgement that goes along with diabetes. Judgement from the ignorant...which I can't really get upset about because before diabetes entered our lives, I was ignorant too. There's also judgement from those that do live this life too...which is bizarre to me. I don't do it right...I don't follow the same rules as them...I post too much about it...diabetes is every day, not just during the month of November...no one really hears my attempts to educate except for those that live this life too, so what's the point. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Everyone has the right to speak their mind. I get it. I really do.

This life is not easy. But for me....being silent...going about my day without even trying to make a difference...well, it's just not an option. To each his own. However we individually choose to live this life is right. There is no wrong way of doing it. Just live it and find a way to love what you do.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't forget to look back

I have been told so many times over the years to not look back...always keep my focus on the path in front of me. I appreciate the sentiment and for the most part agree with the thought...but I do think it's equally important to sometimes stop and take a look over your shoulder to see how far you have come. It's good to look back and see all of the hills you have climbed...all the battles you have won and lost...all of the moments that you didn't think you would survive. I think it gives you a sense of accomplishment and respect for all that you have endured. It's good to look back and realize that all of those moments have led you to the place where you are currently standing. All of those moments are still with you...they are a part of you...they have made you into the person you are today.

I walked into my kitchen this evening to make myself a tea and enjoy the peaceful silence of my night. I walked past the closet door and glanced up at the calendar hanging on it. There was a tiny strip of paper poking out from beneath the calendar that I instantly recognized. I had forgotten it was still there. I lifted up the edge of the calendar and stood there staring at a sheet of paper I had hung up five years ago. It was a list of Emma's insulin to carb ratios from when she was first diagnosed. I had written them out on a chart and hung it up on the wall for easy access to help me remember how much to dose her for when she ate something. I stood there staring at that sheet of numbers...it was in my handwriting...the edges of the paper curled up over time. This chart was made by the old me...the version of me from five years ago.

I smiled and stood there for a minute looking back on our path...thinking about how much we have been through in the past years with diabetes. I remember being so nervous that I would mess up the calculations for her ratio and give her too much insulin...or too little. I was so nervous that I decided to make this chart. It eased my mind at the time. It was a comfort to have it hanging on the closet door. I remembered standing in that exact spot dialing up countless doses on her insulin pen...thousands of needles...carbs counted...dosages searched for. I stood there countless times...staring at that tiny droplet of insulin perched precariously on the edge of that tiny needle...knowing I was about to jab it into my child's body and give her what her pancreas could no longer do on it's own.

I looked over my shoulder for just a minute tonight and marvelled at the life we have led up to this point. I smiled at our strength...our endurance...our hope. I looked at the path behind me...some spots rutted and uneven...muddy and murky...dangerous cliffs and valleys. I looked back at the path behind me and saw breathtaking views...beautiful triumphs and victories...the suns rays cascading down all around me.

So, yes....I think it's important to keep your eye on the prize...focused on the horizon in front of you. I also think it's important to stop every now and again and be proud of what you have done...be proud of the path that you have already travelled. That path is a great place to draw your strength from when you are about to embark on the unknown trail ahead.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my parents 41st wedding anniversary. Forty-one years....lets just let that sink in for a minute, shall we? .......

It's inspiring to say the least. I mean we fall in love, we want to spend the rest of our lives with this person, ride off into the sunset, and live happily ever after in a house with a porch swing and a white picket fence. We want to have a family with our love. We want to grow old with them and end up being one of those elderly couples we see in the grocery store parking lot holding hands as they walk to their car.

Marriage is not easy. It's not all sunshine and roses and good times filled with laughter. Marriage takes work. It's easy to love someone. It's not always easy to remember that love in the midst of mortgage payments and bills and cars that break down. It's not so easy to remember that love at 3:00am when your lying in bed contemplating whether or not it's possible to simultaneously plug the nose of your partner that is snoring like a freight train while anticipating their awakening so you can pretend like you weren't the one who did it and you had been asleep peacefully next to them the entire time. It takes work. It takes a mutual effort to remember that love...to remember that feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you catch eyes with them across the dinner table full of screaming kids with spaghetti sauce flung all over your shirt and noodles hanging in your hair.

Marriage is worth it though. It's worth the effort. When you wake up and have crust in your eyes and a wicked case of morning breath...and your love looks at you...I mean, really looks at you...and tells you that you're beautiful...that's love. When your partner knows what you take in your coffee and what you like on your turkey sub from Subway without being told...that's love. When they have worked long hours all week long and still get up with your child on the weekend to play the role of their pancreas...just so you can sleep in....that's love.

