Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Every day is the first day of the rest of our lives. This afternoon, Laila spotted a package on our doorstep when we arrived home from school. It was addressed to her, so it must be good! We were so thrilled to open it, we could hardly sustain our excitement. Funny what gets us riled up these days...

3 months supply of syringes, pen needles, and Ketone strips!
Laila and I have agreed this blog isn't just about me, and it isn't just about her, so we need to come to an agreement on how it's going to go. She's old enough to read and write, but her spelling is still limited and slows her down. Today's post is going to be brought to you from Laila herself, narrated with photos along the way. Just a little glimpse into the daily life of this Sweet Child of Mine!

This is my supplies to check my sugar and give me my insulin. My purple meter is purple just how I like it.

I'm checking my sugar. This is how I check it. It does not hurt when I poke my self.

See me check my sugar? I can do all of it by myself. It takes my blood and tells us what my sugar is.

See my high sugar? When my sugar is this high I need insulin. I feel shaky when I am high and low.

I can do my shots all by myself. Do you see that picture of me giving me my shot?

When I get my insulin I feel much better. My shots do not hurt.

After my insulin I start eating! Today I had a huge honeybun and a treat from Sonic! And we got me a Coke Zero, too.

The honeybun was so good! My lips were a mess!
Life with diabetes is no different than life without diabetes. I have friends, I go to school, and I can still eat the same things I did before I had it like honeybuns, bacon (which is free), breakfast muffins, fruit snacks, and chinese. I just have insulin now so I don't feel sleepy and sick anymore.

Thank you everyone who reads mine and my mommy's blog!

I'm not sorry

Our routine is simple- check sugar, count carbs, administer insulin, and eat. We do this in the upwards of 6 times a day, and to us, this has become our normal. Life continues to bustle on around us-dance class, kindergarten, playdates and everything in between. Diabetes doesn't control Laila, she controlls her diabetes.

As a mom to a diabetic, I adminster some of her insulin injections. Laila is only 5, and as amazing as she is, she can't always reach the appropriate spot, and needs a little help. That's where I come in, super mom to the rescue. Let it be known, giving shots is not the highlight of my day, but I do it and move on. As easy as I may make it look, I still feel a pit in my stomach, my hands sweat, and I fear hurting her each and every time. It's over within a few seconds and forgotten about until next time, or at least for her it is.

I can't say for sure what Laila feels like once she leaves the comfort of our home, even when I'm with her. She knows she has to follow this same routine in public, the only thing different is the scenery. She smiles, checks her sugar, helps me calculate what she's eating, and gets her pen ready. No complaining, no crying or panicking, but you can see it in her eyes, something is bothering her. I have asked her many times to share with me the troubles she faces, the concerns she might have, but Laila always assures me it's nothing, she's just fine. Maybe she is just fine, maybe it's me. My anxiety and personal issues about being in public with her often put a damper on my mood before we even leave the house, this is where her short term memory is such a blessing, she has forgotten about the last time and the stresses we encountered.

I know there will always be those who stare, biting their tongue, stifling the questions they have about what she's doing, and why it happened to someone so young. Truth be told, I'd rather they just ask. From a mother to a mother, it's much easier to explain what we're doing and why, instead I have to explain to my daughter the stares, gasps, and sad looks all around us when I have to give her a shot. When a bystander stops by and grabs my arm and tells me, "I'm sorry," I always reply that I'm not-we're not, and neither should they be. This is a part of life, we take it one day at a time, and we don't have the time or energy to feel sorry for ourselves. When we're at a restaurant and I ask for the nutrition guide, I'm not asking for a low fat menu because I'm on a diet, so please, just do what I ask. Not only is it insulting to me, but she feels embarassed when I have to mention I have a diabetic child. I try so hard to make Laila's life the same as any other child, that means not hiding in the bathroom or making a fuss, but to continue as normal, even if our normal is a little different than the next.

We will continue on this journey of life together, inside and outside the warm walls of our home. Laila will grow into a strong, independent woman one day, and I only have her diabetes to thank for it. I'd like to think I had a part in it, but she seems to be doing just fine on her own. There will come a day when she doesn't need me every step of the way, and she'll belong to the big, vast open world around us. Maybe, to the outside world, she's just another kid with diabetes, but if you ask me, she'll always be a sweet child of mine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shout, shout, let it all out!

Some of you may know me, some of you may not-but if you're here, you're family. This blog is my release, my unedited version of myself, and my daughter.

Laila was diagnosed just days after her 5th birthday with Type 1 Diabetes, to everyone's surprised. We had her checked for mono, only to find out hours later she would be spending the night in PICU, and three additional nights at the hospital. To say I was shocked wouldn't quite cover my reaction, but what do you do in a situation like that? You persevere.

The life I live is difficult, but the rewards I reap are beautiful. They say a mother's job is never done, but type 1 diabetes brings that to an entirely different level. Until September, I'd held puke bowls, dried tears, and changed diapers; now, I've spent days administering insulin, counting carbohydrates, and endlessly reading articles about topics I never imagined myself having an interest in. I've spent nights checking sugars every two hours, I've held my daughter's hand when she's scared of a needle, and I've cried myself to sleep, feeling entirely and completely defeated.

It has been now six months since Laila's diagnosis, and it's been a bumpy ride. The medical terms I hear myself say are still foreign, even though it seems as though I've been doing this for a lifetime. The single tear that rolls down her cheek or sharp breath she takes with each painful injection still burdens my heart, but I tell myself it'll get better. We've made it this far, there's no stopping us now. Together, we are a team, a unit, a pair. She is not just a child with type 1 diabetes, she is Laila. And I am not just anyone, I am her mom.