I don’t remember…revisited

Here is another of my more popular posts. It came about after a conversation about my son’s diabetes diagnosis….

Today was that day we all dread…the diabetes clinic day.  It started badly. We circled the hospital parking lot forever waiting and waiting for a spot to become vacant. My son rode shotgun and called out “Over there! There’s a truck…too late.  Follow that little old lady, she’s…nope someone got there first.” This was our morning for close to 45 minutes. We were late for our appointment.

I was only mildly concerned because, like all good doctor’s offices, I knew that this one would also be running behind.  I was right. The time spent looking for a parking spot was the time we otherwise would have spent sitting in the waiting room.

Relatively quickly, we were ushered into a room and waited for our numerous visitors.  The first person to come in and chat wanted to know how things were going at school.  Did we have any issues? Did we need her to call the school? No, we were doing alright there. The issues I had at school were not anything that would be fixed by a phone call. I needed my son to be a little more visible with his diabetes and be less self-conscious about testing. No one could fix that but us.

I was surprised to see my son’s doctor arrive next.  I have been lucky to have had great doctors for my son since his diagnosis. She asked him how he was doing, asked about any illnesses and then turned to me for basal rates.  She looked at his age and asked him how long he had had diabetes for.  My son was stuck.

He looked back at her with a blank expression. I could tell that he was thinking, “What do you mean? I have always had diabetes. I can’t remember when I was diagnosed. I can’t remember my life before.” Instead he just said “I don’t know.”

I piped up and said that it would be twelve years on Saturday.  She smiled and said that Mom never forgets.  How right she was. 

Ironically, on our drive to the hospital that morning, the conversation of my son’s diagnosis came up.  He asked a few questions and I told him that he had escaped Death’s grasp those many years ago.  He was rather silent and then said, “I am glad that I don’t remember any of that.” 

I smiled. I wish he remembered life before needles and testing. I wished he remembered a time when it hurt to lance his fingers–he told the nurse today that he no longer feels these things.  I hope for a tomorrow when he can look back and say “I used to have diabetes.”  For now, I just remember how far we have come and continue to grateful every day that my small little boy didn’t answer the door when Death came knocking almost twelve years ago.

Two..its not so terrible anymore

For years I couldn’t look at two year olds for more than a few minutes. My heart would break when I realized how truly small they were. I would look at the tiny fingers with no marks on them and want to cry. 

I have had to get over this. Yes, my son was that small once. Yes, what he had to endure was not what a two year old should experience but he is alive and healthy today.  He still goes through things that a teen shouldn’t have to think about either but that is our life and we have to live it. 

I have a precious little two year old girl in my life.  I am able to look at her tiny fingers and simply see the amazing things that she creates with them and how she uses them to pull her mother’s face close as she kisses her.  Every once in a while, I still slip back. 

Yesterday she came for a visit.  We nursed her dolls back to health, caught up on Dora, played with play dough and colored a few pictures.  All of that work required a snack! She sat down to the table and chose what she wanted to eat.  She ate the amount that she wanted and was blissfully happy.

For just a moment, I looked at her cute little face and realized that she was the exact same age now as my son was when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I didn’t have to count her crackers. I didn’t have to measure out her milk.  She would not be forced to eat when she wasn’t hungry.  She would not have to learn about “cow-bo-hi-dwates” until she was an adult and only then if she chose.

The thoughts of diabetes faded quickly however as she showed me her mouth filled with food and laughed at my feigned disgust.  Its a game we have been playing for months–I “see” the food all mushed in her mouth, she swallows and then tells me that she sent it to her tummy and shows me that.

Diabetes no longer robs me of these moments but it still lurks in the background taking me back and making me grateful for healthy pancreases in those I love and more.