Good Grief, It Is Thanksgiving

I’ve taken some time off from writing and posting so I can focus on my family. I’m trying not to feel guilty about the fact that my time off has coincided with November, Diabetes Awareness Month, and the feeling that I need to be posting MORE right now. But wow, I am DRAINED. The Pike Road Lions Club Strides Walk was a great event and I am excited to help again next year. I have a post coming with pictures of the event and a big thank you to all who made it a success.

Mr. Mister tends to the smoker as he cooks our Thanksgiving turkey.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Mr. Mister’s family. I am in in a reflective mood tonight. I’m thinking about how wonderful it is to be together, to share a meal, and to share each others triumphs and difficulties. A priest of ours used to say, “A joy shared is doubled. A sorrow shared is halved.” There are many things for which I am thankful, and I am glad to share with my family my joy about how our children are growing and learning. I am grateful we were able to visit with family and celebrate their successes. I am thankful we were able to message with family farther away and wish each other well. I am daily grateful for the insulin and supplies that keep Grasshopper alive. Joy is easy to share. It bounces ahead like an eager puppy. But sorrow? Sorrow wants to stay alone and not dim anyone else’s joy. To paraphrase Oscar from The Odd Couple and George from Seinfeld, most often I want to stuff my sorrows in a sack. Unfortunately that leads to a whole attic full of soggy, sacked sorrows in my already overloaded brain.

Type 1 diabetes doesn’t take holidays. Insulin infusion sites have to be changed every three days.

I know there are other parents out there like me who ARE grateful, ARE thankful for their children’s lives but who are also constantly wary of the next thing. With type 1 diabetes, I am always on alert. Low blood sugar, high blood sugar, dosing him with insulin for snack, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and more snacks because (thank goodness) he is growing like kudzu. The balancing act doesn’t end with the physical side of type 1 diabetes. Every day I see posts by parents of children with type 1 diabetes worried about their insurance covering the necessary insulin and supplies. Parents whose child has only recently been diagnosed and who are trying to figure out how to apply in real time what they were taught in the hospital to keep their child alive another day. Parents whose grown children died because they couldn’t afford the insulin they needed to survive. Parents who are worried both about their children’s future and who are not sure how they will get through the next five minutes with a sick type 1 child whose blood sugar is dropping and who doesn’t want to eat. Who are struggling with depression, anxiety and who are trying to not let their children see their fear. Parents who are both grateful their child is alive today and who are also emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted.

Even though the clouds are grey and the Chinook reminds me of my late father, I am grateful I can see this scene and that I have a father to remember.

So I’m saying: it is ok to be thankful and at the same time to grieve what has been lost. It is ok to be thankful for having a wonderful father and at the same time grieve that he isn’t here to play with his grandchildren. It is ok to be thankful that your child is here and also grieve the childhood you wish he had. It is ok to grieve a diagnosis that has changed your family’s life. It is ok to grieve the end of a relationship and all the changes that come with moving to a new city. It is ok to grieve retirement. In this season when others are often sharing their family’s joys, know that if you aren’t feeling like you are constantly, fully in the spirit of the season, it is ok.

Grief it is an acknowledgement that you have lost something or someone close to you, dear to you. Acknowledge what you feel, even when it is a complex, jumbled up mess of emotions.

I am grateful that I can take on this life with my husband. And I am thankful that my sister-in-law let me use her adorable dog as a background!

Grief is not tidy. It has its own timeline. It can make you feel as if you are going crazy, as if you might drown in emotion and never stop crying. A quick snippet of a song, a particular smell, going down a certain street can bring a flood of painful thoughts and memories. Sometimes grief bypasses sorrow and flashes into anger instead. It can be a confusing, agonizing, painful experience. It isn’t something you feel for a while and then get over. But as much as it may be tempting to shove it aside, try not to. It is ok to feel it and name it, however often it pops up.

It is also ok to look into the eyes of the people around you, and acknowledge that they have their own pain. They might not understand the depth of your pain, and you might not understand the breadth of theirs. But it is there. Scoot over, make room, and invite them to share their joys and the sorrows. Really listen to them. Find someone who will listen to yours. It is ok to laugh through your tears, ask for help, and to be the one offering help. You are not alone.

If your grief or other emotions are causing you to alter your daily life, please talk with your doctor, a licensed therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

20 Minute Poop Storm

In the space of about 20 minutes on Tuesday evening, the following happened:

  • I dosed Grasshopper for a 40 gram weight piece of cinnamon roll for dessert. That is a sliver of a roll, not a whole one. It was a 20 gram carb treat. I sent him to put on his pjs so the insulin could have a little time to work.
  • He walked out a few minutes later holding his insulin infusion site… that was supposed to be attached to his body. I tried to hide my instant anxiety. When did it come off? Did it come off before his 24 gram carb dinner? Did he get any insulin for dinner? Did it come off after dinner but before I dosed for the cinnamon roll slice? Did he get any insulin for that??? Continue reading →

Bus Goals

Grasshopper asked me again if he could ride the bus when he starts first grade. He was prepared with reasons and explanations how it would benefit ME.

Cue all the smiles, and all the heartache. I’m surprised he didn’t have charts and graphs ready. He proposed I walk him to the bus in the morning, and then I could get things done around the house while Sunshine played. She solemnly nodded. And then in the afternoon I could start making dinner while he rode back on the bus. Or while Daddy made dinner. And Sunshine could play. More nodding from her. Grasshopper is working this angle HARD. Le sigh.

Continue reading →

Blurry Chick-Fil-A Carbs

by Erin

UPDATE: I went back and found out that Chyna Patterson was the employee who helped me at the Chick-Fil-A in Eastchase, Montgomery, Alabama. I gave her a big hug and spoke to her manager and district manager to let her know what a wonderful person they have working there.

This is a BIG THANK YOU to the wonderful Chick-Fil-A employee who helped me today. Six year old Grasshopper and I had our eyes dilated for an annual eye exam. Continue reading →

Podcrastinate

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by Alese

Sunday was not as much of a fun day as promised. I have been using expired Dexcom sensors because you know I’m cheap. It turns out they expire for reason. My numbers last night were 150 points higher than my readings.

So this morning I feel like I slept on a bar room floor. Continue reading →

Lucky Fin

by Erin

Fear is a terrible thing. It blocks, prevents, withholds. Strangely, it simultaneously drains my energy. For too long I have let my fear take charge.

When Grasshopper was born I had great plans of getting him into swimming lessons very early. Continue reading →

End of the School Year Burn Out: Lunch

by Erin

I’m staring into the pantry with a deer in the headlights look. Wide eyed, slack jawed… it can’t be THIS hard to come up with two snacks and a lunch for my kindergartner. Continue reading →