Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An open letter to those who are worried about diagnosis #2.

For those that have the worry tucked in the back of their mind…for those who think that maybe a second child is on the type 1 road, or even has just had a second child diagnosed…this letter is for you.

Dear Parents,

I’m already crying.

Dear Parents,

First, breathe. Everything is going to be just fine. I know the fear of this coming to fruition is consuming, and I don’t want to minimize the gravity of the situation, but let me tell you…100%...all is well.

We have 3 Type 1 children, and people think we are some kind of amazing. They think we have super powers to be able to deal with 3 diabetic children.

“I don’t know how you do it!” They cry.

“I am in awe of your strength!” They cheer.

“How do you stay so positive?” They wonder.

Let me tell you, there is NOTHING extraordinarily special about our family. We are not superhuman. We survive life with 3 T1’s, and through it all we manage to thrive. We are as normal as it gets, and yet we are happy and blessed. Not because we are stronger than other families…just because it is what it is. You will be just as strong. I promise you will.

The initial mourning process is important. I understand that this is not the life you want your child to have to live. I know deep down you feel guilt. I know in some crazy illogical way you feel it is your fault. Maybe you feel like God is punishing you, and your children have to bear the burden. There are many stages to the madness, but eventually the dust will clear and you will feel alive again. Because what gets you through, are your children. Despite what life has thrown at them, their resiliency will be a beacon of light to your family. You will see them happy and full of life and it will fuel the fire of contentment in your heart.

Our family has been living with Type 1 for 12 (UPDATE:16) years now. We have gone through the hard baby times, the impossible growth spurts and have found a plethora of foods that wreak havoc on the boys’ blood sugars. It isn’t always easy…but eventually there is a rhythm…a drum beat that you will follow. Life is very much the same as it is with one Type 1 child. You are already counting carbs for the meals; you just do it for two. You are already checking sugars in the middle of the night…you just do it twice. The worst part is getting over your grief. Young children will get over it almost immediately. Grieve for awhile…as long as you need to! But don’t let the grief eat you alive. It is like acid to your heart.

Breathe, and live. One day at a time at first. Try not to let your brain skip ahead. Live today.

My boys have an incredible bond because of the trials diabetes hands our family. Having a brother or sibling next to you who KNOWS what a low feels like, who KNOWS that when you’re high you just want to punch something, who UNDERSTANDS your deepest thoughts and feelings? Well, that is just a gift.

Love prevails despite diabetes.

Happiness wins despite the daily grind.

The reason I cried at the beginning of this letter is because I know how much you are hurting right now. (Here come the tears again!) I am crying because I have been in the depths of despair…I know the fear, the grief, the terror of it all. But here I am, on the other side telling you that one day you won’t cry anymore. (Well, not everyday anyway.) We have our hard days, but most days…we get through like any normal family would. Sure, we do our blood sugar checks and there are calls from school and extra supplies to pack when we walk out the door…but for the most part we accept our family’s path, and you will too. You will be grateful for the closeness of your family, and the amazing character of your children. Yes, Diabetes changes them, but from what I have seen it only makes them more amazing. We are a pretty normal family yes, but our children...they are the ones everyone should be giving their awe to. They nothing short of incredible!

((HUGS)) to your family.

All is well. All is well.

Much love,

Meri and Family

24 comments:

  1. Darn it Meri, I just put my makeup on and now I have to go reapply it because the tears flowed as I read this beautiful letter. 3 days in a row David has soaked through his night time diaper. A couple of days even a day one has soaked through just an hour or so after putting it on him. I am hoping I just need to change sizes but "it" has been in the back of my mind. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about checking his blood sugar again. Thanks for this letter, I needed to hear your words today. It will all be ok. 1,2,3 or 4 kids with D. So far it's just one and I hope it stays that way but if we end up with more then I know we will deal with it and it won't destroy us. You are an amazing example Meri! Thanks for being you! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post sent me running for the tissue box! You are an amazing source of support and inspiration for the D.O.C. These were words we all needed to hear. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Meri for posting this, I am in awe of your strength...everything will be fine, just gotta keep telling myself that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Meri for posting this, I am in awe of your strength...everything will be fine, just gotta keep telling myself that!

    ReplyDelete
  5. First of all...Meri you ARE some kind of amazing and you DO have super powers! Oh yeah, and you MADE ME CRY!!