So, I think of my parents on this day and I am in awe. I'm in awe of their love and their devotion. I'm in awe of their determination and their strength. I admire their ability to stand beside each other for 41 years...holding hands...facing whatever life has thrown their way...together...as a team...a united front.

I look at my husband and our own 11 years of marriage, and I am happy. He loves me...I mean, he really loves me. I still get butterflies when I look at him. My heart still skips a beat when I hear him tell me he loves me. We have weathered quite the storms with diabetes in our house. We have managed it though....we are a united front...we are a team...we hold hands and face things head on.

I hope 30 years from now, I can be as strong as my parents. I hope that Emma will look back on her childhood and see what I see when I think of my own parents. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! We love you and thank you for being such an incredible example of what marriage should be like.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Perspective is a beautiful thing

Ya know what? I had a shitty day. It started out with skipping breakfast to stand in solidarity with my kid as she skipped breakfast because it was bloodwork day. She had to fast....so I fasted. The day progressed with a bunch of small annoyances...the little elderly woman at McDonald's got my coffee order wrong...but I decided to drink it anyway...because it was her first day...she was training...and she was the sweetest woman on the planet with a smile that could win over anyone.....so I drank it...and smiled...and wished her a good first day. I came home to find my cat puked on the carpet...right in front of the basement door...good times. Then Emma had a low blood sugar just after lunch. it wasnt one of those easy peasy give her 15 carbs and it does the trick kind of lows....it was a stubborn one. so, there I sat at a desk in her classroom...listening to the teacher talk about the branches of the government in his best Queen Elizabeth accent. Ok, that part was funny actually! Then the batteries in Emma's blood sugar meter ran out, so I hopped in the car and went to the store to get more. As I got back in my car to finally go home....I turned the key to start it up...and....nothing happened...my battery was dead. Clearly it's not a good day to be a battery in my house. So, I pulled out my cell to call the dealership which just so happened to be down the street from where I was and get them to come give me a boost. Keep in mind, we just bought this car less than a month ago...and this was the third time I have had to bring it in to the dealership. The first time was a stupid technicians error (he took a power washer to the engine on the day we bought it and wound up getting water in two of the cylinders which caused it to sputter and lurch). The second time was to get the CD player replaced because every time I put a cd in...it gave me an "error 5" message. Yes, my brain went directly to the error messages on blood sugar meters LOL! The third time...was today...a dead battery that actually needed to be replaced.

All of these things put me in a bad mood. I tried all day long to get rid of the dark cloud hanging over my head. It seemed like everytime I started to see the sun peak through again...something else would happen to send me back to square one.

And then I got an email from a good friend...telling me about her coworker. His son was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He's 9 years old...just like Emma. My dark cloud vanished in an instant. My heart broke for this family. Thoughts of Emma's diagnosis day flew through my head. I felt the tears stinging my eyes as I remembered how it felt...how it feels...how it's still just below the surface.

I emailed this man...who had just spent his very first day as a D-Dad. I tried to find the right words to comfort them...to make them see and believe that it would be ok. I have found myself in similar situations many times over the years. I always want to run to them and hug them tight and make it all better....but I can't. I can't make it better. It's something that can't be explained in words. This family is now a part of our club. They will struggle...they will fail...they will cry and scream and yell and hate this disease.

But they will also smile. They will laugh harder than they did before. They will have hope. They will have a chance that most people never get....they will get to see just how strong their spirits are. The will live it. They will come to a point where they will accept it. It will be their new life now too.

So, I offer myself....my ears to listen, my voice to share my experiences and my support, my arms to lift them up when they need it, my hands to hold when they feel alone or lost, and my smile to make them see that it will be ok...that I believe in them...that I know they can do it.

So, yes....my day wasnt as bad as I thought it was. Perspective is a beautiful thing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Just because I care

Just because I advocate for diabetes...does not mean diabetes rules our lives.

Just because I try to educate about this disease....does not mean that it's all I think about.

Just because I help my daughter with fundraisers for JDRF...does not mean that we spend every minute of every day asking for money, walking, riding, or selling hot chocolate for them.

Just because the majority of my posts on Facebook happen to be about diabetes....her highs...her lows...her struggles...and her victories.....does not mean that I don't have a life outside of diabetes.

