Monday, March 31, 2014

My corner office

I don't receive a paycheck. I don't have a corner office with a beautiful view. I don't carry a briefcase or attend weekly meetings in a boardroom to discuss the budget and brainstorm new ideas. I don't have a company car and I don't take trips around the world to meet with other executives in the industry. I don't have a team working for me. I don't have an assistant who hands me messages I've  missed or remind me of appointments I have that day.

I'm a Mom. I'm a D-Mom. I'm paid in copious amounts of love and the knowledge that I've kept my kid alive another day. I'm paid in knowledge and empathy for others who have a situation in their life that requires more effort...more determination...more strength. I'm paid in smiles and giggles...hugs and kisses...shared moments of silent peace...holding hands...eyes full of awe and wonder...immeasurable pride.

My corner office is the kitchen counter where I prepare her pump sites and keep her blood sugar meter. It's her the wee hours of the morning...a headlamp strapped to my forehead...where I stand to check her blood sugar as she sleeps. My beautiful view is her sweet splayed out across her pillow...clutching her stuffed animal dog "Scruffy" in her arms. My view is the world seen through her bedroom window curtains...lime green with sparkles all around...the backyard below me...the street beyond that with a random car passing by silently.

My briefcase is a light green meter bag that looks like a frog. It's contents are my tools of the trade...the things I need to keep her alive every day. It's a little mind-boggling to me that these lifesaving tools are kept in a ridiculous frog bag. Strange..but true.

My assistants and my team are my husband and my daughter...and to some extent the people who work at the diabetes clinic. We all have the same goal...we all focus on doing whatever it takes to reach that perfect balance of blood sugar numbers. We want her healthy. We want her happy. We want her to grow up and flourish in spite of the obstacle that was laid at her feet when she was merely four years old.

I don't live a fancy or exciting life...but it's my life...I work hard...I laugh hard...I love hard. My job is not really a job at's who I's a part of me...I'm a D-Mom.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Part 3....the old man and the cave

A long time ago I wrote a poem that turned into a story. I love how things turn out that way sometimes. I love the unexpected. I love how words can turn into a whole world that resides inside your head. What began over a year ago, has stuck with me even now...and here is another glimpse into the world I like to visit every so often when I get the chance to let my imagination run wild...

They stood there for what felt like an eternity...the old man from the tower and the young woman from the muddy field.
Eyes locked in a moment of understanding...connection...empathy.
Echoes of the single word that had fallen from the old mans lips still ringing in her ears.
A sigh escapes her as he removes his warm and soothing hands from her tear stained cheeks.
It's coming home as a kid when the street lights came on...sweaty hair, sunkissed from a day spent playing with the neighbourhood kids. Walking through the back door into the well-lit kitchen and seeing your mom standing there at the stove..stirring a pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner...the smells swirling around you...embracing you as you step into that glow of home.
The old man is familiar in the same way...familiar, and yet she can't quite recall's just out of her grasp...blurred memories that live on the outskirts of her exhausted mind.
He takes her hand in his and leads her away from the field...away from the trees...into a horizon of unknown steps and loaded questions.
No words are spoken...and yet she feels compelled to follow...focusing on placing one foot in front of the other...listening to the wind blow through the old mans fine white hair and letting her thumb trace the edges of his fingers that are intertwined with her own. She wonders how many miles he has walked in his many visions of wonder and change his pale blue ancient eyes have many hands his gnarled and oddly strong fingers have held.
The ground beneath her feet becomes rutted and full of stones...some twinkling in the slowly setting sun...sending out firelight sparks of beauty all around...dust motes dance across her vision as she allows herself to be lead to the mouth of an unknown cave.
For the first time since he uttered the word hope in the field, the old man turns to the woman and very gently tells her that what she seeks is on the other side of the cave. He explains that it will be dark...darker than the blackest night. Her journey to the other side will be long...and she will want to give up and turn around...she will want to come back to the safety of the light behind her...but she can't. He speaks so softly and confidently that she almost believes him for a second. She feels his words seep into her mind and ignite a spark of confidence that she didn't even know existed....but then she glances up at the black hole before her. Vines hang all around the cave entrance...seeming to taunt her...begging her to try and step over the threshold so they can grab her and yank her right off her feet. She looks back at the old mans eyes...his wrinkled face lit up in a smile...believing in her...urging her on.
Fear and doubt seeps into her mind and numbs her limbs...her feet feel like cement blocks fused to the path beneath her. She knows she must go...she must leave the safety of the old mans presence...she must travel this part of her journey alone. As she forces her feet to begin moving again, she enters the cave with one thought alone...I can do this...I can keep moving...I can because I must.
She glances back one last time to see the old man lift his arm and wave goodbye...calling out to will never be alone...the choice is yours and your journey has already begun.
You will never be alone again as long as you trust.
I will see you on the other side...waiting with open arms.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Just let go

Sometimes all you can do is cry...because there is no answer to the why
And it takes all of your strength to make it through the day
Holding it all in until she's asleep
Peacefully dreaming of flowers and games of tag
And you can let it out
Unlock the steel gate that's been holding back the tears
The anguish
The floods of sadness that have been building for what feels like centuries.
You've fought them back all day long
Holding that gate shut with all of your might
Waiting for that moment when you can just let go
Let go
Let go
Let it all go
That moment when you can let the vulnerable part of your soul take over
And just let it go
Spilling over and screaming out
The chaos and anger and frustration
The numbers
The hurt
The desperation of the minute
Flying around your head like crows circling your poor drained body
Lying there on the desert floor
Sun baked and broken
Gasping for breath
Your throat as dry as the burnt brown grass on a hot summer day
As the sun beats down upon your back
No control
The tears that have been choking you all day long
Are finally gone
And you're alone
With your thoughts
And the sound of your own battered heart pounding in your ears.
Let it go
And just breathe.

