Today is World Diabetes Day, and it’s National Diabetes Month, and I wonder what that means for us personally. When I went to the grocery store today there was a sign on at the register that you could donate money to the JDRF with your order. It’s everywhere right now. Bu it’s not like I ever forget though that I have a child with diabetes.
I remembered yesterday when I jabbed my finger with his needle after giving him a shot in the arm and then instinctively putting my finger in my mouth and finding out the hard way that insulin does not taste good.
I remembered a few weeks ago when True broke his collar bone and suddenly could not give himself his injections without help as his arm was in a sling to allow the collar bone to heal correctly.
I remember every night when Todd’s phone alarm goes off to remind us to give him his Lantus (long-acting insulin) since one night we both got busy and forgot and it was unfortunately the night before going to an endocrinology appointment and we both felt like stupid parents.
I remember every day when he comes home from school and the first thing I do is ask him about his day, and the second thing I do is remind him to check his blood sugar.
I remember every time my cell phone rings, worried that it’s about True, that something is wrong with True.
I remember every day when I sit down at my computer and read my Google news feed for type one diabetes and I read about the newest form of insulin or a pancreas transplant or about the man who died of ketoacidosis because his insulin pump malfunctioned.
I remember every single time I leave the house with True as we must pack along a glucose monitor, his insulin pen, some 15 carb snacks to treat low blood sugars and his glucagon shot for an emergency low blood sugar situation.
I remember at every birthday party we go to because we have to try to guess how many carbs are in the slice of cake that True is about to eat and hoping we guess pretty close so we can give him the accurate amount of insulin.
I remember at every single meal because every single meal includes blood sugar testing and a shot of insulin. Every single time.
Basically, I never forget that True has diabetes. It is such an active part of our everyday life. And I wish I could say I’m not still worrying about it, but I am. I wonder when I’ll stop, or if I’ll stop. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me about how well their diabetic children or friends or relatives are doing. There is always someone there to tell me how their friend or relative died or faced amputations or blindness and then I read about the death rates and it just scares me. I think it will always scare me. I figure I’m in control of his diabetes care until he is at least 18. For now I will manage it the best I can and feed him the best I can and then he will go off to college and I can only hope that he will take good care of himself.
For now, I still worry on a day to day basis. If he comes home and his blood sugar is low (as happens quite often) I wonder why. If his blood sugar is low in the evening, Todd will often get up in the middle of the night to check it again to make sure he is okay.
It’s been exactly two months now since diagnosis and I guess you could say we have sort of normalized diabetes care in our life, but I wonder how normal it is to have to cut your skin and inject yourself at least 5 times a day? True doesn’t complain. We thought Halloween might be an issue but he managed the candy well, having just one after school and having the rest with meals so that he was covered insulin-wise. And on occasion he’d take an extra shot to have candy. We had no problems with blood sugars and the candy season. It all went well. He doesn’t seem to mind other than occasionally voicing that “diabetes sucks!” and as always, I just agree with him and we move on.
As we approach Thanksgiving I am both thankful for his health, and resentful that he has to put up with this. I’m also wondering how the hell we will guess at the carbs for a Thanksgiving dinner. Anyone know how many carbs are in pumpkin pie?! I’ll know by next Thursday! Everything is complicated now. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is no longer just a pb&j, it’s a carefully measured and balanced food item that I know the exact carbohydrate content of. I have a food scale that measures everything. True requested chips for a treat today and since I was at the store I bought some and I had to weigh out those chips to make sure he didn’t go over his allotted “free” 15 grams of carbs snack. It’s always somewhat complicated. I can’t ever just throw dinner on the table anymore. There is always carb counting and insulin calculating to do.
So it may be World Diabetes Day – but for us, every day is Diabetes Day.