Just because I make a conscious decision to help others who are struggling or new to this life...does not mean that I think I'm better than the next guy.

Just because I am passionate about these things and work my ass off to try to give my kid the best childhood and life possible...does not mean that I am a bitch.

Just because I cry tears of sadness on bad days or when I'm tired or when I'm struggling or when I read about another child diagnosed or another child lost....does not mean that I'm a sap or weak.

Just because I give my last dime to diabetes fundraisers that my friends are holding...does not mean that I am ridiculous.

Just because you see things differently and choose to live your life differently than I do....does not mean that you are right and I am wrong.

Just because I can't sit idly by and silent and not do anything....does not mean that I have a big mouth.

I do all of these things because it's who I am. Deep down inside. If you don't like it or agree with it, I'm sorry....I can't help that. I do all of these things because...

I care.

I care about you.

I care about your kids.

I care about your family too.

I love.

I have compassion.

I am stubborn.

I am a fighter.

I'm a dreamer.

I'm a Mom.

I'm a D-Mom.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


It's kind of funny how diabetes has a way of jumping right in the middle of your day and reminding you very quickly that your life is not typical. I wake up in the morning and go about my day like every other Mom out there...making breakfasts, getting the kids off to school, doing the laundry, the dishes, running errands, stopping at the store to pick up a couple of things. I don't wake up in the morning with the thought of...I wonder when diabetes is going to make an appearance and throw me for a loop. I don't wait in anticipation of the highs or the lows. I just go about my day...checking blood sugars, counting carbs, bolusing, as well as all of the other typical Mom things. So, when diabetes decides to barge right in and toss a high or a low in there....it startles me sometimes. It is like a slap in the face reminder really...as if I could ever truly forget.

Last night, Emma and I ran out to Walmart to pick up a few things...just like we have a million times before. We were chatting away and laughing hysterically at all of the different Halloween costumes they had for pets. Each time one of us would pull out another costume and hold it up to show the other one, we'd both burst out into uncontrollable giggles. There was everything from Yoda...to Batman...to Frankenstein...each one more adorable and hilarious than the next. I noticed Emma was laughing a little harder than normal...a little more deliriously than normal...I couldn't quite put my finger on it...but it sort of was like we were stuck in this bubble full of laughing gas from the dentist...everything was funny...everything was fast and extreme and loud...everything going on around us seemed in slow motion and the lights were a little too bright...so bright that they seemed to cast a dark shadow under Emma's eyes...and make her look very pale...so pale...scary pale...and I snapped out of it...diabetes slapped me in the face.

...she was low....scary low...

I picked up her giggling shaking body and put her in the shopping cart. Tears of laughter still shining on our cheeks. I asked her if she felt low...just like I have a million times before. I saw diabetes slap her in the face in that moment....it hit her...she finally felt the low...the laughter stopped...the humor gone from the situation. I checked her blood sugar and she was 2.8...and she still had 2 units of insulin running through her body from dinner. I handed her a fruit snack and she started shoving them into her mouth with shaking hands. I quickly pushed the cart over to the food aisle and grabbed a soda off the shelf and gave it to her. I grabbed a bag of peach gummy candies off the shelf and stood there trying to open them. My eyes never left my girl. I asked her if she felt like her blood sugar was coming back up. I don't know why I ask her that...but I do everytime...I think it's because I want to hear her say yes...I want her to tell me that she's ok...I want to hear from her that we made it through this low too. She told me she was ok...but that she hates when she is low in public because it feels like everyone is looking at her...and it bothers her...it makes her feel self-conscious.

I have hypoglycemia....have had it for years actually...and it sort of hit me all at once when she said that...she's right...she's exactly right...it does feel like the spotlight is on you and everyone around you is staring at you...judging you...thinking you are weird...thinking that you look funny and something is wrong with you. It's an odd feeling. I hate that feeling. I glanced around and no one was looking at her. No one was staring. No one had any idea that we were in the midst of a dangerous situation. They just kept moving along down the aisles...talking about sales on beef and how they needed to remember to grab a roll of paper towels.

I told Emma that no one was staring...it's just the low playing tricks on her. I think it comforts her to know that I get what that feels like and I have felt it before many times.

Diabetes invades your life at diagnosis. It sneaks in like a thief in the night. You're naive...unaware...still peacefully living your life...so when diabetes arrives...it hurts...it feels like your reality has been ripped violently away from your spirit. Those wounds never heal completely...time forms a scar for you to be able to carry on though.

