Sacrifices Moms Must Make

This weekend has been a fabulous weekend for MJ. She was reunited with her “sister” and “brother.” (My ex-boyfriend’s kids.)  With Instagram and texting, they are still in touch, but they haven’t seen each other in person since November.

Some people may think I’m crazy for allowing them to get together.

Well, I guess I am crazy.

I am crazy about these kids.

I loved them like my own and I loved the relationship that all four of them shared.  That they still share.

I spent almost 2 hours in the car this weekend driving MJ up and back.  I had to swallow my pride, take a deep breath, put on a brave face, calm my nerves and do what would make them happiest….

Give them some time together.

Just because we can’t all be together like we were before, it isn’t fair to halt their friendship.

Reading their Instagram posts, receiving texts and pics, and negotiating the pick-up time, I knew I made the right choice.

It’s not an easy spot to be in. And the tears I have fought this weekend come from many places.

But as a mom, you have to be brave and strong, and be willing to make sacrifices for your children. Sometimes what is painful for you, is wonderful for them.  It’s not the part of motherhood I thought about 15 years ago and it’s not a part I enjoy.

But it’s love.

I think of someday not that long from now when MJ goes away to college.  Don’t I want her to go? Of course I do, but at the same time…NO, I don’t want her to leave!!!

Obviously, I can’t keep her at home forever.  But I will do what I’ve seen a few of my friends already do, be brave and strong and pack her up and drop her off.  And I’ll live to tell about it, even if I shed a lot of tears.

Just as I would give up my own healthy pancreas and take on the burden of Ian’s diabetes, this weekend I let my heart hurt for just a little while, so that their hearts could be happy.

Two girls, two hearts, 1 wish for them: A lifelong friendship that stays strong, no matter the distance and time.

dandelion

 

 

 

 

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Spring Break Love

There’s so much to say, but alas, Spring Break is almost over and I want the words to be just right. So, for now,  12 pictures = 12,000 words.

There’s so much to say, but alas, Spring Break is almost over and I want the words to be just right. So, for now,  12 pictures = 12,000 words.

The Same Story. A New Chapter.

A few days ago I went through some old posts, desperate for some reminder that things will get better.

I found several posts that had me in the same, or similar, place with the same, or similar, feelings…. (All of these posts were written before I went public with this blog.)

On the days that Ian is with his dad and stepmom, I scramble to get things done around here and I try to get some extra sleep, but breaks don’t seem like breaks.

We’ve had some really awesome days.  In fact, he’s had three days in which his numbers were darn near perfect.  And then…BOOM…Hello 300s!! We meet again…..  I had to remind myself diabetes can’t change the past.

As I peel off the old pod (and fight the squeamish feelings I feel) and try to distract him from the pod change, it breaks my heart.  It’s stupid and unfair that he has to have this disease, and he has to endure these things. All I can think is “I’m so sorry this happened to you.

As Ian struggled through a baseball practice, his dad and I were texting about the unfairness of this all and how we’d trade places with him in a heartbeat.  Being a parent of a child with a chronic illness it not what we signed up for, but we will do whatever we have to do.

And doing what we have to do…well, it’s exhausting. I’ve already explained this; I’m so tired. 

I know that having this pump is the beginning of a new chapter for Ian. He will be able to be so much more independent and he will need this as he gets older.  He has already mastered the PDM. He can enter his carbs and give himself a bolus, and it’s all so good for his confidence and self-esteem. He is managing all of his care at school – making a phone call to his stepmom at lunch time everyday.

Yesterday morning I was reading a book when he woke up and I said, “Let me finish this chapter, and then I’ll get your breakfast.”  He said, “No, you keep reading. I can do it by myself now.”  My sweet boy, you continue to amaze me.

This move from shots to a pump has not been the easiest transition.  I foolishly didn’t see this coming. It is just a new chapter, and I have to face it.

And even though sometimes the reality of forever blows my mind, I know we will be ok.

Recent Accomplishments

Yesterday I got to thinking about how great my kids are. (Yeah, yeah, aren’t they all?)  But seriously, MJ and Ian have had some pretty great accomplishments in the past few weeks.  Here they are in random order:

1. MJ was selected to be on the Power of the Pen writing team at school. It’s a creative writing competition with several rounds in the next few months.  The first competition is Feb. 15th.  Wonder where she gets her writing talent? 😉

2. One of MJ’s  drawings from Drawing I is now hanging in the main lobby of our building.  I took this pic of it yesterday morning when the lights were out, but I like the reflection of the front doors.


