Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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.


  1. My dear sweet Laila,

    You don't even know me but I love you so much! I want to tell you how proud I am of you, and what you have been able to conquer at such a young age. You don't even know it yet, but you are already an inspiration to many. I can't wait to come and visit you...and maybe by the end of that trip, you will have taught me that needles are nothing to be afraid of! I held you once when you were a baby...and I thought you were the most precious baby. I can't believe how grown you are. Keep up the positive attitude, and smile every day.

    Love you bunches,
    Aunty Brandi :)

  2. You give yourself way too little credit, Joli. She WILL grow into a strong, independent, and confident woman, very much attributable to the maturity and openness in which you teach her to cope. Short term memory IS wonderful. She'll forget alot of the imperfections you think you have but the way you convey your affections and compassions, the support you provide for her in public and private, and your ability to show her that we're all human and it's okay to have imperfections as long as your heart it true will live on for generations as your legacy and as a model for her, her children, and her children's children. God Bless You......and God Bless Laila for the strength you possess and the lessons you're able to teach each other and those around you.

  3. I love your new blog, Joli! You are such a great Mom. :)

  4. I'm so glad you decided to do this blog Joli. You got quite an amazing kid, and you're a rockin' mom.

  5. I agree Joli you need to give your self more credit. Your the reason she is a strong little girl and will be a strong woman. You and Laila both are an inspiration to me. Love you doll

  6. You're so strong as a Mom. I love how you just make it happen. I wish we could stop the world at staring at "differences" and just accept them. Yes, it probably draws their attention but SHE IS ALIVE AND HEALTHY! She's fighting. GO LAILA!!!


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