As you continue on with your new life, diabetes will barge right in and disrupt your new normal...it will knock you back on your heels and sometimes even send you to the ground...flat on your face. It's what you choose to do from that moment on that really matters. I hated yesterday's low...I hated today's two lows. They all disrupted our life for a brief moment....but only a moment. Our eyes become clearer again eventually...and we keep walking down the aisle too..talking about sales on beef...and remembering to grab a roll of paper towels...

...and how freakin adorable Daisy the cat is going to look in her new Frankenkitty Halloween costume...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Even after all of these years, diabetes still sometimes steals a piece of my heart....grabs it when I least expect it...squeezes it, crushes it between it's evil fingers, throws it on the ground and stomps all over it. It leaves this ache in me...this deep sadness...a shadow inside me...it hurts like someone is stabbing me from the inside out.

Early this morning...about 2 hours before the alarm was set to go off...I heard Emma call out to me from her room. I can sleep through anything...loud tv's, music, anything....the only thing that will wake me up in an instant...is the sound of my daughters voice. I sat bolt upright in bed and fumbled for my glasses. I untangled myself from the blankets and stumbled in the dark over to her room. My first thoughts were....low low low...OMG she's low...here we go...she's having a seizure....my worst nightmares come true...I need to remain calm and save her....low low low...shake the muddied sleep from my brain...focus Amy...focus....oh God please don't take her from me!

I saw her face...and she was not low...she was crying....she looked up at me with tears streaming down her face...and told me she had wet the bed. My brain quickly rewound the previous nights events...knowing it was my fault this had happened. It was my fault she was crying and had wet the bed. I had checked her blood sugar before I went to bed and she was 6.4....a really good number....but just a tad too low for me to feel comfortable leaving her at all night....so, I gave her 7 carbs to boost it up just a tiny little bit. Well, that 7 carbs sent her blood sugar up to 15....and her body tried to get rid of the excess sugar now sitting in her blood...by peeing it out. So, it was my fault. I screwed up. Not the first time....and most definitely will not be the last. Diabetes is a jerk like that.....it gives you the opportunity to feel like a failure at least once a day.

In any case, I cleaned her up....and brought her to our bed to sleep the rest of the morning away until it was time to get up for school. My husband was already awake and getting ready for work...so there was plenty of room. I got her meter and checked her before going back to sleep. As I stood there, waiting for the meter to countdown and show me a number......she looked up at me and through her tears said, "I'm so embarassed Mommy. This is so embarrassing. I mean I'm 9 years old...and I just wet the bed.....sigh....I'm sorry....I can't believe I did that....I'm so embarassed."

Cue heartbreak.....

I told her to not be embarassed....to not say she was sorry....I told her its ok and it was not her fault....she didn't do this on purpose. I explained to her what had happened that night. I crawled into bed next to her...wrapped my arms around my baby girl...and just held her. I brushed her hair from her tear stained face and held her. I told her that I love her...and I'm sorry this happened...but it's ok.

For the first time in a long time, I fell asleep with my daughter in my arms.

Diabetes stole another piece of my heart this morning....but it also let me have that moment of love. That moment is what I choose to remember about this day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Needing help is ok

Sometimes all you need is a little help through the starting gates. You need that gentle hand guiding you...showing you the way...sharing their experience and their light. I struggle sometimes with what to do...I wander around in circles...lost...heart full of aching misery...my blinders are up to the light that is surrounding me. Sometimes I need that help to peel away the blinders...to take away some of the heartache.

I have a hard time asking for help...a REALLY hard time. I don't know why exactly. I think maybe it's gotten worse the longer I've been a D-Mom. I think I have this convoluted idea in my head that I need to appear like I have it all together...I need to appear strong...I need to put up this front like I know what I'm doing most of the time. When those times occur that I screw up and diabetes gets the best of me...or life in general gets the best of me...I need to just be strong anyway and say I'm ok and I don't need help...I'm fine...I'm good...really I'm ok. When a lot of those times, I'm actually not ok. I think it's because the day before Emma was diagnosed, I was naive...I was oblivious to this life. I was set in my easy...comfortable...low stress life.......and then the rug was ripped out from beneath me. So I feel like if I keep this strong shield up...that I will be safer. Alas, not really the case. I don't know why I think I am so easy to fool about stuff like this.

