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.