Thursday, September 5, 2013

The monster in my life…

So this weekend marks a year since my baby Camryn was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It leaves me with a flood of memories and regrets…Camryn was 11 months old and my third child. I already had my oldest diagnosed at the young age of 2. I knew the signs, I knew the symptoms. Yet, as we vacationed as a family and Camryn didn’t seem like herself I couldn’t help but think she just had a stomach virus. She was very lethargic and throwing up. We continued on and tried to make the most of our family vacation. She just wouldn’t perk up. She hung tough and carried on, but I never saw it coming. I guess more than anything I wouldn’t let myself. How could I have another baby diagnosed? On the way home she did nothing but sleep, we got home and she continued to sleep. I thought what a sweetheart letting mommy unpack. I woke her a few times and she drank a small amount of milk and held it down. Figured the next day she would wake up and be at home and be thankful to be in her familiar place. The next morning she didn’t seem very alert. My parents came to visit since they hadn’t seen the kids in a week. My mom was immediately worried. She thought Camryn seemed dehydrated and out of it. The light went off…she was lethargic for over 5 days and not really eating or drinking…we couldn’t get her attention. I was in denial. Thank God my mom spoke up and said we need to check her finger. I knew what was coming and still denied it…I went about my duties as a mom, ignoring what was coming. I felt sick. Really sick. Finally my mom wouldn’t let me proceed. She said get Darryn’s meter now and check her finger. Still in denial I claimed she would be low because she hadn’t really ate in days. I finally, reluctantly, got the meter and slowly checked her finger…waited for the number…I felt like puking. She wasn’t low, she was very high. I knew what was in front of me. I knew this walk…walked it before. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had another type 1 diabetic. I couldn’t think straight. We of course went to the hospital and were life lioned to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. I knew it wasn’t good. But hearing the doctors say she was in severe DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and some make it and some don’t. Giving me the statistics…I was numb…how did I let this happen?



  Guilt flooded me. Fear filled me. What did I do? How did I not see this? I have experience at this monster. It has lived in my home for almost 2 years. How did I miss this? What did I do to this innocent baby girl? She is still such a baby and I am to be protecting her. After all, I am her momma.  I saw the signs with Darryn early, before he ever even got sick and I knew nothing about type 1 diabetes. How did this happen to her?

We spent the next few days in Pediatric ICU and it was touch and go. However, I saw an online DOC (diabetic online community) and all my family and friends lift this baby girl up in prayer. It gave me strength when I had none left. I saw pictures of her posted by some I never even spoke to. They all rallied together and prayed hard. It was everything we needed. So as we approach her year anniversary all I have are heartfelt thank you's to so many people that were there for our family. I literally had over 1,000+ emails till we left the hospital with her. I cannot begin to thank everyone enough and I pray they all read this and remember how they helped our family and baby Camryn through a very life threatening situation. I will never forget the support and love we were given. Thank you!

 So a year later, what does this monster in my life mean to me….having two children with type 1?


It means life is different. We are always checking fingers, measuring food, counting carbs, dosing insulin, changing sites, changing pump settings, and the list goes on and on. I sometimes feel like I am in a prison cell with no life. We choose to stay home and play it safe rather than eat out and guess how to dose. We say no to a lot of things with friends because it takes so much to pack up three small children, then top it off with two kids with needles, insulin, site changes, their own food, pretty much a suitcase each time we go away, sometimes it is just more work than it’s worth.

 Then there are other times I realize that they deserve a normal life, as normal as I can give them. I find the courage and do those special things. We go to birthday parties, we go on vacation, we eat out occasionally, and we risk it. Will they go high? Will the excitement take them too low? You know what? I have to let go of that every now and then. I don’t want diabetes to rule their lives; I want them to know first and foremost they are children. They are alive and vibrant like everyone else’s children. They deal with more than anyone should have to…

Give me the strength and wisdom to let this monster in my life stay in the backseat. To not be the driver. Ever. Let this monster never have control over them. This monster may lurk at the bedroom door while they sleep, this monster may follow Darryn to school, this monster may follow us around everywhere we go, but in the end this monster will not win. I sometimes hate this monster that follows my children everywhere we go, but then I am reminded that they wouldn’t be who they are without this monster lurking. Even my only non diabetic child…he wouldn’t be who he is and how special he is without this in our lives

 Diabetes certainly requires a lot of us, as parents of diabetics and as individuals as diabetics, however remember do not let this monster win!! You or your child may have diabetes but never, ever, let diabetes have you, your babies or your life.

One day, one day, this monster will be buried. I have the faith and hope to believe as strong as the DOC is and our family and friends, we will bury this monster.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When Diabetes gives you lemons....

When Diabetes gives you lemons…what do you do?  Do you squirt it in Diabetes face or simply make lemonade?
I had an emotional struggle last night. It might just make the top of my list for ultimate questioning of this lifelong disease. Questioning of my sugar momma skills…I have made mistakes with this disease, after 2 years of it, it’s bound to happen. And, trust me, it has. However, last night felt like a parenting mistake…
It was a normal evening, I came home from work, made dinner, checked tiny little fingers, measured food, dosed insulin (one with a pump and one with injections). Pretty standard here. When it got to be bedtime, I went to Darryn’s bedroom to clean up and noticed his pump on the floor. I immediately got mad, I was mad that he didn’t tell me, he hadn’t been in his bedroom for hours. All I could think of was chasing highs, and why? WHY? Why, would he not tell me his pump came off??
I immediately gave Darryn “the business.” I immediately grabbed a new pump and insulin; of course there wasn’t enough insulin to fill his pump. So, I grabbed a new vial out of the fridge…more time wasted. I had to “warm” it up to put it in the pump. More minutes without insulin going into my Type 1 diabetic son…Grrrr. I was beyond irritated.
The time finally came and I put a new pump on him and checked his finger. The damage wasn’t too bad, surprisingly. However, it came to reflection time for me…
I am not a Type 1 Diabetic, I have 2 babies with Type 1…I have diabetes to a degree, but I don’t “have” it. I kept asking myself, if I was 5 years old and had something “attached” to me 24/7 and someone always at me, or even checking myself, if this “thing” fell off me, would I tell anyone??? Probably not. Why??? Because it has to get so old. It has to be tiring. I know how tiring it is for me, and I don’t have diabetes.
So, last night, I struggled. I struggled hard emotionally. I didn’t sleep much, watching over Darryn not knowing what the dark night may hold. But more than anything, I struggled if I had just made a HUGE mistake being mad at him. I wasn’t prepared for this. Hell, I’m not usually prepared for much diabetes dishes out daily. But I normally handle it with a smile, that’s what my babies need to see, after all.
I had a long talk with Darryn tonight…he did nothing wrong, I truly believe I did. For that, I am sorry, I am sad. I pray he knows how amazing he truly is, I pray Camryn knows how amazing she is, even my only non Type 1 Diabetic son, Devyn, he is simply amazing. This sugar momma will make mistakes, but she will also continue to learn from them. I’m so honored to be their momma and that I have their forgiveness and unconditional love. Children offer so much, don’t miss the opportunity to learn from them. Ever.
So, when Diabetes gives you lemons, don’t squeeze it in its face, simply make lemonade and rejoice that you have your sweet babies another day, savor every sweet sip…every sweet minute you are given.