This Is Diabetes.

It’s three in the morning and Adele’s voice is lulling me awake from my clock radio.

I groggily shut off the alarm and rub my eyes.

Two more minutes…I’ll get out of bed in two more minutes.

The next time I open my eyes, forty minutes has passed. Panic washes over me as I get out of bed and grab my son’s kit off of my nightstand.

I squint under the hallway light as I fumble for a lancet and a test strip.

I stumble into my son’s room and prick his finger with the tiny needle while he stays fast asleep. I hold my breath as the meter calculates his blood sugar. I want the number to be over ten so that I can go back to sleep.

It flashes 3.1.

Fuck.

I wake my son and inform him that he needs a “Midnight Buffet”. He angrily gets out of bed and follows me downstairs. He chugs a juice box in a daze while I try to stay awake beside him on the couch.

After fifteen minutes, I test him again.

The meter flashes 4.2.

It’s buffet time.

Still groggy, my son manages to eat a granola bar and some apple sauce. I figure that should hold him until his six-thirty breakfast and morning shot of insulin, but with Type 1 Diabetes, you really never know.

As I tuck my son back into bed and kiss his little face, I’m hit with the realization that this is diabetes.

This and so much more.

It’s the sleepless nights and the never ending worry.

It’s the panic in the pit of your stomach when your phone rings and you see that it’s the school calling.

It’s double guessing yourself as you meticulously calculate insulin doses.

It’s needing a degree in math just to make your kid a snack.

It’s knowing that there are exactly twelve grams of carbs in thirty-seven Goldfish crackers.

It’s having your son yell at you impatiently to hurry up when you have to haul him off the ice to test his blood during hockey.

It’s the mountain of paperwork involved with every new school year or extra curricular activity.

It’s the guilt that your kid has a stupid fucking incurable disease and you can’t make it go away.

It’s your husband switching careers and working the night shift so that one of us can be available in an emergency twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s people saying ridiculous things like, “but he’s not over weight”, or “I could never give my child a needle”, or “he’ll grow out of it”, or my personal favourite, “my uncle has Type 2 and he’s doing great”.

It’s wanting my son to never be left out of anything because of his disease.

Before my son got sick last November, I thought diabetes was just about drinking orange juice and avoiding sugar. I’ve learned over the last nine and a half months that it is so much more. It’s a complicated and relentless disease that never takes a day off or gives my son a break.

There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes. All donations made to the JDRF go directly to research.

If you’d like to donate or if you’d like to learn more about Type 1 diabetes, check out the JDRF Canada website at http://www.jdrf.ca.

Furthermore, if you’re curious about Type 1 Diabetes signs and symptoms in children, I’ve compiled a handy little list;

-excessive thirst

-excessive hunger

-rapid weight loss

-constant urination

– unprovoked mood swings

-always being tired

-looking pale

-dark under eye circles

-sudden stuttering or losing their train of thought

-a sudden loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

I also just want to say that if you ever feel like something is “off” with your child, trust your gut and follow your instincts.

Thanks for reading and also a huge shout out to all of our friends and family who have been so supportive. You know who you are and big love to you all!

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “This Is Diabetes.

  1. Nanci Byer says:

    Once again Tasha, you have provided a clear picture with your writing. I’m sorry Sam has Type 1 diabetes but I’m glad he has you and Paul as parents and that you have such an excellent circle of support.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So—I hope you don’t see this as crossing work boundaries, as I read your blog on personal time, it is just simply to admire your writing, your tenacity, your dedication to your family and…oh…to get the chance to tell you you are pretty. Mothers unite….first and foremost, I relate to you as a working mom, trying to keep EVERYONE happy:) and, don’t ever think I don’t respect and appreciate how hard you work on all fronts to take care of everything. Reading your blog is a humbling insight in to the added stress and fatigue!! that you endure- and I just admire you all the more!!
    You and Paul are amazing..just amazing.Pretty hair!!!!

  3. julialove says:

    This speaks to my heart in ways that I can’t even describe. My stepson has T1D as well, and with hockey, soccer, and just being a boy, I can’t even remember how many nights both me and my husband have had taking turns testing sugars, making snacks, and adjusting insulin. Carb counting is second nature now, and I carry a programmed battery operated scale in my purse for going out for dinner. The first year, my stepson played house league hockey as he was diagnosed just after tryouts, which was a three day stint in the hospital. Now thats it’s been 18 months, he is on the pump and playing AA hockey, on the ice four times a week. I know what it’s like to walk into a kids room, have him be sound asleep, and see that BG reading either low or high. Wake them up for more needles or to eat. While there are days when I watch him doing his required tests, or change his site, I feel overwhelmed. Not for me. Never for me. For this kid, who didn’t ask for this. For this kid, who will not ever be able to take a popsicle after soccer without reading a food label, or take a sample in Costco. But, it does get easier, and those overwhelming moments start spacing themselves out. Not a day doesn’t go by where I am not worried about his sugar levels, but as he grows, he takes better care of himself, has a better understanding of his diabetes, and grows more confident in himself. And that’s what makes it easier.

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