When I finally do open my mouth and let the words fall out asking for help, I immediately feel nervous....like I should've just kept trudging along in my own head. Almost every time though that I allow myself to be vulnerable and ask for help, I am always amazed at the relief that follows afterwards. I feel like a weight has been lifted. It's freeing. It brings tears to my eyes to know that there really are people out there that can help....angels that walk among us.

It's not all that bad to need help. It's not that painful to ask. It doesn't wind up making me feel weak or stupid. In fact, it makes me feel the complete opposite of that. When I finally ask for help, I feel stronger...I feel safer...I feel like I can do it. There's a moment that passes where I actually see that the supportive hands on my shoulders and the kind words in my ear are where I can draw my strength from until I become comfortable enough to take those steps on my own.

Moral of the story....needing help is ok...no matter your age, your experience, or your comfort level. Needing help is ok and it doesn't mean you are weak.

Thank you for the help tonight, my sweet friend.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Those moments

You know that moment when you ask someone a question and they have a look of complete and total blankness on their face? Like you just spoke to them in a different language and they have absolutely no idea what you said...but they don't want to seem like a fool...or rude...or like they aren't interested in what you have to say.....so instead they just nod and smile?

You know that moment when you don't even have to speak to another person......you just look at them.......and they get it? They get it because they have been there. They get it because they know how it feels to have your heart pound in fear and your hands shake from nervousness and your mind race from thoughts of doubt and worry and defeat. You know they get it just by the look in their eyes...the slight tilt of their head...the way they bite their bottom lip...the ease with which they open their arms to embrace you with tears in their eyes and a pounding of their heart that is in sync with your own. They get it....because they get you.

You know that moment when you meet a complete stranger and one simple word is uttered between you and it's like your worlds collide...two lives forever intertwined....bound together by the same battle...the same life...the same word....


You know that moment when you can breathe again? When you let yourself go and the tears that you didn't even know you had been holding in, suddenly start to fall from your eyes....and it feels good...it feels safe....it feels normal...and right...and sane?

That moment happens every single second of every single day in our world. I am greatful for those moments. I am greatful for the moments of clarity and sanity that exist in between the moments of madness and chaos. I will hang on to those moments and those people for the rest of my journey. Those moments trump anything that can be thrown my way. Those moments define strength and love.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bittersweet Symphony

So this morning was a hard one. The perfect storm of circumstances occurred and it all resulted in my kid being low and scared. I don't really want to go into detail about it because that's not the point I'm trying to make with this post.

The point I'm trying to make is this....there seems to be a fine line I walk with this disease. I want people to get it. I want them to understand. I want them to treat it the same way and with the same amount of passion that I do. I want it to mean the same thing to them that it does to me even though I know in my head that it never could unless it actually DID happen to them too. People are strange like that...until something affects us personally...many of us tend to glaze over and just not put too much thought or feeling into it. I want them to take it seriously. I want them to really see just how quickly things can turn south. I want them to see that it's really not all about food and sugar and exercise. I want them to understand...truly understand...just how fine of a balance it is to keep things in range and healthy. I want them to see it for what it is and realize that my daughter is only 9...still a kid...JUST a kid. She's not an adult. She is completely capable and intelligent and knows more than most, how to take care of her diabetes.....BUT she's still just a kid. I want them to see that this isn't a short term thing. This isn't some illness that will go away. I want them to stop thinking for a minute and let it sink in.....

...she will have this for the rest of her life...her entire life....24 hours a day...7 days a week...365days a year....

I want them to let that sink in and respect that fact. I want them to understand that while yes, she's been doing this since she was 4 years old....her diabetes is not "in control" or "getting easier" or "becoming normal". I want them to see that the fact of the matter is....she has been doing this for more than half her life now...and she IS pretty amazing at it....but she's still JUST a kid.

Yet, on the other side of that line I walk.....I want them to see that we can do this...we can thrive...we can rock this life...busted pancreas and all. I don't want sympathy. I don't want pity. I don't want people to feel bad for forgetting to help her. I don't want people to feel bad in general. I just want them to accept it for it it is...learn...and move on. I work my ass off to make this life easy...and make it look easy...because I want others to see that diabetes will not stop you from living your life to the fullest and achieving your dreams. I want to make it look easy even though I know that simple fact carries a negative impact as well...it perpetuates the myth that this disease is easy to manage...it stops people from truly seeing just how hard it is.

