Awareness

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NabloPoMo - Day 6

Usually when I write about awareness, it's a good thing.  It's something that we want.  Something that we strive for.

But recently, I've found that awareness may not always be such a great thing.

Do you think I've lost my mind?

Maybe so... but hang on - let me explain...

Sweetpea has started to become aware - more aware - of the fact that she has diabetes.

And the fact that others do not.

Maybe that's one of the good things about being diagnosed so young.  I think she just thought that it was a normal part of life.  Something that happens when you're little. 

It's taken a year and half for her to start to see how it affects her life - beyond the shots and the fingerpricks and the counting carbs. 

Or maybe it's just the fact that she's able to verbalize it better now.

It's been little things...

We were watching home movies the other night and out of the blue she said, "That was before I had diabetes.  Right?"

She's thinking.... thinking about it...  trying to make sense of it.

At bedtime last night she said, "Why can't I ever have orange juice?"  I told her that it was because it was full of sugar and it made her blood sugar go high, high, high and then it would drop low, low low.  And that that wasn't good and would make her feel yucky. 

"How do you know that, Mommy?  How do you know that stuff?"

"Well, Sweets, I learned it in the hospital.  They taught me how certain food affected your blood sugar and how to take care of you and make sure that you're super healthy.  And you can have orange juice.  When you're low."

"Oh.  When I was in the hospital.  I had things in my arms.  You gave me a shot.  In my butt.  I wasn't expecting that.  We had movies and toys in the room.  You slept on that purple couch."

"You remember a lot about the hospital!"

"Yeah.  People brought me toys because I was sick."

Wow.  I had no idea she remembered so much about that.

She also has been asserting her independence more and more.

We were at a playground the other day and I was walking around with her.  Because I've gotten used to her not playing unless I do.  But she turned to me and said, "Mom.  Quit following me."

Geez.

She really, really wants to go over to play with her best bud from school.  But she wants to go home with this little girl in HER car.  WITHOUT me.

There are many reasons why this can't happen.  And I've tried to explain them to Sweetpea.

I try to focus on the non-D things... Like her mother is babysitting other kids.  She's WORKING.  You can't just go over to play.  You don't go over to play at people's houses that Mommy and Daddy don't know (Actually, We do know these folks somewhat and they are great - so I really have no worries about THAT. But...)

But Sweetpea knows.  She's not stupid.  She's aware.

"Her mommy doesn't know about diabetes."

"No, she doesn't.  And I can't just leave you with someone who doesn't know how to take care of you."

It breaks my heart to say that to her.  All the while thinking that not only do most people not know how to handle D - many would be too afraid to try.

We can have this little girl over to our house.  We will offer.

But that's not the point.  The point is she wants a little freedom.  And while I'm ok giving her some... it's got to be on my terms.  Certain people.  Certain places.  Not just anyone, anytime.

And that's not good enough for Sweetpea.  She is as stubborn as her mother.

I happened to be following Sweetpea and this little girl down the hall at school yesterday.  They were coming to find me to give insulin for her snack.  They didn't know I was behind them.

They were STILL talking about this playdate plan.  The other little girl said, "I can tell my Mom that if Dexie beeps she just has to look at it."

And although Sweetpea gives ME a hard time, this was her answer.
"Well.... but she has to know how to take care of diabetes.  And she has to know what to do."



It just breaks my heart.  Growing up is hard enough.  Adding this in the mix makes for a delicate balance.

The other night she wanted to go play with friends.  But her neighborhood friends were out playing at other houses.  People I don't know.  Without parents.  I can't let her do that.  Go off by herself like that.

But she doesn't understand.  And so she cries.  And so do I.

At the unfairness of this life.  At how it makes her grow up faster.  At how it forces her to deal with unpleasant realities earlier than I'd like.

I know we've got a long road ahead of us.  Dealing with adolescence and diabetes is going to be a struggle - and not just from the blood sugar end of things.  But emotionally.

