Endless love, admiration, sorrow, worry, anxiety, fatigue… all rolled into one big ball that will always be in the shadow of my little girl.
Sorry, my sweet little lady, but Mama took over your blog just this once since she doesn’t have one of her own yet. Since you are napping, I am sure you won’t mind, especially since it’s about your big sister Adalyn. After all, the sun rises and sets in you according to Addie.
I responded to a blog today about my daughter, who is a type 1 diabetic. It is diabetic blog week, and there is a prompt for each day. I responded to yesterday’s topic, “What Brings me Down?” because the blogger spoke about having diabetes since the age of 4, but seeing it in her small niece felt worse than her living with it herself. The blog link is here:
She wanted to “explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes,” and she asked, “What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?” As her blog affected me emotionally since I know exactly what it feels like, I wrote her back. It’s waiting for approval, so I can’t reblog it so that others can see it. I wanted to share it because it was therapy for me to write. This is long already, sorry, I am longer winded than my baby girl, but if you are still there, please read on to the end… it’s worth it, I promise.
My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with T1D a year and a half ago. It was Christmas day when I noticed that she was really grumpy and that she didn’t seem excited to get her gifts. I said to myself, “It’s nothing, she’s just having a moody day.”… even though her father is diabetic and my mind knew differently. Some days later I fell asleep with her, and my husband woke me up in the middle of the night when he got off from work. I was disoriented and sweaty. Well, I thought I was sweaty, and I wondered why. Then I felt the bed. The entire bed was soaked with urine from the middle to the bottom, it had soaked through the sheet and mattress cover. There was my beautiful daughter sleeping soundly, a girl who had never wet the bed after toilet training, not once. I cried. I cried because I knew. I couldn’t say that she was moody anymore.
Her blood sugars were tested a day and a half later, when everyone was ready to know… and they were in the 500s. Before I could process it, she was in the hospital and I was looking at her, so little, in a hospital bed with an IV in her arm looking washed out and weak. She was in good spirits until they came in to do her check or to give her insulin, and then she screamed. She fought. Before we left, I had to do her check, and thank God they let me use a regular pricker. I had to give her a shot. That was way worse, because all that I could hear while trying to put a needle in her leg for the first time was, “No Mommy, please no Mommy, please, please, Mommy, please, don’t Mommy…” in my ears ringing while trying to concentrate because I didn’t want to hurt her. No one wants to hurt their child.
She cried on and off for the first couple of months, but she adjusted. She started liking for others to see what she was doing. She still likes to explain her blood sugar checks.
My daughter is my hero. She is so brave and wonderful and beautiful. She will never again be that little girl who can just run and play and eat whatever she wants, though. As for me, there are some nights that she has been low and I can’t sleep after checking her sugars again twice to make sure they are okay and I still don’t believe that her numbers will stay okay, and every time that I see her run I worry on the inside because I have seen her sugars plummet, and I feel so sad when she lashes out because her sugars have had a roller coaster day– because it’s not her fault, and it’s not anyone’s fault… but it isn’t fair.
She has spoken in front of her school about the JDRF and raised money, but sometimes, when there are cookies out everywhere at Christmas and I know that her sugars are stable and I can only give her a little teeny bite so that she doesn’t feel like she is different, she still does, and she will say that she hates diabetes. Every diabetic does, but it is a large part of everyone with it. It is a large part of her that I embrace as I need to but inwardly despise. It took part of my daughter away… part of who she was became something else. It is beautiful as all of her is beautiful, but it is beautiful with restrictions. So that’s how it feels to be an outsider looking at your child with diabetes. It feels like endless love, admiration, sorrow, worry, anxiety, fatigue… all rolled into one big ball that will always be in the shadow of my little girl.