I'm so inspired by today's guest blogger, one of my best friends, Ashley L.
When Laila’s mommy had approached me about writing as a guest blogger, I could not describe to you the wave of emotions that flooded me. This little lady is so very special to my heart and writing a post seemed a daunting task indeed! As a mother of a child with a chronic illness myself (asthma) I can sympathize on a small level with Laila and her mom over the frustrations of not feeling like a normal family. The questions (often dumb) are never ceasing, and the advice (never asked for) is often outlandish and misinformed. Of course, diabetes and asthma are apples and oranges and they cannot be compared, but we both know the frustrations of never ending medical bills, late night trips to the ER, seeing our babies in a hospital bed sometimes for days at a time, and having to answer those heart-breaking questions like, “Why doesn’t my sister have it? Why me? Will I get better?”
When I first met Laila, I was over at her house for a Mom’s Night In. My mind instantly began singing, “Layla” by Eric Clapton. And truthfully the guitar riff from that song plays in my head nearly every time I see her! Anyway, back to my story…She was on her way to bed and nonchalantly asked one of the other moms there if she’d like to administer her shot. My eyes widened and I thought, “Wow!” As a child, I dealt with an extreme fear of needles. I couldn’t imagine having to get over it at such a young age. But she turned away and smiled while getting the shot and didn’t even flinch. I was floored. Everyone else around me seemed to be used to this. I wasn’t. I’d never met anyone with Type 1 diabetes before. I’d heard about it, but never experienced it. I expected everyone to coddle her, wrap her in bubble wrap and spoil her rotten. After all, she must have it so hard, right? Nope. As far as I could see, she was led a pretty normal life except for the shots. “Well, if that’s all,” I thought, “Then I guess Type 1 isn’t so bad.” I had a lot to learn. There’s carb-counting and administering insulin, testing, drinking juice when low,…it was a lot more involved than I ever thought. Pretty soon, I began to see just how involved this all was! The more I saw, the more I began to admire Laila and Joli. And eventually, I got to administer the shot just a few days before she got her pump! I felt honored that she’d asked me to do that. I don’t know why it seemed like such a big deal to me, she did it all the time. Then I rejoiced with her and her mom when she got the pump and let her show me how it worked. Then in December, I wanted to have the girls over for some Christmas cookie decorating! I was a little nervous about having to count every single carb that entered that sweet girl, but I thought, you know what? I can do this. Joli has to do it every single day, all day long, I can do it for a few hours. Of course, I didn’t bargain for this typical 6 year old stuffing her face with M&Ms while I practically had a heart attack trying to count all the carbs she’d just eaten before she started eating the icing and then more M&Ms! Thankfully, we worked it out and she was just fine. We had a blast that night and I can’t wait to have her and her sister over again! Until then, she keeps me on my toes, dancing around with her and her sister, picking her up and carrying her around the house like she's a princess, and giving and getting endless hugs and kisses.
Love you, Laila!
|Ashley & Laila|