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