She’s looking into her child’s eyes, scared, but she smiles wide. Her love for her child must be stronger than her fear. Her world is falling down around her but all that matters is she stay strong for him.
He didn’t deserve this diagnosis. Why? Why him?
She will take as much of the hurt and burden away as long as she can.
She will work hard.
She will take care of him every minute of every day.
She will cry in the shower.
She will cry after her husband sleeps.
She will cry in her car on the way to school, but keep make up and eye drops in her purse to hide the redness.
And when he is sick, she will close her eyes and sing to him. She will push down the fear. She will stay awake. She will not let him see her tremble.
When she draws the insulin she continues to push down the feelings. She pushes down the anger she has for a disease that is holding her child captive and the logical thoughts that tell her none of this is normal.
She tells herself over and over that this is all perfectly normal. Type 1 Diabetes is their normal now. She will not let it control their life.
She listens to the pharmacist tell her it’s too soon to get insulin. She has ½ a bottle left. Her stomach turns into a hard ball. Her throat closes. She wants to scream. She wants to throw her fist on the table. But instead, she is all business and is only focused on finding a solution. She calls the doctor. She calls the insurance. She is firm, but her voice cracks as she holds in the tears. He will get insulin. She simply has to fight.
And fight she will.
She will always fight.
Her son is in the hospital. He has an ear infection and the insulin he is using is slow and antiquated. She sits in the corner, rocking methodically. Enduring. Willing the minutes to pass so tomorrow will be here. Watching her baby being poked with needles, and tubes inserted in various places…it is torture. There is no worse suffering for a mother than to see her child helpless and afraid.
She has two alarms set for the night, but she can’t sleep anyway. Her mind is a Ferris Wheel, turning the same thoughts over and over in her head. She has a meeting with his new school tomorrow. She will have to discuss his needs without scaring them. She will pretend that their normal isn’t scary. She will lie.
Two more of her babies are diagnosed. A piece of her heart dying each time. She wonders how she can walk upright when she walks with despair so heavy, at times it is staggering.
Every parent is held up thinking about the possibilities of their children’s futures. When a new diagnoses is in the mix, the future has blurry lines…there are so may unknowns. She can’t use their future as a crutch for today. She has to find the joy in the now.
She walks the hallways of each and every school feeling every bit the stranger. The parents talk about what worries them. None of them worry their child won’t wake up in the morning. They don’t know what she carries except the extra pounds on her waist, consequences of late nights stress eating waiting for lows to come up, and highs to come down.
Inevitably...supplies are forgotten. Insulin doses are forgotten. Sugar checks are forgotten. An alarm is slept through. The guilt weighs on her. She pushes it down to her toes. If it fills her up, it will make her bitter. She wants to radiate love, not bitterness, so she tries to release the guilt and let it fly away…but it’s so heavy. Guilt can’t fly. It will forever be a part of her.
Not the bigger part of her though.
She becomes a magician. She can turn frustration into serenity. She can turn loneliness into wellness. She can turn a bad day into a map for a better tomorrow.
She flips each feeling onto their head when things don’t go their way.
Things rarely go their way.
But her magic trumps the heaviness of the disease. Her smile overrules all of the darkness.
She always smiles.
She tells them she is sure all will be well. She never stops moving forward. Diabetes pushes her back when she is taken off guard, but she lifts her heavy feet and moves, and works, and tries, until everything is ok again.
Flipping emotions can take its toll. There are days, few and far between, that she lets it all come to the surface. She releases all her complicated feelings through tears and fits of despair. She stomps her feet. She yells. She is angry at the world…
And then she pulls herself together.
And she smiles wide again.
Because it’s not about her.
It was never about her.
It’s always about them.
They are everything. They are her air. They are pieces of her soul.
What is the emotional toll on a mother with children with Diabetes?
No one will ever really know.
Because her love, strength, and determination softens every bit of it.
She has convinced herself that everything will be ok.
And they believe it.
And that, my friends, is all that matters.
(This is my 4th post for D Blog Week. See more info on it HERE.)