Laila and I have never been big in involving ourselves in the Diabetes Community, and lately I've been wondering if we're truly missing out. I've only connected with one other mom on Facebook, through a mutual friend of ours, and I'm grateful for both of them. I received an entire box full of books I have been pouring myself into for the past week, so I know someone out there gets it, somewhere over the rainbow, someone understands. I have tried connecting to others through general groups online, but nothing is very personal, and lots of them just suggest sending your child to a diabetes camp, which Laila's not interested in just yet. I'm the caregiver of a child with diabetes, I don't know what a high blood sugar feels like, I can't empathize with the sting of a pump site injection, I can only speculate, and sometimes I feel like I have no one to speculate with.
So, I find myself here.
Alone on a Saturday night, watching the minutes pass by until it's time again to check Laila's blood sugar while she's sleeping. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I just wish there was someone here, someone tangible who understood. There are so many times I hear people ask me how I do it, and I reply with the same strange look every time. The endless, ignorant questions don't usually strike me as odd anymore, I do my best to educate quickly and to just move on. My heart always sinks to my stomach when someone refers to Laila's care and tells me, "I could never do that," because I was never given a choice not to. When it's a matter of illness or health, literally life or death, you do whatever you have to do. You stop at absolutely nothing for the wellness of your child, you act first, think about it later.
Diabetes is awful. My mind never turns off, it never slows down, it never truly rests. Every trip she makes to the bathroom in the middle of the night, every cough or sneeze I hear from her room, these are the things that haunt me. I constantly wonder if she's thirsty because her sugar is too high, or if she's hungry because her sugar is too low. There are days when it absolutely consumes me, and I feel like I'm sinking. I can only imagine how she feels.
Cooking is one of the things I absolutely love, but it can be difficult when it comes to counting carbohydrates. Laila's favorite meal of the day is breakfast, she would eat breakfast food three times a day if I let her. Unfortunately, next to pasta and rice, it's one of the hardest meals to count carbs for. She loves waffles, pancakes, french toast, hash browns, bacon, and what kid doesn't smother everything in maple syrup? Once in a while, you get lucky. You make your most educated guess, and then you watch the meter like a hawk every hour on the hour for the number to show, and when it's within healthy margins, you feel like a million bucks. Other times, despite your best efforts, your planning ahead and your precautions, you still lose.
Most days, I feel absolutely in control, or as in control as I can be managing my daughter's disease. There certainly are days I mourn the life we never got to have together, because diabetes got in the way, but I remind myself she's just like any other child, and she's unstoppable. She can run, dance, sing, play, swim, jump, and laugh just like any other child. Maybe diabetes has a bigger lesson for me to learn other than learning to draw insulin into a syringe, count carbs, and brushing up on my math skills. I wish I knew what it was, but until I figure it out, we'll just keep on keeping on. Day by day, we make it through this together, Laila and I. It's not going anywhere, and neither are we.
Until next time.