Sunday, May 26, 2013

Who I Am...

The other day I started thinking about me.  Who I am.  Who I have become.  Not just since diabetes, or turning the big 4-0, or having kids, but even before all that, who I was then compared to who I am now.
So much is going on in my life that I started to think about me, for once.  Think about what I love.  Who I am!

I started wondering the other I just a pancreas for Charlotte?  just the Mom to all three?  food maker?  carb counter?  hair brusher?  homework helper?  schedule keeper?  weekly planner?  Is there more to me than all this anymore?

There used to me more to me...I think.  A daughter, a wife, a friend, a sister, an OT...

Not that all of this isn't wonderful and something I wished, hoped and prayed for for years.

It is!  And I am grateful for this role.  I love my kids more than life, and I am proud to be their mom.  I am eternally thankful that they are all healthy and alive.  And I have the opportunity to have all the supplies we need to keep, especially Charlotte, that way.

I think all parents, especially those of children living with diabetes, are very aware of how lucky we are.  We don't take our children or their health for granted.  However, we do know how much it takes and how all consuming it can be!

There are times when I wonder...who am I?  Who is this person looking back at me from the mirror?

I have a young girl who I have the opportunity to work with, who has introduced me to Taylor Swift's music a little more than I probably would have on my own.  There is a song called "All Too Well", a song that has really touched my heart lately.  (and I'm sure will be the topic of a future post), but there are a few lines in the song that go like this  "Time won't fly.  It's like I'm paralyzed by it.  I'd like to be my old self again but I'm still trying to find it". 

I can't help but thinking how much it relates to life with diabetes.

my old self...who???

It's hard to remember her.

There was a time when I exercised everyday.  I was up early and exercising before work.  It is embarrassing how long it has been since I really exercised.  I really have to try to find time to see friends that I love.  And that is hard.  Planning time for me is an impossibility right now.  And sleep?  What is that?? We are up every night a few times a night checking blood sugars...

What happened to me?

Diabetes happened to me...

Now I spend so much time and thought and energy on carbs and ratios and basal rates and activity and possible 504 plans and supplies and targets and A1c and site changes and on and on and on....  Not to mention the emotional aspect of raising a child with a chronic disease, plus two younger children too!!!!

 I don't know where to even start.

I am at least to a place where I can realize that pushing my own needs and my own health to the back is not healthy for anyone.  I can see that my kids deserve a Mom who is not stressed out and exhausted all the time.

But getting there....

It's just not easy.

Because who I WAS....  I'm not sure she exists anymore.  Sometimes I think that if I don't at least TRY to find her now she is going to slip away and no one will even notice.

Don't get me wrong... It's not that being a D Mom is such an awful thing.  It's just that can't be the ONLY thing.

And so the challenge is finding some balance between who I WAS and who I am NOW.

I won't ever be the same person I was before.  And the truth is, I don't want to be.

I'm stronger now.  I'm able to see and enjoy the small things in a way I was never able to do before.  I have a new respect for life and health.  I know I won't fall apart when times get tough (or I'll try not to).  I try not to get caught up in the petty drama that often comes with life.  And I have some amazing friends I've made on this journey that make it so sweet.    I don't want to give that up.

I just also need to be a Mom who takes care of her health.  A Mom who does her hair and wears lipstick on occasion and enjoys exercise and friends and books!

It doesn't sound like it should be as hard as it is.  Right?

So why does it feel like the impossible task?

I think because there are days (and nights) where diabetes IS the only thing.  There are times when it HAS to be the only thing.  Our kids are sick.  Their numbers are out of whack.  They are low.  Or high.  They need a site change.  Carbs have to be counted.  Exercise and hormones and growth and excitement are messing things up.  They have ketones.  They need us.  And we are there.

We wouldn't have it any other way.

But those days and nights just bleed into one another until there is no beginning and no end and we are so exhausted both mentally and physically that there is nothing else.  There is nothing left.

You can't escape those days.  And when you're in the middle of it, it feels like there will never be an escape.  So why bother?

I don't have an easy answer.

I just know it's time to try.

The longer we live this life, the more I'm able to see that those days WILL end.  There WILL be times when our lives revolve around diabetes.  But there will also be times it won't.

And I can't let those days pass me by.  I've got to use those days for all they are worth and pray that it somehow balances out.

Fifteen months ago I became a member of a group I didn't ask to join.  I became a  D Mom.

Diabetes has consumed our lives since that day in February 2012.

Test. Count carbs. Prepare food. Give insulin. Test......and Repeat.  Day and night. Everyday.

I'm still learning.  I'm meeting more members of this club, both in person and through the DOC (diabetes online community).  Although I didn't ask to be a D Mom, I wouldn't have made contact with these wonderful mothers otherwise.  And I thank them for all the advise and support they have provided.

However, I'm more than a D Mom.

I'm a regular mom too.  I do laundry, wash the dishes, sweep the floor and vacuum the rugs.  I clean the bathroom, make snacks, cook supper and get groceries.  I play hopscotch, ride bikes, and walk the dog.

I'm just like any mom.

Diabetes doesn't rule us, and that's why I Am More Than a D Mom.

Charlotte, Ian, Genevieve, and Gordon...Here's my promise to you: 
I will always be me!  Just a different kind of me!  I love all four of you with all my heart. xo

Thursday, April 18, 2013


So I haven't posted on here in forever.  Things have been and continue to be up and down, like a roller coaster for us.  So much going job, new school year, kids getting bigger, turning the big 4-0!

Anyway, I have been thinking so much about blood sugars and Type One Diabetes and all the misconceptions that are out there about Type One.  So many people, when they think of Diabetes, think of Type Two Diabetes, and even hearing about Charlotte automatically assume Type One and Type Two are the same, which they are NOT!! 

I can't even count how many times people have asked me if her blood sugars are "stable".

Ummm...yes? no? maybe?  sometimes?  When Venus is in retrograde and a zebra with pink stripes knocks on my front door?

How do I even start to answer that question?

Of course it is not just doctors and nurses.

Its family and friends too.

Sometimes it's the people closest to us that just don't get it.  They are the ones asking if our kids are under control yet or if they are stable.

And THAT is most irritating.  And disappointing.

That makes us feel the most alone.  Because if those closest to us don't understand...who will?

Maybe we are a little sensitive (or atleast I am...).  But it's that word "yet" that gets to me.  Like our little girl should be under some magical control where her blood sugars are always in range.  You know...because that's possible.

It makes me want to stand on a table or something and scream.  "Don't you get it?!?  There is no stable with diabetes!  There is no control!  Control is an illusion.  It's a mirage.  We MANAGE diabetes.  There are still highs.  There are still lows.  No matter what we do.  WE will never be perfect.  We can not replicate the pancreas to perfection.  And that's just the way it is."

I really do try not to take it personally.  If you don't live it there is just no way you can really understand what it is like.  And I DEFINITELY had no idea before February 19, 2012.

However...when we DO find someone who understands...Priceless!

And I am SO GRATEFUL for the wonderful people in my life who while they don't really get it, they sure do try!

It gets so much sweeter when we find people who DO get it.  People who want to learn.  People who understand.

Today I want to give some of those people a big hug! 

Because you can lead a horse to water.  But you can't make it drink.

For those of you drinking and drinking a lot, Thank You!!!  And for those of you still just taking a sip...come on over.  Let's drink together.