Little Fingers

We recently enjoyed the company of a lovely twenty-three month old little girl for a day.  It was a big change for us because other than her, we have no real dealings with small children and haven’t for years.  I see my nephews only once every couple of years and any other children we are around tend to be a lot older.

We learned about Special Agent Oso and Thomas the Train.  She had fun coloring and playing in strange places and I got reacquainted with the art of changing diapers. As lunch time approached, she plopped herself down at the spot where my son had laid out his lunch fixings. He had bread and jam, which she was interested in having herself.  He also had his meter and lancet.  I watched as she looked them both over. I was nervous that she would accidentally lance herself but she just continued to investigate. 

As I watched her, I realized that she is the exact same age that a friend’s daughter was when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I remembered that my own child was only a few months older than her when he was diagnosed. I saw those little fingers that wrapped around mine to take me to her next place of discovery and was immediately sent tumbling down the rabbit hole. I remembered that when my son’s fingers were that small I used to have to cover them with blood before he ate. I remembered how he never flinched when I injected him but would refuse to eat anything that was put in front of him. I remembered my tears of frustration and his cheeks bulging with the food that he put in his mouth but would not swallow.  I prayed that she would remain the healthy little girl she currently was and would never experience any pain or disease.

She was soon off again, searching for my son and wondering what her grandfather was doing.  She played with the dogs and eventually sat down to watch TV before having a nap.  I was ready to nap with her but shook it off and made some blueberry muffins instead. 

After a short nap, she was recharged, refreshed and ready to go again.  She found a new place to play under the kitchen table and amused herself for quite awhile.  After some serious playing she had worked up and appetite and looked at my fresh muffins with hunger in her eyes.  I gave her a bit and my son had the rest.  I told him the carb count and automatically calculated the carbs in the piece of muffin and small yogurt that our tiny guest had.  I smiled when I realized how automatic this was and again, I said a small prayer hoping that she would never have to worry about the carb count before eating any of her meals.

For years, I could not look at small children. I would see them toddling off to preschool and entering their kindergarten classroom and the memories would come flooding back. They were so small.  My boys were that age once.  When my youngest was that age he had to bring a meter, spare juice and a needle.  His mother went everywhere with him.  I watched for stumbles that were not from untied laces but from blood glucose that was dropping without warning. There were bumps, bruises and cuts from missteps when low but we had made it to the teen years.

Now he is a tall young man who will soon be looking down on me.  He lives in the fridge and has friends all over town. He spends days away from Mom’s prying eyes.  He boluses and tests on his own.  His hands are calloused from testing and his fingers are no longer covered in blood when he tests.

No one should have to live with this disease but despite it all we are…we are living our life and enjoying each day.

Back from Vacation

Each year we take off for a bit of time away. This year was no different. My oldest was dying to see AC/DC live in concert so we all headed off to enjoy their outdoor concert. It was definitely an experience as you can read in our earlier blog post. My boys loved it and that made the hours of standing very worthwhile…even for those of us with aging bodies!

This trip was different in so very many ways. One of the biggest for me was the fact that Liam has become so self-sufficient in his care. When he is at his grandmother’s house, she always makes him look after his own carb counting, etc. She will remind him to test and such but he is in charge. This is because he can–and he is not keen on her nervous attempts at testing or site changes. With Liam on his own and taking charge, mom is able to take a bit of a diabetes break. There were no worries when I went anywhere without him. There were no concerns when he went off for a day with his grandfather. Diabetes was there. Highs were there and even a few lows but we took it all in stride. What a nice change!

Another difference in this trip was FINALLY getting to meet a family that I have been corresponding with and have helped on a few issues for years. I am in their area at least once or twice a year but we have never managed to get together. This time was different. This time we planned ahead and made sure we would connect! Sure enough, the first free evening we both had it was arranged that we all meet for coffee. It was fabulous!

I love meeting my extended diabetes family in the flesh. It is always so comfortable and amazing. This meeting was no different. The three of us sat and talked until our bottoms and our backs could take no more! We talked about diabetes care. We spoke of transitions. We spoke of everything you could imagine and then some. They complimented me on what I have done but they really inspired me as well. As we chatted about this and that, they kept saying that I should write a book. I laughed, and when I sit and talk to people I can go on so who knows! I do have a book written. It needs a lot of work. I have no clue as to how I would go about getting it published or even having someone interested. As I said, it needs a lot of work and I am sure some professional guidance. Their encouragement has made me think however. Perhaps this winter will see me bring it back out of my archives and see what can be done. Taking my blog to the printed page….who knows!