My first question to my son each morning when he reaches the breakfast table is “What was your reading this morning?” There are a number of reasons for this greeting. First is the fact that he has been known to get up, eat his breakfast and forget to test. Another reason is that he also will forget to prebolus when he is high before breakfast or correct for a reading that is high but he thinks is okay.
This morning he hadn’t tested when he woke. I said it should be done before he leaves his bed each morning. He said he was too tired. He had been up for over an hour last night because of a high.
Whoa! What? How did I miss this? Was this before I tested him? Was it when he first went to bed? Did he need to do a new site? What was going on? Instead of peppering him with all of those questions, I first asked “What time were you so high? and what is high? I had tested and corrected a 20 (360) at 2:30am maybe we need to do something.”
He explained that he was up at 4:30 and his bg level was up to 25 (450). He had air in his cartridge that was creating all of the havoc. He was pretty sure he had fixed the issue but it took him an hour (so he claims) and he was not a happy camper this morning. He proceeded to correct the 14 (255) that he was down to and bolus for his breakfast.
I watched him both proud and sad. He had woken up (at least he wakes for highs if nothing else). He had taken charge of his care at a time when we all want to sleep instead of engage our mind. He had not come and woke me up. He dealt with this on his own as he had been taught.
He is not yet 15. He should not have to be getting up at 4:30am to fight with air getting into his body. He should not have to feel the ramifications of a high blood glucose level. He should not know what any of this means and how dangerous it can be.
But he did. But he does. This is his life. This is his disease. This is part of growing up as a child with diabetes…and I still hate it.
Fourteen. FOURTEEN. Where did the time go? Fourteen years ago I was wondering when my child would arrive. He was taking his time…a forecast of a personality yet to emerge. Things were done on his own time and birthing was no different. Like his personality however, when he decided it was time, it was done. No dilly dallying for him. The evening of September 5, 1997 he arrived to greet the world and change our lives forever.
As I said, he has lived the past 14 years on his time. He learns at his pace and when he decides to implement something, it happens. When he decided to test, it was done…okay Mom got him to do it by saying she was really busy and could he please help by testing but he continued on his own after that.
When it was time to do his own infusion site changes, he waited until the last moment and then has never looked back. When it came time to taking charge of his own care…well he still stumbles but he still continues to make major leaps when I am at the end of my rope.
Today my baby boy turns fourteen. He is becoming a young man. He will soon be taller than both of his parents and is giving his older brother a run for his money in the height department as well. His voice is changing. His body has developed. Girls quietly catch his eye more than they once did. Puberty has given us a run for our money where diabetes is concerned but we have managed so far with minimal bruising.
I don’t know where the time has gone. We have come so far…he has come so far. He is a wonderful young man. I have been blessed with terrific sons. Today we will celebrate with gifts, and CAKE!! Gone are the days of angel food cake and whipped cream. He has lived more birthdays with diabetes than without (12 to 2). Diabetes has never defined him. To him its a burden that he quietly bears but rarely allows it to get in the way of living his life.
We will have a black forest cake with all of that chocolate, cherries and cream as per his request. The carb counts will be off but we will celebrate another year of living! Diabetes will take a back seat. I will quietly look back on how much my baby has grown. I will remember how much his body has been through and be amazed at how well we have done. I swore to hand him a healthy body when he came of age and so far I am doing my darnedest to do just that.
Happy birthday 14 year old!!!
The other day I was on Facebook, no that is not the “wow” factor”. Anyways, I was on Facebook and noticed that someone had posted a request to know if people were planning a special green meal for St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. Again, no big deal normally about people celebrating St. Patty’s Day. Its not a day that I celebrate but it is a date that sticks in my head.
The 17th of March is a day that I think about every day. Its a day that I obsess about each year. Its the day that my world changed completely. Its a day that I found my focus and entered a world that I knew nothing about. Its the day that changed the life of my entire family forever.
So you get the idea that I am a little obsessed by this day. This year the day was especially important because it will be 10 years since diabetes came into our lives. Ten years ago on that date I did not know if my child would live or die. Ten years ago on that date I would spend a lot of my time praying and willing my son to live. After March 17th, ten years ago, I would began a journey to learn everything I could about Type 1 diabetes.
Imagine then how shocked I was when I realized with that post, that I had NOT thought about that date. I was not waiting for it to happen. I was not planning my memoirs for that day or any other event to mark it. I was instead focused on a date later in the month. I was obsessed with my other son turning 16. How could that be happening?? I am way too young to have a 16 year old child! How did that little baby grow up so quickly? How could my little boy be old enough to drive in March of 2010? I was obsessed with having a child old enough to be legally allowed to drive. How would I handle my “child” driving my vehicle? I am too young to have a child driving. I must have been like 12 when he was born!
I was actually very happy to realize that the theme that I had created for the month of March, I was beginning to live. I had decided that the first 10 years with diabetes were about survival, learning to cope and staying healthy. The next 10 years and then some would be spent celebrating. My son is alive. He is healthy and diabetes is part of our lives. It is a huge part of mine as I help others with the disease. It is just an annoying but necessary part of his. It is no longer the sole focus of our lives however. There were other bigger milestones that eclipsed diabetes and that truly was a huge and wonderful WOW! in my life.