It's that time of year where spider webs cover bushes, pumpkins sit on door steps and ghosts swing from tree branches.
I love Halloween. I love getting dressed up and watching Charlie Brown and going trick or treating. I love the spooky shows on television and even some (mildly) spooky movies. The original Halloween is my favorite.
Last year we were at Disney World for the Not So Scary Halloween party. That was PERFECT! Mildly spooky. Mickey and Minnie. Tons of super cute decorations.
Just the right amount of fear for me!
Which is not much. I like spooky (We even have a black cat named Spooky!) but not scary. I won't go to a haunted house. I'm not into FEAR.
Maybe because I live with enough it without adding more in.
Do you live with fear?
I sure do.
I'd love to blame it all on diabetes but I can't. Truth is, I've always been a worrier.
But FEAR... that's something different.
FEAR definitely entered my life with Sweet's diagnosis.
In that one moment, as much as needles and test strips and insulin and carb counts became our new normal.... So did fear.
What is wrong with her?
Is she going to die?
What if I do something wrong?
Will she go blind?
Will she lose a limb?
Will she have a heart attack or stroke?
Will she have a long, full life?
Will complications come?
When will they come?
What if I can't get her blood sugar down?
What if I can't get her blood sugar up?
What if she has a seizure?
What if she has another seizure?
What if the seizures affected her brain?
What if the low blood sugar has affected her growing brain?
What would she have been like without diabetes?
What if she rebels?
What if she sneaks food?
What if she uses withholding insulin to lose weight?
What if she drinks and doesn't realize how dangerous that is for a type 1?
What if she wants to live alone?
What if wants to go away to college?
What if she doesn't want to go away to college or is scared to live alone?
What if I don't hear Dex alarm?
What if I miss a low?
What if she's low and no one knows how to take care of her?
What if she wants to go to a sleepover?
What if no one invites her to a sleepover?
What if diabetes affects her school work or her learning?
What if I don't wake up at night to check on her?
What if SHE doesn't wake up?
These are just some of the fears I've had over the past few years.
All of these fears swirling around in my overly full brain of numbers and carb ratios and basal rates.
It can be too much.
It IS too much.
I don't know how to make it stop.
I used to think that once we'd been at this awhile, the fears would go away.
But now I know that they don't. I don't think they will ever go away. They just change and morph into new beings. New fears that come with a new stage of this journey of raising a child with type 1 diabetes.
While I don't know how to make them go away...
I have learned how to live with them.
And how to not let the fear rule our life.
Honestly, if you asked Sweets, she would probably have no idea that I have fears about diabetes. Or at least not as many as I actually have! I hide them well.
I remember shortly after her diagnosis, another D Mama gave me this advice. "If you would have done it before T1, you should do it after. Don't let it be a reason to say No."
That's hard, of course. For many reasons. One being that with only one child - I don't know what I would have been ok with if diabetes wasn't in our lives. But that's a blog for another day.
Still... it's good advice.
And my mantra has always been that we will make it work. It may be harder. It may take more planning and preparation. It may push me (way) out of my comfort zone. But if it's something she wants to do... we make it happen.
Diabetes will not limit her.
And that's the only way I know of to win the battle with fear.
One day at a time. One decision at a time.
Refusing to let it rule our lives.
So, this Halloween, I urge you....
If you battle with fear like I do.... don't let it win.
Let her have the treat.
Let her go to the party.
Let her sleep over at a friend's house.
Let her eat the pizza. And ice cream.
Let her handle her care as much as she can and wants.
Let her join the team.
Let her stay after school.
Let her be crazy active even though you know it's going to be a nightmare to manage.
Let her try that new pump she's interested in.
Let others handle her care.
Ask for help. And accept it.
Push the worries and fears and what ifs about the future and complications and such far, far from your head.
That's how we win this battle.
Day by day.
Minute by minute.
Bg check by Bg check.
Decision by decision.