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's a big deal

Diabetes is a big's shouldn't be brushed off as just some random disease that can easily be managed thru diet and exercise. It's hard...harder than anything I've ever encountered in my entire life.

Type 1 diabetes AND type 2 diabetes are difficult. I've come across quite a few people in my life that are living with type 2 and it saddens me to see how little information they are given about their they seem to be tossed out on their own and given some pills and a meter and expected to just handle it. I have come across so many that ignore it...pretend like it just doesn't matter and that they will be fine regardless. The D-Mom in me wants to take their hand and do it all for them...lay out the daily plan and help them figure everything out...but I can't...because it's not my place to do so.

It bothers me sometimes that one day my child will be an adult...and people may assume that she is type 2 as opposed to type 1....because I know many still believe that type 2's bring this disease upon themselves through poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. It bothers me to know that she may be judged because of this. Diabetes is hard regardless of the type you have. Balancing all of the different variables every second of every day to achieve a safe and happy medium is nearly impossible.

Don't brush this disease off....dont assume that it's easily managed...don't's not right and it's not fair. If you happen to meet a person living with diabetes...type 1 or type 2...take a second to recognize that while yes...there's a difference between the two...they both have struggles...they both are fighting for that optimal balance.

I have a constant inner battle between making it appear easy because i dont want pity and i dont want my child to feel inhibited by it.......and making people realize that it truly is difficult....because it is.

After nearly six years of living with diabetes in my house, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Try again.

Sometimes I really hate REALLY hate it. Sometimes I just want to give up and throw the stupid blood sugar meter across the room because it won't stop showing me an ugly number. I try and I try and I try and then I try some more and sometimes it's just not good enough. I can handle a lot of stress...more than I could before diabetes entered our lives...but sometimes it gets to the point where I feel like I've been beaten down and have absolutely no fight left in me.

Emma has strep throat and diabetes is not playing fair. I have been at this for a long time, so I know that illnesses cause blood sugars to skyrocket and make me feel like I'm bolusing her with water instead of insulin. I keep correcting numbers and setting temp basals and pushing her to drink water....and it's not helping. I've changed her pump site, I've changed insulin, I've done every single thing on my checklist of things to do when a person with diabetes is ill...and it's not helping. I sit here so far beyond the point of frustration with nothing left in me except for a few hot burning tears that keep threatening to spill over my eyelids and I am fighting to hang on to control...hang on and breathe deeply and convince myself that this to shall always always does...but those words don't seem to be sinking in this time...those words mean nothing to my exhausted brain...those words might as well be whispered promises from a stranger on the street.

Sometimes I hate diabetes so much that it feels as if I am one tick of the clock away from running outside in the snow and screaming my fool head off until someone...anyone...comes to save me. Except I know that won't help. I know that no one is going to save me from the ugly numbers. No one is going to make it all better.

No one except me.

The weight behind those words and that thought is sometimes unbearable. The pressure I walk around with on my shoulders every single day is enough to make me want to lay down and just stay down.

But I can't.

I can only try again.

And again.

And again.

Aaaand again.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Panic attacks and masks

When I was in high school, I used to have panic attacks. I'm not really sure why they happened or why I haven't had one for years now...but I do remember how horrible it felt when they occurred. Sometimes when the bell would ring and we'd have to leave class to go out into the hallway and walk to our next class, it took everything in me to force myself out the door. I remember walking slowly and having a hard time breathing...everything around me seemed to be on fast forward and I was stuck in this slow motion abyss...I could hear my own heart pounding in my felt like everyone was staring at me...I could hear voices off in the distance echoing laughter and chatter with friends. I could only focus on the sound of my own breath filling my lungs and making sure I put one foot in front of the other until I got to my next class and could sit down.

It's bizarre really...I'm positive no one was staring at me. I'm positive they were all just carrying on about their day. Just as quickly as the panic attacks would start...they would end. I could breathe normally heart would stop pounding in my ears...and everything around me felt like it was at normal speed again.

You're probably wondering why I'm sharing this with you at this point, right? I mean it has nothing to do with Emma or her diabetes. To be honest, I'm not really sure why I decided to share it. I think really just to share that things aren't always what they seem. In high now...I was a good kid. I had a lot of friends...I never really followed the crowd I guess. I was funny and weird and loyal to those I loved. The panic attacks didn't happen constantly...but they did happen.

Diabetes is sort of like that I can't really see it per se...people who haven't known Emma for a while and don't know she has diabetes, would probably be surprised to find out she does. We all walk around going about our business everyday. We get so wrapped up in our own lives and our own obstacles...that sometimes I think we lose sight of everything else.

Sometimes when I'm out in public...standing in line at the grocery store or at the park or even eating at a restaurant, I look around and actually see the people around me. I wonder what they are feeling in that moment...what they are dealing with...what the day has brought them. I think it's important to see past your own bubble and your own moments...your own struggles.

Maybe I'm just babbling here...I don't happens. Take a second next time your out though...look around you and actually SEE the people you pass's pretty interesting to see how many of us wear our emotions all over our faces...and how many of us put on the mask.