Today is Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week 2012. Today's topic is to blog about something that you do well.
Hmmm.... That's a tough one! These prompts are really stumping me!
I feel like there is room for improvement in all areas of our diabetes routine. I'd like to get better at tweaking. I'd like to say that my SWAGing is spot on at all times. I wish I could say that I had a handle on the trends and the reasons behind them. I'd like to say that I have exercise figured out. How much to give to treat various lows.
But I can't say that. I don't have it down pat. I don't. Everything changes so quickly for her. I tweak and it works for a day or so and then it changes. What works for lows for a few weeks stops working. Sometimes my SWAGing sucks.
But do you know what I'm REALLY good at?
I'm really good at pretending it doesn't bother me. I'm really good at making it all look easy.
Most people that I know and work with have no idea what my life is like.
I mean, if they read the blog or if they listened when I get on my soapbox every year during fundraising... But even if they DO listen - they don't get it. They don't know. They don't see it.
I come into work each morning dressed (usually) professionally. Sweets is with me and she is all matchy matchy and complete with coordinating hair bows - half of which I make myself. No one can tell that I've been up all night chasing lows or treating highs. They can't tell that I was counting carbs in the car and bolusing while driving.
They see a happy little girl. A healthy little girl. A little girl full of laughter and smiles.
They don't see the tears she cries when it's time to change her Dex sensor. They see me having to hold her down when she needs an arm draw for blood work. They don't see the spots on her fingertips or the bruises all over her body from needles.
They don't see the angry little girl that I see when her blood sugar is too high. They don't see the blank stare I get when she's low. The look that tells me that she's not really there.
They see a little athlete. They see a swimmer and a gymnast and tennis player.
I see a little one who might be going low but because she does not want to wear her Dexcom and answer questions about what it is... and because she can't feel her lows... They don't see that I'm not just casually observing. They don't see that I'm watching every move. Looking for her to off balance. To fall. To need me.
They see a child eating what everyone else is eating.
They don't see me counting carbs in my head. They don't see my factoring in her activity level, future activity level, past activity level, illness, stress, and excitement. They don't see me counting out individual goldfish crackers. Or grapes. Or m&m's.
They might see her pod or her Dexcom. They don't see the needles. They don't see the supply cabinet that is taller than I am. They don't see the blood. They don't see the gushers and ruined towels or clothing from sites that won't stop bleeding. They don't see the little blood drops from sloppy night time checks. They don't see the bill and just how much it all costs to keep your child alive.
They see what looks like an ordinary family.
They don't see everything that goes through the head of a D parent. All the factors to consider... the current basal rates, carb ratio, the way certain food affects the child or how combinations affect blood sugar, activity level, excitement, hormones, illness, stress, weather, when we need to order supplies, if we have enough supplies to make to the end of the month, what the trending arrows show, what happened in this situation yesterday or last week, what this number is doing to his or her body, how many carbs are needed to treat a low and what kind works best for that particular situation, is the glucagon good or has it expired, what will I do if he or she doesn't come up - or come down, are there ketones, how much, is the site good, is the cannula kinked.... I could go on!
No one sees that.
And I think I do a good job acting "normal". I think I do a good job handling it so that no one really knows what it's like.
And I think I do a good job pretending like it doesn't bother me.
I appear calm. Cool. Collected.
Apple juice and cake? Pizza and ice cream? Sure, no problem...
Handfuls of treats being eaten by other kids? Easy peasy...
Invitations to sleepovers... Great!
Watching friends go on date nights or weekends away? Oh! Good for you!
Your kid is hungry and just eats? How nice....
You get to sleep through the night? Lucky you!
Oh, your kid woke you up because of the storm?? Gee, that's too bad.
Your little one has a cold? Is throwing up? How terrible.
See? I got it down.
What they don't see is that in the back of my head, I'm sitting here writing this post!!! And that I really want to scream that
At least a stomach bug doesn't land you in the ER!
At least you don't wake up every single night to check blood sugar!
Do you know how nice it would be to count every single carb she eats??
Or how I wish I could just get a sitter? Or let her spend the night with a friend?
Do you have any idea what that food is going to do to her blood sugar???
This is where I let it out. This is where I vent.
The rest of the world doesn't know.
Because I put on the mask and say it's ok.
Because maybe if I say it enough times I'll start believing it myself.
Because I owe it to my daughter to give her the best, more unrestricted, most normal life possible.
And I'll do whatever it takes to achieve that for her.