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3. MJ placed 6th in the district spelling bee this past Tuesday. It is  plausable plausible she will never misspell a certain word again the rest of her life.  (My forever-word is opera!)

4. Ian’s Upward basketball team finally won a game. They played another 0-2 team yesterday and won 24-10!

5. Stats on Ian’s basketball career (since he informed me he plans to be in the NBA after playing for OSU.):

Week 1: 2 points (the ONLY basket) – The final score was 32-2.
Week 2: 8 points – His best game “EVER” despite a loss of 36-12.
Week 3: 6 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, and 2 rebounds (This is his unofficial report to me because, unfortunately, I was monitoring Saturday School and had to miss it.)

6. It would be unfair to not give a shout-out to my Bluebird. Like a new mother, I celebrated the first (and only) night he slept all night this past Wednesday.  His internal clock is amazing. He wakes me up at 2:10 every night to go out and then at 5:26 a.m. to eat.  I took his water away at dinner time the last few nights but it only worked that one night.  Suggestions are welcome!

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The look I get when I interrupt Blue’s nap…

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And when I let him sleep….

Here’s hoping for more great things the rest of the month!

Day After Day

I guess diabetes makes you grow up faster than you should.  You are forced to take care of yourself in a whole new way. Instead of being a 10-year-old who sneaks candy, spoils his dinner, and has midnight snacks, Ian has to be a disciplined young man who politely turns down treats, who settles on cheese for a snack, and who semi-graciously accepts he can’t have seconds if we didn’t allot for it with his meal time shot.

What a tough place to be in.  Wanting to make your own decisions, being able to make many, but facing limits all the time.

Ian’s quest for independence has been slowed down by a disease that is out of his control.

I guess after a while you just get used to it.  But that doesn’t mean he likes it. And sometimes it must just get so old…especially if he thinks to himself that this is the rest of his life.

That kind of hit me the other night.

Thursday night Ian had to eat an extra 110 carbs due to a mix up of meds.  His dad called to tell me and I knew all was well and under control. Ian was drinking a coke and eating A LOT of Doritos to compensate for 7.5 units of Humalog.

I was worried but we’d dealt with this before, so it wasn’t as scary. Besides, he loves Doritos.  He must be thrilled.

So, I sent him a text.  His reply made me feel bad.20140126-113738.jpg

It’s sad that a bowl full of Doritos can bring such a response.

I could hear it in his voice, “I’m just tired of this.”

Think of what he hears on an average, uneventful day:

Good morning.
Wash your hands and check your blood sugar.
What was your number?
Here’s your shot.

On the way to school.
Make sure you check at 10:00 to see if you need a snack.

At lunch.
Wash your hands and check your blood sugar.
What was your number?

After school.
How was your day? 
Did you have to check your blood sugar before lunch?
Were you low?
Did you have a snack at 10:00?
Did you eat all your lunch?
Was the tray what they said it would be?
Wash your hands and check your blood sugar.
What was your number?
Go get a 15g snack.

Before dinner.
Wash your hands and check your blood sugar.
What was your number?

After dinner.
Do you feel low?
I hope I counted those carbs right. Tell me if you feel low.

Before bed.
Wash your hands and check your blood sugar.
What was your number?

Tucking him in.
Night buddy. I love you. Wake me up if you need me.

Geez…no wonder sometimes he just wants to lay on the couch, put his headphones on, and be left alone.  He blocks out all the questions and the “nagging.”

And me joking about Doritos….that was probably just annoying.

As I was thinking about this post, Ian turned on one of his favorite songs for us to listen to. For real….this song is as much his favorite right now as White Walls. 

My little boy with the old soul.

Growing up so much faster than he should.

I love him so.

Happy Dia-versary! It’s Been One Year!

It’s been 365 days since Day 1.

No less than 2, 555 blood sugar tests.

At least 1, 460 shots.

1 trip to the ER for dehydration and ketones.

3 A1C’s that only dropped by a measly tenth of a percent each time.

It’s been a crazy hard and wonderfully bittersweet year. A year of firsts and milestones.

But he did it! We did it!

A year ago, this never seemed possible…that we’d deal with this and be ok.

