Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Big Changes

If you were to look at the "Meet The Sugar Family" page on this blog you would see this description under my picture:

I like to tell people that I am really a stay at home mom.... trapped in a working mom's body.  Besides my daily struggle with that reality, though, I am a well-adjusted and happy thirty-something woman.  I am fortunate to be married to the love of my life, and I am totally head over heals for our two beautiful children.

Pretty soon the description under my picture will say:

I am a stay at home mom.  I am a well-adjusted and happy thirty-something woman.  I am fortunate to be married to the love of my life, and I am totally head over heals for our two beautiful children. 

Sugar Daddy and I are at a point where we have gone through a re-evaluation of our lives and how we have things organized. It's no secret that I have struggled with being a working mom since the kids were born. The strain that it has caused emotionally has been huge. When Sugar Boy was diagnosed with Diabetes, I almost stopped working then. The reason I didn't is we had just bought our house 6 months before. We felt that was just not an option, especially since we had my mom living with us then, too. So, I continued to work and had extra worry heaped on because leaving him each day frankly scared the crap out of me.

Today, we are in a different place... as it is a different time.  And we can make different decisions. 
I am so happy to say that we have chosen for me to be home, working just part time (hopefully from home). Taking care of the kids.  Taking care of diabetes.  And for the first time in a very long time... taking care of me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday and A Change of Heart

As a practicing Catholic, I put a lot of stock into the church holiday's and seasons.  Lent has always been a special one for me.  Lent is a time for reflection.  A time for making peace...with yourself, and if needed, with God. 

This year lent is different for me.  Normally, Lent is an exploratory time.  I search deep and dig out what needs to be dusted off and made fresh.  This year, I am entering into Lent knowing full well the things that need to change in my life.  My heart is already lighter knowing these things. 

I would like to share with you my favorite Lenten song.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I Grieve Over Diabetes

Roselady over at Diapeepees wrote an interesting post on grief.  I encourage you to read it.

I have written a post on grief before... but I have never reflected on WHY I grieved (and still do) over Diabetes.

For me, the grief didn't come until later.  When Sugar Boy was first diagnosed, I was almost robotic: 

Just LEARN. 

Just DO. 


Sugar Boy was diagnosed in mid-November of 2008.  Two days before Christmas of that year, he woke up low.  REALLY low.  His pancreas, in one last ditch effort, had started fully producing insulin again.  He was able to eat and drink whatever he wanted and he had perfectly normal blood sugars for 7 days.  Then one night, I went in to his room to check him two hours after dinner.  We had kept up the practice of checking BG at regular intervals because our endo had warned us that it wouldn't last.  Of course, we hoped and we prayed that it would.  But our Christmas miracle was not to last.  I walked out of his room, after checking his BG and getting a 224 on the meter.  I didn't look at anyone, not even my husband.  I just handed him the meter and walked away.  I walked straight to our bedroom... selfishly leaving Sugar Daddy to deal with dosing Sugar Boy... and closed the door, fell down on the bed and just sobbed.  I cried until my sides and my throat hurt.  Until I was so exhausted I couldn't move.  At some point Sugar Daddy came in, and he cried with me.  He held me in his arms, and we sat on the bed and rocked each other while the pain ripped through us.  Later after there were no more tears to be had, we stayed there together and just GRIEVED.  It was a moment that I will never forget.  

Part of it was the loss of that perfect child.  My mother snorted when I mentioned that one day.  She just said, "Ha!  No child is perfect."
She completely missed the point... but, whatever. 

There was also the grief of the loss of "normal".  You know - the normal that everyone else, who doesn't deal with Diabetes, has.  The normal where you can leave the house and not carry a kit with you which contains a blood glucose testing kit, glucagon, sugar tablets, juice boxes, spare syringes and alcohol wipes… all the things that we may need in order to help keep Sugar Boy alive while we are away from home.  The normal where you can prepare a meal or a snack without measuring and weighing the food, calculating the carbs and considering the fat content and protein level of the food to determine how blood sugars will react when the food enters your child's body.  The normal where you can drop the kids off at school without worrying constantly. The normal where you can go to bed without setting your alarm clock for at least once, maybe twice, sometimes three times during the night when you get up to check and make sure that your child is still safe... that he doesn’t need sugar to bring him up from a low or more insulin to bring him down from a high. The normal where you can wake up in the morning without listening at the baby monitor to make sure that you can hear your child's steady sleep-filled breaths coming over the monitor.   The "normal" that we had been re-introduced to and had a whole new appreciation for during those 7 days of freedom from Diabetes.  The fact is that there is almost nothing that Diabetes doesn't affect in some way.