I walk this line every single day with my daughter. Sometimes we teeter over to one side....sometimes we fall off that line all together...sometimes the line disappears completely from the horizon ahead. Regardless, we continue to walk it together. I don't have all the answers. I don't know the outcome. I don't know how we "do it"....we just keep doing it...because we don't have a choice...we were never given a choice.

That's the lovely/awful thing about this disease. It just happened....we didn't ask for it. It broke my heart years ago to have that ripped away from us....BUT the fact that we never had a choice in the matter has proven to me just how strong we are. It's the perfect example of a bittersweet symphony.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Beautiful Bulge

So today is picture day at school. My kid was all hyped up...picked out a brand new dress for the day...planned ahead exactly how she wanted me to fix her hair...had the perfect pair of earrings to match the whole ensemble. It's funny to me how much of a pre-planner she is. I was never that way. I have always been a go with the flow...fly by the seat of my pants kind of person...that is until diabetes entered our lives. THEN I learned pretty damn quick the importance of pre-planning...and attempting to be prepared for anything. It's not a skill I was born with or a skill that has come easy to me. I still struggle with it to be honest.

Anyway, when Emma got dressed this morning in her new outfit...I couldn't help but notice her pump was visible in the form of a big bulge sticking out from beneath her dress right at her waist area. It was a slap in the face reminder for me that, whether I like it or not...diabetes is always there...ALWAYS. Sure we can pretty it up with a fancy pump pouch...we can put stickers on it...we can have the actual pump in a variety of colours...pink being the one Emma has chosen since day 1.....but still it's diabetes. Strip away all of the layers of dazzling it up....and you're still left with a small machine attached to a tube that sticks into her body and delivers her insulin all day every day.

I sighed as I looked at it...my brain quickly trying to think of a way to fix it...to hide it...to make it less visible and less "odd bulge" looking for her on this picture day. I must have had a strange look on my face because after a minute Emma said to me....what? Is something wrong? Do I have my dress on wrong?

I looked up at her face...her eyes...and I sighed again...this time at her beauty...and how quickly she is growing up right before my eyes...growing up into a beautiful young woman. I smiled and giggle to myself as I thought...I made that....she came from me...I made that beauty. It was in that moment that I realized she could care less about the bulge protruding from her waist beneath her dress. It meant nothing to her. Honestly I don't think she even remembers she's wearing a pump sometimes. I looked at her standing before me and I realized that she is gorgeous....on the outside and on the inside. Diabetes is a part of her. The bulge beneath her dress is a part of her. It's her pancreas. The only difference between her and I is that her pancreas is visible to the world...mine is not.

She is beautiful to me for a lot of reasons....but this morning, I think perhaps the most beautiful thing to me that I saw was that bulge of her pump...and how it was not even on her mind when she thought about her upcoming picture.

I am greatful for the lesson she taught me this morning. It may be an invisible disease...with sometimes very visible tools needed to manage....but it's all beautiful. It's beautiful because of the person surrounding it. Not because of what they have or what they wear...it's not even because of what they endure....she's beautiful because of who she is as a person.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Promise

I think the world is full of chaos and dreams
Laughter and screams
No one knows what it means

A solitary confinement of  what once was
Flashes so brilliant
That they burn your eyes
Blinding the present
Shadowing the future
Of a moment that could never be
Without you and me
We will never see

The sun casts it's rays upon your face
As you lean back into your easy chair
Rocking gently on the porch
Of a thousand days
A thousand memories
A thousand nights spent discussing life
Dust twinkling across your eyes
And all you can do is sigh

A warm hand in yours
Reminding you of a long lost conversation
From a lifetime ago
A promise made
To hold your wrinkled calloused hand
As the breeze blows gently across your fingertips
Caressing your soul

Monday, September 30, 2013

I screwed up

So, yea.....I think I kind of failed on the whole D-Mom front this morning. I realized that I've been doing something....or rather SAYING something rather inappropriate over the years...and it makes me feel bad that it took me this long to realize just how important it is to pay closer attention to the words I choose to use.

