I like to share the positives. The triumphs. The laughs. I like the sunshine and light.
Those things are easy to tell. Easy to share and pass along.
It is important, however, to also share our struggles. That is when I hear from others, “I am so glad to know I am not alone.”
It wouldn’t be fair of me to tell you that managing type 1 diabetes is easy. That’s just not true. And we have been incredibly blessed. Even with the technology we have, the access to insulin, insurance, a great medical team, understanding school officials, wonderful teachers, an amazing school nurse and a kind, caring, attentive aide. Even with easy, clear communication between all parties.
This. Is. Hard.
There are countless people dealing with T1D with out consistent access to affordable insulin. Who are fighting insurance, schools, and sometimes even family members who make T1D care more difficult than it already is. There are many people out there without a support network in person or even online like T1D Mod Squad, and Beyond Type 1. Let me tell you, trying to do this stuff alone makes it 10,000 times harder.
Not all days are hard. But there is, even on the easier days, a LOT of work that goes into being a substitute pancreas for a little body.
I count the positives. I do. And I celebrate them. But one of the reasons I celebrate them so much is because I know the negatives. Glossing over the pain, the lack of sleep for Grasshopper and us, the mental stress, the worry when he asks us to check on him at night… not talking about that would be to dismiss a huge part of what it is to deal with T1D day in and day out. To be clear, that’s my 6 year old worried about his blood sugar at night. Let that sink in for a bit. That’s a dark mental corner right there. My first grader is asking me to be sure he will make it through the night.
I greet the light with more enthusiasm for having been in the dark.
We have had some fast, scary lows lately. As I write this, while walking on the treadmill because MAMA NEEDS ENDORPHINS, I am also texting with Grasshopper’s team at school. We’ve been dealing with a persistent low all morning. He is eating his snack now. He has a cup of Greek yogurt with 11g carbs and two chocolate Maria cookies at 8g carbs. I’m flipping back and forth from WordPress to his Dexcom graph, willing it to go up. Who needs tv drama when I have Dexcom theater?
Because of my fear, worry, and stress, I try to seek out the bright bits in the dark. Like giggling about telling my 6 year old son to eat his cookies first! Ok, maybe it’s not laugh out loud HA-HA funny, but it tickles me and keeps me going towards the next issue we’ll face.
I know YOU, reading this right now are dealing with your own issues, struggles, worries and fears. They may be quite different than the ones my family faces, or they may be similar. Whatever they are, please know that you can share them, you don’t have to minimize it, and you definitely are not alone.
P.S. Thank goodness his blood sugar is finally coming up!