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Summoning my Super Powers

9 Dec

Being a mom is hard.  Before I had kids I struggled juggling college and work.  Always both.  I was always rushing to one place or the next trying to get there on time.  To finish my homework, to put away the thousands of clothes women dropped on the floor of the dressing room (they don’t magically reappear on the store racks.  There’s one or two people out there that get the job of picking up after others.)

I’m tackling this parenthood thing without juggling the work aspect on top of it.  Yes, I’m lucky that way.  But.  It’s vital.  I’m the one watching my son’s blood sugars at school, bringing extra supplies in for him, driving him to/from school so his insulin pump doesn’t shut off from the cold.

I’m the one who is reading the middle one’s communication notebook, trying to assist with the difficult task of figuring out what my nine year old truly understands and is just being sassy refusing to do.  Or if she’s struggling with some unknown illness or injury (she had a cold for a month and daily I wondered is it a sinus infection? Ears?  Allergies?  And then poof-she was better. 

I’m the one that washes the dishes, cooks most of our meals, washes the million loads of laundry we make.  My “me” time without kids is usually buying laundry soap, wrapping holiday gifts, addressing Christmas cards.

Some days I’m tired of caring for others.  I don’t want to wash another plate.  I don’t want to check the blood glucose meter to make sure my son is testing his blood glucose when we ask him to, seeing another blank line in the Dexcom application, wondering why my kid opens her windows in 20F weather when I tried to get the upstairs rooms warm enough before bed.  I don’t want to change my nine year old’s poopy pull up and remind her she needs to use the potty.  I don’t want to wash blankets that have been peed on even though I know bed-wetting is normal in kids.  I don’t want to trip over another stuffed animal or hear my daughter scream she hates me during a five year old’s tantrum.

I’m tired.  I’m cranky.  Quite frankly I’m a bit lonely sometimes because unless I run errands the only people I talk to are my kids and husband or the swarm of friends that live in my phone.

I allowed myself to cry and feel.  Because some feelings hurt.  But then I pulled on my Wonder Woman tiara because quite frankly I don’t have time to wallow in the darkness of depression and feeling sorry for myself.  I cannot compare my parenting to others, nor can I compare my kids to others.  This is our battle, we rise gracefully and we fight our own battles.

And I kind of like my tiara even if it’s plastic and from McDonald’s.  It makes me feel pretty and happy.  Wonder Woman wouldn’t be hard on herself and say “oops, I should have stopped that villain.”  She fights the villains.  So will I.

Power on, my world of Super Moms and Dads.  Whether you’re fighting a world of diabetes, nebulizer treatments, cancer treatments, miscarriages, birth defects, depression, puberty, terrible twos or whatever villain that ails you find the strength.  I send you virtual hugs.  And I’m going to continue scrubbing the toilet and washing laundry before my kids get home and demand something.  But first I need to do some yoga.  And take care of me.


Letter to a new T1 Parent

2 Aug

To the parents that have just discovered their child has Type 1 Diabetes:

First of all, you need hugs.  Please cry, get mad, grieve.  Punch a pillow.  Scream in a pillow.  I  will cry with you as I spent many days crying over this disease as well.  But don’t cry in front of your child.  Be strong.  Be brave.  Be matter of fact. Save the crying for later.  And the screaming.

No, it’s not easy.  At all.  But those shots that your child has to take is now life.  Checking blood sugar every few hours is your child’s life.  And as a parent, it is now yours too.  And the best way to help your child is to take a deep breath, tell them it stings for a second, then it’s over.  And do it.  Quickly.  Even with the tears.

Get your child a new toy.  Get them every character Band-Aid that is found in stores.  You know, the cool ones with Finding Dory, Disney Princesses, or Pokemon.  Better yet, let your child pick them out. Take them to a movie or buy a new Blue Ray.  Buy a new pillow to hit.  Buy an extra for your kid.  Because the fact is, this stinks and if you can make it a tiny bit more fun, make it fun!

Buy lots of juice boxes.  And candy.  And, though it sounds odd, cake frosting or syrup is awesome too.  Anything that can raise a blood sugar up quickly because you will have blood sugar lows.  Make sure you fill that scary looking prescription glucagon.  Carry them everywhere.  If you have them, you might not need to use them.  But you’d rather have one that you don’t use than not have one when you need one.

Because you will forget it, buy an extra kit.  And then buy an extra one after that for school.  Just make sure the test strips work in all of them.  Keep one on you and the other at home, in your car, anywhere you need it often.  Did I mention lots of test strips and alcohol swabs?

You will find out who you can trust to help take care of your child.  When you do, make sure you take time away from dabetes.  Go somewhere, anywhere for any period of time, and challenge yourself not to count carbs or think about testing blood sugar.  But keep your cell phone on you.  Just in case.  And smile when you didn’t have to answer a text or call.

Find a parent support group.  Either in person, online, wherever.  Somewhere where you can ask questions, vent, do whatever you need to do with others that get it.  This is a good place to do the screaming.  And the crying.

Find the right Endocrinologist for you.  Even if one seems good and has done a good job, if it doesn’t feel like it fits try a different one.  You need to be able to fully trust someone who is leading you through this life.  You have to be comfortable asking questions, caring for your child, and adjusting insulin doses.  You want someone who can talk to your child and help them understand what they need to do in life.  Notice I say talk to your child.  Because even if you are doing most of the care right now, they are learning.  Eventually they will do it on their own.  And they need to know how to do that.

It’s a lot.  Believe me, I get it.  You’re scared, overwhelmed, worried, and I’m sorry to say that will always be there.  But it does get easier.  And your child will feel better soon.  And THAT is worth every single hard moment.