Sometimes at night, when the alarm goes off…I have a mini fit. I thrash my legs and moan like an 8 year old tasked to do the stupidest of chores. I am freakin’ tired. I roll out of bed walking back-bent-arms-hanging, channeling all my anger to the Legos on the floor, wondering when, if ever, I will get a good night’s sleep. Once I get to the boys though, my heart usually softens. Their sweet faces calm my shaking hands and my selfishness turns to concern as I check each boy and assess their situation. But when I get back to my bed, I fall in like a dead body; face first…KERPLAT…on to my pillow. Wondering if I’ll be able to fall back to sleep, angry at the exhaustion that has taken over my body. Sometimes.
But most of the time, I just hop out of bed and check. No biggie. I’m not angry, or tired, or anything. I do the deed and go back to bed. Most of the time it is just a simple correction or a little banana or pudding to get things back to where they need to be. I climb back into bed and fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. Done and done.
Sometimes I question myself. I’ll give the boys breakfast insulin and send them to school wondering if they will be ok today. Because sometimes I don’t do what the pump tells me to do. Sometimes I go rogue. I know that J has track, so I’ll scale back his insulin. I know that B has called me the last few days with higher numbers, so I give him a bit extra. I know that L has needed an extra snack for a week, so I give him less insulin. So I’m guessing. And sometimes when I guess…my entire body fills with worry sand, and I feel like I am 200 pounds heavier. On these days I feel clumsier in both mind and body, and I can’t think straight. And I pretend that I’m not worrying…I tell myself over and over and over that they will be ok. Sometimes.
But most of the time, I give insulin and I don’t worry. We have done this everyday for forever, and everything will be ok. And if it is not ok, then there was nothing more I could do. Most of the time I am at peace with my decisions. I know that my guesses are educated guesses. I live and breathe diabetes. I am not perfect…but I am capable. Most of the time. Done and done.
Sometimes, I’ll look at a pile of bloody test strips on the dresser, (aftermath from a long night,) and I almost throw up a little in my mouth. It is the grizzly reality of our life. Sometimes, there can be 20 test strips lying on the boy’s dresser from the evening before and a couple checks through the night. I pick each one up to throw in the garbage. It hurts my heart as some of them stick to the dresser. Tears come as I wonder if this will always be our reality. Wondering if there will ever be a cure. The image throws me…and validates all my anger towards this disease. I think of their callused fingers and I want to roar like a mother lion that is protecting her young. Sometimes.
But most of the time, I’ll clean up the strips and disinfect the area like I always do and it is the most normal of things. It is not big deal. Test strips are nothing new. Hell…they are EVERYWHERE. Normally the strips go straight to the garbage or in a cup I keep next to their supplies. I am thankful for being able to test. This instrument is fairly new in this world. How blessed am I to know what to do at any time of day just with a poke of the finger? I thank the Lord for that monitor. Most of the time. Done and done.
Sometimes I let my brain go to that dark place. The place where the seriousness of this disease is magnified and made uber clear to every one of my mommy senses. Sometimes, like this week, I hear the stories of children dying in their sleep from Diabetes and I have what I call, “a silent freak out.” I don’t talk about it. I pretend I am not worrying about it. But it is there in my mind. So when something else comes up that is frustrating, I lose it. I lose it over the littlest of things. Not because of the little thing, but because of this secret worry that has burrowed like a mole deep into my head and is planning to hibernate there for the winter. There is this background worry that affects every aspect of my life. It defines me, it puts me on edge. And at these times, I hate diabetes. Sometimes.
But most of the time, I am grateful. I see the blessings right in front of me. They are vibrant, smart, and amazing. They can do anything. Nothing can stop them from achieving their dreams…not even diabetes. I am grateful that they are alive…that they don’t live their lives in a hospital. That diabetes has made them stronger, more empathetic people. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. We are a close, united family partly to do with diabetes. We are blessed daily with technology that makes this disease manageable. We are a family that loves each other, and when it all comes down to it…isn’t that all that is important?
Yes, sometimes I am an emotional wreck. Thankfully, most of the time…I am Ok. That is why I am the Jekyll and Hyde of the blogging world. One minute I am preaching how manageable diabetes is, and that it gets easier, and that newly diagnosed families will adjust to the craziness of it all…and the next minute I am heartbroken…scared and unsure of myself.
I had a friend tell me once I certainly must need therapy with all I have on my plate. That may be so. But I think for now, I won’t take that path simply because “most of the time” I’m still Ok. And the “sometimes” that I am not…well…those times don’t last long. Those sometimes moments are the reality of what this disease dishes out. Diabetes isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I accept that. And I always know that that through the rain clouds the sun is always there. We just need to be patient…the sun will make itself known eventually. Sure, some storms last longer than others. But that is with every aspect of life.
When we were new to this life…when J was just a baby… things were different. The bad times seemed like they were most of the time. And it seems that only sometimes we got a taste of what was “normal.” As time passed…the two switched places. I often tell newly diagnosed families that things will get easier. It sucks that easier doesn’t mean easy…but it does mean life will be better than it is now. So much better that you will feel normal again. You WILL feel alive again.
I get that normalcy most of the time.
And the sometimes that I don't...well, I blog. And it makes me feel better. :)