As I said, I still have days when I grieve.  I still have days, over two years later when it hits me like a ton of bricks that this is our life, and it's not going to change.  I still have days when I want to yell and scream and stomp my feet like a temperamental two-year old and shout, "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!  WHY US?  WHY HIM?"  Truthfully, most days are not that way.  Most days I am OK.  For the most part, I have accepted our new normal, and I have learned that there are indeed more horrible things in the world than Diabetes.  Of course there are.  It doesn't make us more fortunate - it just makes us different.   For that matter there are more horrible things that happen in other parts of the world that are Diabetes related.  There are children dying because they don't have access to insulin.  But just because those things are out there, it does not lessen the severity or the importance of what our family, and the families like ours deal with.  The fact of the matter is, Type 1 Diabetes IS horrible.  And it deserves our grief if we feel the need to grieve.  Everyone deals in their own way.  I think, for me, that by facing that grief, and by acknowledging it, I am better suited to handle what Diabetes throws our way.

My sister in law has a friend who's young son was just recently diagnosed with Lukemia.  When my sister in law was telling me about her friends' sons diagnosis I said, "I suppose I should be grateful... at least Sugar Boy doesn't have Cancer."  My sister in law laughed and said, "Its funny you should say that... because after they found out what they were dealing with, my friend said, 'At least this is a temporary fight... one that once we are through chemo we don't have to deal with on a daily basis.  Not like your brother and sister in law have to deal with their son's Diabetes.' "

Just something to think about...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Words of Comfort

I recently quoted this scripture (one of my favorites) on a friends post.  Funny that I would read something that someone is going through, and immediately call to mind this passage of comfort, but I forget to remind MYSELF of those words when its ME having difficulty.

Driving into work this morning, I remembered to remind myself.

I realized that sometimes you just have to have faith.  You have to put your trust in Him and believe that He will not forsake you.  I realized that lately I have once again been donning my Happy Face.  I have slipped back into the old habit of trying to not let others see that everything is NOT alright with me.  Although, if I am being totally honest – I don’t know that I am really being that successful at hiding it.  Today, for instance, I am sitting here… at my desk at work… in jeans and a t-shirt, hair on its second day since being washed, bags under my eyes (despite the fact that I actually went to bed last night at 10pm!) and NO make up to cover those bags.  Want to know what’s sad, though?  No one is alarmed by my appearance.  No one walks in and says “Wow!  What’s up with Donna?  I wonder if she is OK?”  No one does that.  Why?  Because this is the norm.  This is how they are now USED to seeing me.  It has become normal for me to get up in the morning and simply not have the energy to get myself totally ready for the day.  I know that I am not the only D Mama to experience this... but it still bother's me!


Lack of sleep, certainly.  Even when I have a full night’s rest, it's not enough… I can't seem to catch up.  Sugar Daddy and I trade off on the checks most nights… last night was his night.  But I am still so tired this morning.

Worry… I worry about Sugar Boy, of course… but Diabetes has affected more than just the over-all health of our family.  Finances are also a big concern.  Diabetes is expensive.

Stress… Keeping Sugar Boy, not just alive but HEALTHY on a daily basis.  Yes, it’s stressful.  Its stressful depending on other’s to keep him safe when I am not the one that’s with him.  Its stressful never knowing when D is going to decide to chuck the rules out the window and drop his BG like a lead balloon – or send him soaring.  It’s stressful always being so STRESSED!
I usually deal with stress by eating.  Which makes me worry about weight issues.  Its either that or shopping… and well, we have already covered the finances part of it. 
I wish I were a runner, like Reyna… but even if I were in the physical shape to do so… I have no clue when I would possibly find the time.

So, where does all this leave me?  At the beginning, I suppose.  At the beginning of this post, I mean:

It leaves me with FAITH.  And HOPE.  Because, really… what else is there?

Apparently I was supposed to have this realization this morning, because when I went downstairs to get my coffee at work, I noticed this hanging on the wall....

God is good!