Emma has a substitute teacher this morning...and I gave her my usual condensed version of type 1 diabetes according to Emma's body before school this morning. I walked up to her and began with, "Hi! This is Emma...she's the 'one with diabetes'......." Even hearing my own words echoing in my head now....makes me cringe. I realized that I have started out every conversation I've ever had with a substitute teacher that way. I guess in my mind I figured the regular teacher had left notes about the class and what the schedule was....and in turn would have included info about Emma and her type 1 diabetes. So, I was simply clarifying from the get go...to avoid any confusion...that she was in fact, the one with diabetes that they had hopefully read about that morning when they arrived at school. I guess that was my thought process....but today when I said it...Emma happened to be standing in my line of sight and I saw the look on her face as the words fell from my lips. I can't really describe it.....annoyance? Exasperation? Sick of the monotony? Tired of the whole broken record shpeel?.......or more so, irritated at being referred to as "the one with diabetes".....especially by her own Mom.

My guess is the latter.

I feel like a jerk for not realizing how heavy my words could be. I feel like a jerk for taking so long to realize it. I feel like a jerk for so callously referring to my daughter that way over and over again to these substitutes.

I feel like a jerk.

Alas, I'm not perfect.....and my kid knows this. I make mistakes all the time. While I hate the fact that it took me this long to realize what I was actually saying, I am kind of greatful that it has given me the chance to show my kid that even though we've been doing this for 5+ years now, I still make mistakes....and that's ok. I'm happy that it gives me the chance to talk with her and apologize to her and make her see that mistakes are inevitable in this life.....and how we choose to handle those moments of screwing up is the real measure of our strength.

I screwed up.....and I will make it right.

Friday, September 27, 2013

End of an era

Well, it's the end of an era....I just dropped my car off at the junk yard because we are getting a new car this afternoon. I can't help but feel a little sentimental about it. I know it's silly....to feel such an attachment to a car of all things....but I do.

It was the first car my husband and I bought together after I moved to Canada. We brought our baby girl home from the hospital in this car. I remember that night so clearly....it was a bitterly cold February evening and I sat in the back seat with her. She was so tiny...I was so scared. I remember thinking I had no idea what I was doing. We stopped at McDonalds on the way home because I was starving and I was afraid to even get out of the car with her. I felt safe in the car....protected...so my husband went inside and got the food for us. She was fast asleep in her car seat and I just sat there staring at her in amazement.

Fast forward 3 years....I drove her to the emergency room in that car after she decided to do gymnastics in her bed and hit her head on the metal headboard. The doctors at the clinic xrayed her skull and told me they thought she had fractured it...so I needed to get to the hospital immediately. I remember driving there in a state of shock...and panic....her SKULL...I couldn't believe it! I am amazed I didn't get in a car accident on the drive there because I swear I spent the whole time staring in the rear view mirror at her watching her little pale face uncontrollably throwing up into a pail I had brought with. She had dark circles under her eyes and a serious goose egg protruding from her forehead...purple...angry looking. I was afraid.

Fast forward 1 year.....I drove her home from the hospital in that car after being told that she had type 1 diabetes. Again I felt lost....scared...like I had no idea what I was doing. I was afraid of the unknown and worried that I wouldn't know what to do to keep her alive. I watched her sitting in her booster seat...small...once again pale...so fragile looking and yet full of smiles...playing with her collection of toys that always seemed to stay in the back seat by her. She was happy to be going home. She was happy to be in her booster seat...in her car....in familiar and safe territory. That car ride was perhaps the longest of my life. I was in shock and had zero faith in my capabilities at doing this. The very next day, we picked up our cat Daisy and drove her home. She was a tiny fluff ball in the back seat meowing at Emma....her first car ride with us....and she hated every minute of it...but it brought her home to us...to be a part of our family...and our hearts.

Fast forward 2 months....I drove that car to drop her off at school for the first time ever. It was perhaps the hardest thing I've done in my whole life....letting her go....letting her be a kid. It was the first time I made a conscious decision not to let diabetes control our lives. I kissed her goodbye and walked back to my car....my bubble of safety...and I let out all of the tears I had been holding in. It was ok though...because I was in my car....and it was ok.

Fast forward 5 years...to today...I drove that car for the last time to drop my kid off at school. She took her seatbelt off, wrapped her arms around the seat in front of her, closed her eyes tight, and said goodbye to the car....and thanked it for all of the memories and for getting her where she wanted to go her whole life. She got out of the car and shut the door behind her. She walked the path up to her school with tears in her eyes and said she was going to miss our old car. My heart hurt a little as I saw how attached she had become to it too.

I'm ecstatic to have a new car....I can't wait to make new memories in this one and become attached to this one too. But I will always be greatful for the old car. I know it's silly to feel this way about a car....but I can't help it...I'm silly...and I loved that car and all of the memories it holds.