Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's theirs.

I've always thought of diabetes as mine.  

No, I don't have diabetes per se, but I live it...and I take full responsibility for it times three.

My head is in the game 24/7.  I put so much work into diabetes...the diabetes hamster wheel in my brain is still running full tilt after all these years.  But lately it has become very clear that my boys have diabetes hamster wheels too, and they too have theirs running at a good clip.

I'm not super happy about that.

I always ran my hamster wheel so they wouldn't have to run theirs.  But as they have gotten older, they have begun to give their wheels more steam, and in effect, given diabetes more room in their brain for processing.

They are taking over their care slowly...but absolutely, surely.

The other day I was going to be out of town, in a meeting.  As a result, I wasn't going to be available for the boys calls during the day.  My sister in law, my back up pancreas, was subbing all day and wasn't able to field their calls either.  I spoke to the boys about it, and they all confidently assured me they knew exactly what to do.  They knew how many carbs to bolus for snack and lunch, and when to give a free snack if their blood sugar was low.  They knew what to eat for each specific low number, and they knew if they were high that they needed to bolus.

That day my boys didn't call me once, and each and every one did everything, perfectly, all on their own.

On the way home from school I praised them for their awesomeness, for which J replied, "What do you expect Mom?  This morning at breakfast you prepared us for every situation, including Armageddon." 

Then my baby L piped in, "Mom, we totally got this.  We don't even need to call you anymore."

Brain.  Explosion.

"No sweetheart, you need to call me.  Just in case."

It was then I realized I was having them call me every day for MY peace of mind.  Could they really do this without always checking in with me?  That would require me slowing down my hamster wheel.  It hasn't slowed down for fourteen years...is that even doable?

A couple nights ago I changed the insulin sensitivity on the two littles.  I checked them hourly for a good part of the night, making sure my changes weren't too strong.  L, my littlest, began to go low.  As I fed him a snack like a mother bird to her young, I realized that my boys were going to be on their own someday, and that someday was coming quickly. 

Who will feed them then?

I've always known one day I would set them free, but the thought overwhelmed me in that moment.  I freely run my hamster wheel for my boys.  Knowing that one day there will be steam coming out of their ears all the time?

I hate the thought. 

It is such a large stone to carry around. 

So much responsibility.

But here I am, knowing that they will willingly take all the responsibility one day...and they'll somehow be ok.

They will be ok.

We have come so far in this past decade.  Change is life's way of saying, "keep moving."

And I'm moving...even though I would rather freeze time and work through my own demons.

Like I said, I knew the day would come.  It just hurts knowing I can't shield them any longer.  They've passed their diabetes permit tests, I need to let go and let them drive...full on knowing there are going to be small dents and even big accidents along the way.  The hard truth is, they can't become able drivers without having a turn at the wheel. 

Good thing I'm a brilliant backseat driver.


  1. Meri
    I love that post. :) You amaze me daily!!!

  2. We never want them to grow up..But they do anyways. And you are doing a great job!

  3. You are amazing! How timely is this post for me, with my daughter off to University next year. And it scares the heck outta me. I KNOW she will have to do this on her own, but will she remember her prescriptions, doctors appointments, chiropodist, ophthalmologist, and all the other ologists we have to factor in to our lives as well as trying to keep the D on track daily. But bit by little bit we are getting there. I think it is harder for us as Mom's than for the kids actually. Its our job to worry and look out for them. I needed a new perspective, and your post helps. Thank you Meri. xx

  4. Hello Meri!
    I am a D- mom from Germany, so first Sorry for my english. As a mother of a 13 years old son I know what you are talking about.
    I'd like to say that I love your Blog! You are an Inspiration for me thousands of miles away!

  5. Ohhhh how true...how hard, how scary!!! I dont like to turn D over either, and I do MANY things for my own peace of mind too. Nothing wrong with that, sometimes. Baby steps back....thats all we can do right? Just another post reminding me we are all going through this together Meri! Love ya!

  6. I loved reading this. Those Schuhmacher boys! I think I need to investigate how fast my person's hamster wheel is spinning. He is nine. Probably not very fast, yet, right?

  7. You can keep the extra comma for good luck.

  8. I loved reading this perspective!
    Meri, you know I'm not a mom, but I am former kid with diabetes who is now a grown up lady. And I learn so much from reading your blog and so many dparent blogs.
    You all share with me the fears and tribulations that my parents didn't let me see.
    And you remind me of the many d gifts that my parents gave me, like being independent - I never realized how hard it must nave been all those years ago.
    And now that both my parents are both gone, I miss having my dmama bird check in with me to make sure " I have my meds" and the likes there of
    I am so proud of you & am honored to call you my friend.

  9. I'm so glad I have a few more years to practice before handing over the wheel. And it always helps knowing friends like you have already gone through the process. :) Glad things are going so well.

  10. Heehee! I'm a brilliant backseat driver as well...or maybe the kids would say, "annoying." ~K has been quite independent almost from the start (diagnosed at the age of six!)...which I didn't want her to do but in which she insisted! The only thing she can't do now is change a site. Well, she can but she won't. They'll do real well, Meri. You've prepared them, as J said, for Armageddon. And you've been preparing them for that. They are so blessed to have you, dear friend. You are awesome.

  11. Dear Meri,
    You should be getting paid for this, yet it's value is priceless. Thank You
    You always know how to express what's in your "swelly brain" exactly and we get you
    and ♥ you!
    Sandra McCarthy

  12. Sans the 50 unit bolus incident, "same-same" with Joe...he now has an opinion on what to do with his care...AND...he is usually spot-on. They are growing up so fast. Love you Mama!

  13. I'm not a D-Mom....but I'm a D-wife. My husband has had diabetes for 34 years. He was diagnosed when he was 10. His Mom was obviously very instrumental in helping him manage his diabetes up until he went away to college. He did manage fine....now that we've been married for 21 years...I help him manage his Diabetes. I'm the one who refills his pump and inserts it for him...he handles the boluses. We have 3 kids...and they all know what to do if Dad gets low. I guess my thought was...somehow they always adjust...and if they're lucky..they will meet someone who will help them manage..just as well as you have! I love following your blog and reading about all your highs and lows. Stay strong, Momma....you are doing such an amazing job!!

  14. Meri, this post rang so true for me. I even have feared at times- when my guy is on his own what will I do? Meaning that diabetes takes up so much space in our hearts and our heads. If that goes to them what will fill this void? The scary blank space of uncontrolability? Of course, we want them to fly. We spend our lives making sure they are ready but like you said when they are, will we be? It's a scary thought for many reasons. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I totally feel related to right now. Glad I am not alone. Hope you are doing as well as you can. I think about you often...

  15. I don't know. Does it have to be yours or theirs?

    I kinda think it's ours. I was full grown when I was diagnosed but I still think my my shares part of the "burden" and I love her for that.

    Now you've got me thinking...


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