We’re better than ok.

Being a mom is hard enough. Being a mom to a T1D…unimaginable.

But I’m ok.

And why wouldn’t I be?

I have a daughter who has learned to roll with the punches – both the highs and the lows – to accept the mood swings, to be flexible, to keep me on my toes, to bring laughter when we need it. She is my comic relief, my easy-going girl who truly makes my life easier.

I have parents who are willing to work around our eating schedule, make multiple rest-stops on long car trips, choose the right places to eat, make life feel normal, count the carbs, distract the kids, be quietly concerned, ask questions, make suggestions, but never push.

I have friends who give me their time and lend an ear, from miles and miles away. Friends who’ve come back to me and helped me deal with this latest season of my life. Friends who text at just the right time to bring a smile to my face.

I have a sister who provides the medical advice, the side-splitting laughter, the room to complain, the reminders to breathe.

I have a little boy who is amazingly strong in every way. His puppy dog eyes and his uncle’s charm, his sense of humor, his need to compete, his drive to win, his mad math skills.

I am a lucky mom to be given this strange gift wrapped in a beautiful package.

And someday, probably years from now, the best gift will be a cure. Until then, we will celebrate every year!

Happy 1st Dia-versary, Ian!! I love you!

Perspective

Yesterday marked Ian’s 9-month mark since being diagnosed with T1D.

9 months is the long road of pregnancy.

9 months is also the length of a school year.

9 months can seem like forever and 9 months can go by in a flash.

You’ve been pregnant forever!”

“It seems like you just told us you were pregnant!?”

“May is never going to get here!” 

“179 days to go!”

“I feel like this year is going by too fast!”

It’s all about perspective I guess.

Luckily, perspectives can change.

When diabetes turned our world upside down in January, we had a lot to learn and as things happened, we dealt with them. It was a crazy time of always anticipating and worrying, being anxious, realizing we weren’t prepared, and at the same time , if it’s possible, over-planning.  Diabetes can control your every move, decision, and thought.

But when you are dealing a long-term illness, you can’t function like that forever.  You just can’t. When you realize that something is going to affect the rest of your life, you learn to make it fit into your world.

So it becomes part of the routine and part of what you do. Sometimes you don’t even realize you were thinking about it. It’s kind of like when you arrive at a destination and you are like, “Hmmmm…We’re here already? I don’t even remember driving here?!?”  (Scary, but true!)

Getting Blue right before school started (and having it be one of the most demanding starts to a school year ever) provided enough other “stress” that diabetes suddenly went on the back burner.  I knew I had a good handle on diabetes and now I needed to get a handle on house-training and tackling a new school year.

Yes, diabetes is on a low simmer. I keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. But sometimes the pot boils over.

Back in March I mixed up Ian’s meds and this past week, there was another mix-up at his dad’s.  We’ve both experienced that total panic and guilt and have realized that it is really easy to make mistakes.  Mistakes that we will never make again.

When Ian had to consume 250g of carbs to feed 10 units of insulin, and as Ian described to me the next day, “Dad was getting out that huge Glucagon needle and I was like, Uh….what are you doing?????”….you snap back to the reality of diabetes pretty quick.

That is not to say that we are going to let that little mishap wreck the progress that we’ve made.

Because our progress is what is most important.

The next day Ian’s attitude and behavior was extraordinary. I had to run up to his school and give him his shot at lunch because of a schedule change.  As he hurried out of the clinic, he turned back hollered a “Thank you Mom! Love you!” and rushed off to the cafeteria. My heart melted.

That evening he was very sweet, affectionate, and a little clingy. Understandably so.

At dinner he folded the napkins (and taped them all up with scotch tape???) and assembled a fall centerpiece on our kitchen table. He destroyed several of my decorations around the house in the process, but it was a sweet gesture and it will remain there the rest of the season. He asked me to light the candle and he issued a “no elbows on the table” rule, which his 8th grade sister found quite annoying.

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Ian’s centerpiece.

As bad as things could have gone, everything ended up ok in the end.  I believe that it helped Ian have a better appreciation for all that we do for him to keep him safe and healthy. I think that this little scare also made him (really, all of us) see things from a different perspective.  It reminded us all (no matter how busy we are) to slow down, take some extra time and care, and be grateful for every day.

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That night I caught Ian and Blue sharing a different view of the yard on a rainy day.