They are stalking me

Its been a week but I think I am done the bulk of the unpacking and junking.  Trying to keep an office in order, make that two offices, and find space for everything in a home that already has everything has been a challenge but we are winning.

Today I finally found my way to Liam’s bed.  The room is not as complete as I would like.  There are many added touches to be made over the summer that will make it his.  All of the supplies have found a new home…and my heavens he does have a lot of supplies! I found all sorts of meter cases and lancets (although not all had meters to go with them).

The most amazing thing for me to unpack was his old toys.  My son has reached an age where he is no longer as into his Lego, Connects or other “kids’ stuff”.  He likes his video games, quad and a variety of other more mature “teen” things now.  He decided to bring his kids toys with him so that he could sell them.  We had a huge tote of Lego and another filled with Connects.  Yesterday I began going through things and putting the toys in bags to sell in a garage sale at a later date.  As I grabbed handfuls of Lego I found handfuls of test strips.  I had already cleaned out this box! How did they get back there? I grabbed another handful…this time it was a dead insulin cartridge. Later it was a carb count listing from a school lunch! You can see you my afternoon progressed. 
I persevered and left a pile off to the side of garbage and wayward items.  Imagine my shock however when in that wayward pile was a Medic Alert bracelet belonging to my son who happens to be about 900km away?? I hope he is wearing something but I guess it will soon be time to break down and by him a good necklace to wear before school…or more travel.
The joys of teen boys!

And the unpacking continues

The unpacking continues but at least I have now found many of the missing items. The insulin was of course in that box that I kept walking by but was sure it was too big to hold anything like insulin and the other perishables I was missing.  The jewelry that had been carefully put in a safe spot so I would be able to easily fill any orders that came in as I was unpacking was also found in the safe spot after days of searching boxes and remaking many items.

Thank you Bernard for reminding me how stressful a move can be! I have not made a move of this distance in a very long time…over sixteen years to be exact.  I have not made such a huge move with children.  I have never made such a huge move with a child with a chronic illness before. 

My son is currently spending some time with his father so I have time to unpack his stuff and try to get things in place for him when he comes home.  I had ideally planned to have his room just perfect when he arrived. It would have the skidoo theme that he talked about. The walls would have a few decals on them.  The curtains would show the Arctic Cat logo.  His bed would be black and green.  As the days go by and I am still struggling to merge two homes, I will now be happy if he comes home and can safely navigate his way to his bed!

Today I finally tackled emptying some of his boxes and putting away a few things.  His idea of packing and mine were very different so unpacking his stuff…well its a challenge but I am winning–I hope!  We had decided that all diabetes supplies would now be kept in his room. Over the years they have been kept in the kitchen, in my room, in the hall, and now I had decided to fill up one of the drawers in his dresser. Another great theory that is not exactly working in practice!

I brought up the cart that had held his diabetes supplies up from the basement (its the current holding place for all of our stuff both to stay and to be donated).  As I was wheeling the cart down the hall to his room, I was struck by how similar I was to a hospital orderly wheeling a cart down the hall on any patient ward. That saddened me.  I opened up the drawer that I had planned to fill and found that infusion sets and cartridges were already taking up all of the available space.  There was only one choice. I had to put the cart in his closet.  We were still going to have this physical reminder of diabetes lurking in his closet.  I wanted to cry.  I know its silly. I know its just me.  I should be used to all of this by now. I should be thankful.  I know of far too many families with multiple members who have diabetes.  Their supply closets must be huge and I am sure it doesn’t reduce them to tears.

Adjusting, settling, and finding places for everything is difficult. Many things need to be let go of to make room for new things.  Sadly we could not let go of diabetes. I wanted it to take a vacation but it is still here with us. Its reminder hides in the closet but its still here.

Obsessed…is it a bad thing?

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “obsess” as to excessively preoccupy the mind. People have said that I obsess over my son’s diabetes. I have jokingly gone along with it on occasion. I have also been shocked at times to realize how much it is a part of my day and my life.

A couple of times recently, I have had the opportunity to go to lunch with my oldest son while my child with diabetes is involved in other things.  As we sit at a table, I want to ask him to test.  After his meal arrives, I automatically figure out the carbs and then have to stop myself from telling him how much to bolus. Maybe that is a little “obsessed” or perhaps its just habit.  

For over ten years he has been with me most of the time. During most meals, I have had to remind him to wash his hands and to test his blood glucose level.  Even when he has not been with me, I have had the carbohydrates calculated in almost all of his meals done for him ahead of time. I don’t think that wanting to ask someone else to test or calculating carbs is an obsession then. I think its just our way of life. 

Its not just meals that make me think about diabetes related stuff either.  I have been packing and unpacking as we adjust to a new home, new city and new way of life.  Things have been more than just a little stressful as the school year end was happening at the same time. I have been organizing diabetes walks, packing clothes, throwing out items stored for years, filling prescriptions, changing doctors and preparing myself and my son for his two week visit with his father. 

When all of the boxes were packed, the house was cleared, we had made our nine hour drive to our new home.  I had wonderful help in terms of my family to get things boxed up and shipped on. There was nothing left behind that was not meant to be.  Every piece of toilet paper was picked up. I was exhausted when we pulled away from our old house but I was confident that we had everything that we needed and that my son had all that he would need for his two weeks with is father.

Being exhausted and emotionally drained before a nine hour drive can only make your mind worse at the end of said drive. When we arrived here, my son and I grabbed the coolers and began to put things in the fridge and deep freeze.  Where was the insulin? I had about six vials of insulin.  Where was it? I took it out of the fridge. I put it on the counter. There was nothing left on the counter.  I had to have it.  What did I do with it? It was driving me crazy.  How could I have misplaced something so incredibly important?

For those who don’t understand the reaction is obvious…why are you obsessing? The child is not even here and won’t be for two weeks! He has his insulin and you do not need any.  You can buy more when you need it.  What is your problem? Why can’t you let this go? Why is it so important to you now when you should be thinking about sleep?

Those questions did run through my head.  I have to have our prescriptions moved over before he gets home.  There is some insulin here even if I don’t get it done in the next two weeks exactly.  Am I obsessed? The short answer to me at that time was YES! How can I not be? I have lived this life for the past ten and a half years.  I have seen how vital insulin is.  Yes, it may be about my child’s life but this is my life as well. Whether he is here or not, diabetes has become something that I live and breathe.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Some may say its a bad thing and that I need to loosen up.  I think that it is okay.  I have seen too many deaths from this disease. How can anyway say that being concerned, being on top of things and worrying about your child’s complete health is a bad thing? Oh and for the record…I still have about 50 boxes to go through (or so it feels like) and I still have no clue as to where the extra insulin is…or my cheese for that matter!