Diabetes Awareness Month: World Diabetes Day

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. Never in a million years did we think just a few years ago that we’d become members of this select and crappy club and become so invested in this cause. But here we are, and awareness we must raise. I decided that for today’s post I will do my honest version of “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Except there is not much good about diabetes, and ugly does not fit all that well. So I’m tweaking it: The Lows (some of the worst moments and memories that diabetes brought to us), The Daily Grind (the day-to-day things we have to do and think about ever since T1D diagnosis), and The Gratitude (because regardless of how hard it gets we always have a lot to be thankful for).

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The Lows

~The night we came back from the hospital after initial diagnosis, looking at V’s desk, syringes and wipes spread all over it, insulin vial as a grim centerpiece. There was no escape form the reality of the fact that my baby had diabetes. The one and only time I cried about it…

~One beautiful and sunny Sunday morning shortly after diagnosis, holding sobbing V in my arms after saying no to ice-cream from the ice cream truck because we were on a strict meal plan then and did not yet know how to dose insulin for treats and unplanned foods. Comforting her, reassuring her that she will be able to have ice cream soon and that we will figure out, hugging her tightly, holding back my own tears…

~Hearing from V that her friend had to pick someone else to go to her birthday Disneyland trip with her because of diabetes. Understanding and agreeing it was the right decision and feeling heartbroken about it at the same time…

~Watching V vomit repeatedly due to stomach flu, not able to keep anything down. Pushing liquids and sugar, trying to keep BG from plummeting down, checking ketones, bracing to leave for the ER if things don’t start improving…

~Standing by V’s bed and watching her sleep. Wondering if she’d have a seizure any minute if BG of 29 does not start going up soon…

The Daily Grind

~Finger pricks, smell of insulin and wipes, beeping devices, lugging supplies everywhere…

~Doing complicated math, adjusting dosages, measuring foods, counting carbs…

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~This glimpse into decision-making that it takes to get things right…

~Interrupting whatever is going on to test, treat, adjust, regroup…

~Correcting misinformation and confronting ignorance. No, she won’t grow out of it. No, someone’s diabetes is not “really bad” because they have a pump. Yes, she can have sugar. Yes, she can eat that…

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~V having to explain to others her pump, her diabetes, her CGM, again and again and again…

~Waking up in the middle of the night to test, treat, correct, adjust. Getting up in the morning feeling exhausted and beat up…

~Spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on insulin and supplies…

~This glimpse into an ordinary day in our life…

The Gratitude

~It’s not cancer, or some other horrible life-threatening illness. It could be worse and we don’t take offense at this comparison.  We got this. V can live well with diabetes…

~The technology. It’s made diabetes management so much easier and it continues to get better. But even if nothing else gets better, what we have now is awesome enough…

~The timing. It would have been so much harder if V was diagnosed when she was a toddler. Or not until adolescence, when acceptance and compliance can be so much harder…

~The people. Our family and friends, V’s school nurse, other T1D families, people in the diabetes online community. We’ve been surrounded by love and support from Day 1…

~The hope. One day, some day, perhaps V’s dream will come true…

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