I worry.  Adolescence is a time when you are searching for people like you.  When you want to fit in.  Be like everyone else.

How much of a challenge will be that be for a little girl with a BIG personality and an insulin pump?  Only time will tell...

I wish I could always run interference and handle all the crap that D slings at us.   I wish I could make it all better.  I wish there was a cure.



7 comments:

  1. I know it might sound cliche', but....playdates DO get easier!!! I KNOW! I never thought I'd say that. But it's true! At 7, Sugar is able to spend about THREE HOURS at a friend's house and just calls me to confirm carb counts before operating the pump INDEPENDENTLY.

    I know you don't believe it.

    Neither did I.

    Just you wait :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. First off...me too (on the CURE comment). Secondly, what Wendy said..."me too...too". I know that crappy place that you are at right now though. The place where Bridget could just run down the street 4 houses and play. The place where I would have to go with Joe 4 houses down the street and loiter in strangers backyards, garages, and driveways to watch Joe (when he was 3,4,and5). It has gotten easier. But, it is still "different". Joe has 3 houses that he has gone to for playdates to date. He does do all of his checks, boluses etc...with me over the phone...and I send the playdate cheat sheet that I posted about a month or so ago. It is hard Hallie and I so hear you on this one...

    Have a great weekend.

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  3. As she gets older... she WILL be able to go. She is pretty "on top of things", she will be able to operate that pump before you know it.

    Not that you want to do it too quickly ;/

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been having a hard time with this mostly because it's been so different with my oldest since his younger brother has been diagnosed. I don't fully know how to explain it except that him and I were really spontaneous and now it feels like we have to work a lot more at getting out the door and I know this frustrates him. As for playdates I get that too...my other suggestions was one that another d mom around my town offered...she trains one babysitter with d care and then has that person go on playdates with her child. That way the child is getting time away from "mom's watchful eye" but is still safe no matter where they play. She first trains the babysitter at their house for several weeks by using her as a "mother's helper" type person then she leaves for an hour, then two, then three...once this is achieved all is well and she then utilizes the babysitter for herself and other d parents to have playdates and relax. It's pretty fantastic. She finds most of the babysitters through the private college near her or from references from friends.
    I've been surprised at how much Isaac remembers about his dx in the hospital, too. Just last week we ran into one of his nurses at a playground and recognized her before I did, he was hiding behind me and told me, "that lady held me down." It took me a while to realize that she was the nurse that helped put an IV in and had to hold him with me because he was thrashing so much. Great memories :(
    I just hope it keeps getting better and know that our children are surrounded by love. ENjoy your weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, I am not looking forward to Lovebug becoming so aware. Or if she is she isn't verbalizing it yet. I'm sure it will happen soon enough though. It makes me scared that Lovebug remembers her hospital stay. I was hoping she wouldn't remember that because if she remembers that she might remember life before she was diagnosed.

    You are handling it so well though. I only hope I do the same as Lovebug becomes more aware too. I wish that I could tell you it gets easier, but I am in the same boat. Nice to hear Wendy and Reyna say it does get better.

    I want a cure too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found your blog from a friend facebook page. Her son Joel was diagnosed with Diabetes after almost dying. I had no idea the struggles families with Type 1 Diabetes face. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share. Please know you are being prayed for and covered by His grace and peace tonight.

    Thankful mom in Ky.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ellie asks questions every once and awhile. She has not to date asked to go somewhere without me...she still asks us to come outside and "keep an eye on her". But I know she knows things are different and I know sometimes it gets to her. She has also begun to throw her dexter on the floor and tell me she isn't going to "take care of her body anymore" when she gets mad at me...OH MY!!! I try very very hard not to react to that, she's quite a spit-fire at times...I do not look forward to her asserting her independence sometimes!!! Good luck and thanks for sharing the story! ((hug))

    ReplyDelete

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