On the 729th Day…

On the 729th day that Ian has Type 1 Diabetes, I have a lot of mixed feelings.
Tomorrow it will be 730 days….

That’s two years.
Only two years?
Two years already?

As January 4th – his “2 Year Dia-versary” – approached, I kept having this strange feeling….almost like a sense of relief or something. I almost felt “excited” for the day, like you’d feel for Christmas.   I don’t know why. It’s not like on the 2 year anniversary, we’d be “halfway done” or “almost there” or “cured.”  It’s not like we beat some milestone, or even met a goal. His A1C sucks.

Still, I felt relief.

But I also felt some sadness and some anger and some fear and some pain….

It all just came rushing back to me. The day, the day that followed, and the days after that….

And I realized that every year, every January 3rd, I will mourn the loss of that particular life we had. I think I’m entitled to that; I think it’s to be expected.

But every January 4th, I will let out a sigh of relief.  I will celebrate the life we are living now, another year of accomplishments and dreams, of growing up and finding our way.

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!

A Sparkly Cure

Today the kids both had dentist appointments.  Since I had cancelled their early June appointments, we were more than 6 months from their last cleaning.

Which meant that Ian did not have diabetes the last time we were there.  I did not realize this until I was sitting alone in the lobby.

Finally!! See how normal diabetes has become for us?

As usual, they were running behind and we were running into lunch time so I told the hygienist to skip the fluoride today because we were going to need to eat lunch right away. (Insert puzzled look from hygienist but I still make no connection.)

30 minutes later they call me back for the exam.  The hygienist tells me that they moved MJ into the same room to sit with Ian while they waited for the dentist to do his exam “in case he didn’t feel good.”  I realized that Ian must have said that he had diabetes.   Good boy!

(Here come my zillion questions: Do you feel ok? Do you feel low? Do you feel high? Are you hungry?)

The dentist finally comes in….No cavities! (Since they never eat candy or sugary food/drinks I was not too surprised!)

On the way home I asked the kids how the whole diabetes topic came up.  Ian told me their conversation.

~~~~~~

Hygienist: So why do you have to eat lunch right away?

Ian: I have diabetes.

Hygienist: Oh, you do? That’s not in your chart. Do you take medicine?

Ian: Yeah, I get 4 shots a day.

Hygienist: You get shots????!!!!

~~~~~~~~

MJ then says, in her sarcastic middle school voice, eyes rolling, “Really? What do they think you do?  Put glitter on your forehead everyday?!”

If only a cure was that simple….

Independence

Last night I dropped Ian off at his friend’s house for a party.   Things like this are not easy for a D-mom.

It’s scary to send him somewhere I will not be.

Luckily, this boy’s dad is diabetic (Type 2) and a teacher and their older son has friends with Type 1.

They also live about a block away.

And Ian’s friends all look out for him.

I had to stick around a little while before they got to dig in to the pizza so I could give Ian his shot. The host of the party, a charming little dude, says, “Guys we gotta let Ian do his thing and then we can go eat in the basement.”

After a brief review of emergency procedures, I left feeling pretty good. (He has been over there several times so this was just a review.) Ian seemed comfortable. His parents were comfortable and I knew I wouldn’t be far away.

The parents took the boys to play basketball at a church after dinner and his mom texted me to let me know all was well.

The original plan was to go back at 9:15 and bring him home for the night.  Some of the boys were staying over, but we are still working on that. 😉

When MJ and I stopped over at 9:15 (after some dinner and shoe shopping) and the boys were playing tag and having a blast.

And Ian reeeeeealllly wanted to stay and watch a movie with them, after they had a fire.

Since it was only a block away, and since he was having  a stellar blood sugar day, and since he was so nice when he asked…I told him he could stay til 11 when the mom was “pretty sure the boys would be zonked out.” (Haha!!)

So I gave Ian his Lantus, chatted for a few minutes and then asked him what he thought he would eat for his bedtime snack.

He cut me off…”Mom, I got this. I will eat like 15 carbs here and then have some milk when I get home at 11:00. I know what to do.  I’m good. I promise.”

And when I picked him up at 11:00, he was ready to go. He was sweaty and stinky and tired and happy.

All a boy could want.