April 27, 2009
Three years ago on Friday.
Sweetpea was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Although I am not a numbers person by nature, Diabetes has forced me to live by digits. And when I think about the past three years, I can't help but think - at least in part - in terms of numbers.
13,000 finger sticks - give or take
1,000 injections... or more
over 300 site changes
over 100 Dexie changes
over 15 trips to Children's for appointments
5 or so arm draws
3 trips to the ER (one in an ambulance)
2 hospital admissions
1 little girl who does not know what it's like to not be attached to medical devices, who doesn't know what it's like to just eat, who has to answer questions about what she's doing or what she's wearing and why, who feels different from the other kids...
1 little girl who's life changed forever
But the numbers don't tell the whole story.
I think that's why I'm NOT a numbers person. I'm an emotions person. And numbers alone just can't tell the full story.
Three years ago, I could not have imagined what our life would be like today.
Although we have our rough days, most days diabetes is just a part of who we are as a family.
It's kind of like having a dog.
You just feed the dog. You walk the dog. You pick up the dog's poo. You take it to the vet and the groomer. You plan for it when you go on vacation. It just becomes part of who you are as a family... and you just do it... often without thinking too much about it.
Some parts (think poo) you don't really like. But you have to do it. So you do.
Non dog people might look at you and say things like, "I could NEVER walk a dog in the RAIN or SNOW!" Or "I could NEVER pick up poop! That is SO GROSS!".
But you just do what you have to do.
Ok, so you probably love your dog. And you probably CHOSE to get a dog. And we most certainly can not say that we LOVE diabetes. Nor did we chose this. So... it's only sort of like having a dog. But you get the idea...
It's gotten easier. It has. I hope you newbies out there find hope in that.
Every day is not a cake walk. It's still hard a times. Ok, it's hard a lot of the time. But in a weird way it IS easier. I think that is why I love this sign I found on Pinterest...
Three years in... and I can't say it's easy watching your child cry over injections, or site changes, or blood draws. It isn't easy comforting them when Diabetes has messed up their plans. Or made them feel different. Or made them feel sick. It isn't easy watching what diabetes does to their bodies and feeling totally helpless to stop it.
It still sucks.
But YOU get better. In more ways than you can imagine on that first day or in that first month or even in that first year.
It will... but don't fear...
And so is your child. Your child will amaze you at his or her strength and courage and just plain awesomeness.
And that's kind of how I feel. Strong.
On our first "diaversary", I felt relieved. We had made it a year! It felt HUGE. And it was...
But life with diabetes just kept going...
On our second "diaversary", well... we were inpatient at Children's hospital. You can read about that here. And we learned first hand that things happen... a series of events and you find yourself and your child being whisked away by ambulance.
So on our third "diaversary"... I feel strong.
I'm not naive enough to think that bad things can't and won't happen to us. I know too much now.
But I also know that we CAN do this. We ARE doing this. And we're doing it WELL.
We are not perfect. But we are trying our best.
Yeah, Diabetes gets me down from time to time. It still makes me mad and sad and frustrated more often that I'd really like to admit.
But it also has brought so much into our lives through the friends we have made both online and off... through the closeness we have as a family, through the strength we have learned we have, and through the ability to see joy and see beauty in the small things... and to be able to focus on that in the midst of chaos.
This is me at year three.