A lot of times with life it's not the big events or the times in your life that get the most attention that have the most significance. A lot of times it's the seemingly insignificant things, a touch on the cheek, an email from a long lost friend, or sometimes it's the harsh words of someone that seem to make a difference and somehow shape our lives.
The big things get the most attention but a lot of times it's the little things that really add up and shape us into the person we become.
Diabetes is like that too. People hear that my son has had diabetes since he was 3 and the first thing they think of is the "big" things like all the shots he's had to take, being hooked to a pump 24/7, or sticking his finger several times a day.
In the grand scheme of things the things that people deem as a big deal aren't really that big of a deal at all. It's not the site changes and finger pokes that get to me. It's the little things.
It's the little things like the two cuts on the back of Riley's leg. He got them from a brier in the woods. He and Holden are building a fort and while Holden was carrying him out of the woods he snagged his leg on a brier.
What's the big deal about a couple of cuts? Well, since Riley has diabetes he's much more likely for those cuts to get infected. It will take longer for those cuts to heal. If those cuts do get infected it will affect his sugars which in turn will make the healing process even longer.
And did I mention why Riley was being carried out of the woods by his brother? They were having a wonderful time building a fort when all of a sudden Riley said he felt low. Being that they are kids they didn't take his machine with them or a box of juice. They weren't very far in the woods, but Riley felt so bad that Holden carried him out of the woods.
His sugar was 49. A random event maybe. No. The day before Riley and Holden were out working on the fort. I called and told them to come home. (The fort is behind my mom's house.) When they got home I checked Riley and his sugar was 45. It seems fort building takes a lot out of him.
So from now on they have been instructed to take his machine and a juice box when they work on the fort. My five year old should be able to build a fort or play outside without a sugar machine and juice box at this side.
It's the (seemingly) little things.
My wedding anniversary is coming up on Tuesday. Michael and I will be going away this weekend. We have not gone off anywhere without Riley since he was diagnosed. I've always been too afraid of what could happen. What if he gets sick? What if he has a bad site? It's the what ifs that have kept me home.
I finally decided that it's time to let go a little. We will be going to Virginia Beach. That's not really all that far from where we live. But, it's not right down the road either. I should be able to go away with my husband without a fear of something bad happening to my child.
It's not just a fear. There is also guilt involved. Riley will be staying with my mom. My mom keeps Riley while I'm working so she knows what to do. But, I know how tedious the day in and day out care can be. She normally has him for a few hours. She will have him for almost 2 whole days. She will have to get up a few times during the night to check sugars. I feel guilty that I'm putting the care on her.
Not only that, but I feel guilty because I can't wait to get away. I need to get away. But, Riley can't get away from it. Ever.
It's the (seemingly) little things.
It's things like the fact that my son cannot tie his shoes. We haven't taught him how to do that yet. But, he can add carbs. He can look at a nutrition label and tell you how many carbs are in what he is eating.
It's things like when he visited me at work yesterday. He was at my office for about an hour. During that hour he found a piece of candy on my desk that he wanted but knew he couldn't have. He asked to have a sip of my drink. But he couldn't because it was regular soda (I don't normally drink soda, but it was given to me for free and I needed the caffeine.)
He picked up a large candy jar we have at work and toted it over to a co-workers desk. Then he proceeded to tell her that he could only have something like that if he was low. Then he turned the jar over and told her how many carbs were in the candy.
Next he asked what he was having for lunch at school the next day. When I told him he was having chicken tenders (which also come with mac and cheese and a dessert) he said, "Oh, that means I'll be drinking water with it because that meal has too many carbs in it for me to drink milk with it."
I should be glad that he knows the information. But, instead I'm sad that he needs to know that information. His brain should not be filled with carbs and insulin doses. It should be filled with Star Wars and soccer. It should be filled with what he and his brother will do at the fort tomorrow. Not how he will manage to carry his toys out there along with his juice box and machine.
It's the (seemingly) little things that pop up in day to day living that really takes it's toll. It's the (seemingly) little things that cut just a little at a time, but eventually they add up and leave a huge gash.
I know that gash will heal. But, I also know that gash will leave a scar. I know that those same things are affecting my child. Maybe not so much now, but more in the future.
It's the (seemingly) little things that mark us.