    You are such a positive example to us all. I love hearing about your boys...who I think are amazing too! All of the love and "being ok" comes directly from their wonderful parents. Way to go Meri and Ryan!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My heart is swelling with happiness that I know you and your family through your writing. You are a power-house of support, hope, and love dear friend...words simply cannot describe the comfort you provide to so many of us.

    Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love you Meri. You are a rockin D mom on so many levels.
    Love prevails despite diabetes.
    Amen
    Amen
    Amen
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and how it's the first one I go to each day. While I don't have a blog myself, I do have two kiddos with Type 1. You have an amazing way with words and while I don't have that ability myself, you could have taken the words right out of my mouth. It isn't the path I would have chosen and I have felt sometimes like I'm being punished and "why them"...they are so wonderful and gorgeous and they don't deserve this. But you do what you have to do and life goes on. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many! I wish you were my neighbor!! LOL
    Love, Kim

    ReplyDelete
  9. I completely agree about the bond part. I think my kids (even though they still fight) are much closer than they were. I also don't have as much fear as I did before when I would be late getting home or if they kids had to manage on their own for a while. Now I know Marty REALLY gets it and can help out his sister if needed, and vis versa.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, Meri! Just as diabetes has changed your children and made them amazing, so has it changed you and made you amazing! We're not in awe of you because you're dealing with this and living through it, but because in the middle of all this, you are a fantastic mom with a wonderful attitude towards life! Beautiful letter, Meri! From an even more beautiful person!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My 5yr old non diabetic child has wet the bed twice in the last week. She has NEVER done it before. I have been churning over doing the simple finger check to just know that her blood sugar is fine and I can stop thinking 'what if'. I think about a couple of you special dmoms that have more than one child with the big bad D. You really are amazing Meri! We all benefit from your positivie attitude!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks. I am often at a loss for words after reading your thoughtful blog...so simply Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree with Cindy... we all don't admire you just because you're a great D-mama and do such a wonderful job with your boys. I, personally, think you're great because you spread your joy to all of us who sometimes desperately need a hug and a "pick-me-up." Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree with others... You ARE some kind of wonderful! (hear me singing you that song???) and Love does prevail. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awwww Meri - You make me cry more than any other. And that is actually a good thing. Because while the tears pour my heart swells and I just know - I just FEEL - everythign you are saying to be true.
    Thanks, Friend!
    <3

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Meri - You really have a way with words and I think it is because you speak from your heart. I do worry all the time about my second child. It is so inspirational to know that you and your family are out there doing this times three everyday and are clearly living a happy life at the same time. Thank you. Yvette

    ReplyDelete
  17. Meri - thank you for the warm welcome! Wow..4 boys and 3 with T1! I imagine you are a wonderful source of information for all D mamas out there. Jen was so amazing to send you all my way...all of this support is making our journey that much easier. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hugs back Meri. It's a gift for you to share this perspective. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ummmmm....great. Now I'm crying. Balling, actually. And I have tacos to finish. I can't see.

    Oh, my Meri. My sweet pal, Meri. My world is a better place because of you.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You just have such a way with words, Meri...I don't think I could have said it better myself.

    I remember the fear that I had when my second daughter was diagnosed...I thought there was NO way I could take care of two little girls with T1. Of course I was wrong, here we are thriving and my girls are doing amazing! It definately has it's challenges and I think for me the greatest challenge that I face everyday is just accepting that my girls have this disease...mourning the loss of their health.

    When all is said and done, we can handle anything that life hands us...even when we feel like it's the impossible, we rise up!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sweet Meri,
    You were the first mom of more than one child with T1 that I "met". I was so grateful to know that I wasn't alone in my balancing act. To know that there is just one more person out there that had to remember numbers, shots or boluses, ratios, or what works best for each one during a low. I am so happy to "know" you and your family and your positivity is such a gift to all who meet you. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Tears, and lots of them because that is me. I'm so afraid and worried it will happen to our family. I know it is ulitmatley in God's hand but thank you for the reassuring words and encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't know how I missed this but it a good one and I am happy I finally got to see it.

    Nice post thanks. I only have two. That is enough.

    ReplyDelete

Comments=Love
Moderation now enabled, so comments will not immediately be seen.