Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Keeping a Positive Attitude

I wrote in my post yesterday that I am going to chose to have a positive attitude. I have been doing that. But, on my ride into work this morning I was thinking how much easier it makes it to have a positive attitude when Riley’s sugars are doing well.

His sugars have been much better the last few days. I’ve been making basal adjustments at least weekly and have gotten his sugars reigned in for the most part. The only time he’s going high consistently is right after bedtime. I adjusted his basal a bit last night as well as his nighttime carb coverage. He’s also been going on the low side around 3 in the morning, so I’ll adjust again tonight to account for that.

I’m thinking my positive attitude comes from the good numbers. And, a good, long cry I had a few nights ago. I had felt it building up but had been trying to push it aside. Even though I know sometimes it helps to just let everything out, I hate to cry. I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness, but maybe a sign of defeat. When diabetes gets me down enough to cry, I feel like somehow it’s won.

Thursday night, I couldn’t contain it anymore. Riley started complaining of an ear ache. He was crying and holding his ear and he had a temperature. I knew he had yet another ear infection, his 3rd in 5 weeks. I gave him Tylenol for the pain and I had him lie with his ear on a heating pad. It didn’t help. He continued to scream out and hold his ear in pain. A couple of hours after the Tylenol I gave him Ibuprofen. After a while that seemed to help.

Michael and I sat in the floor with him and played several games of Sorry Sliders. Then, it was off to bed. A quick check of his sugar showed he was soaring in the 300s. I increased his basal like I do whenever he has some sort of infection and administered insulin as well as his nightly inhaler. All the while I was holding back tears. I refused to cry.

I tucked Riley into bed. As I sat on the couch thinking about having to call the doctor in the morning, I started to cry. It was soft at first. I quietly slipped out of the living room and went into the bathroom. That’s where I do most of my crying.

I sat in there and cried and prayed. I cried from deep within my soul, crying like I hadn’t done in a very long time.

I felt defeated and helpless. Riley has had so many infections and sicknesses over the past several weeks that it makes basal adjustments hard to do. You have to have a few “normal” days of sugars to adjust, but with all his sickness it was rare for him to have several normal days in a row.

In addition to defeat and helplessness I felt guilt, lots and lots of guilt. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough to fight Riley’s diabetes. I felt guilty that he ended up with diabetes in the first place. I felt guilty that it wasn’t me instead of him. I felt guilty that I hated a disease that was part of my son. I felt guilty that I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore.

My head knew that I didn’t give Riley diabetes. My head knew that I have been working very hard to care for Riley. My head knew that I would take it away from him and give it to myself if I could. My head knew that I could take care of him; I didn’t really have a choice.

But, my heart was a whole other matter. My heart didn’t care what my head thought.

I sat in the bathroom long enough that Michael eventually came to check on me. When he asked if he could come in I told him no. I needed to be alone for a while. He came back several times to see if I needed anything. He was very sweet and understanding.

I finally emerged from the bathroom. Thankfully, Riley was asleep and Holden was at work, so they didn’t have to know about any of it. I let a few more tears out before the night was over. By the time Holden got home from work I was done with the pity party and ready to move on.

Riley went to the doctor on Friday and was diagnosed with a “nasty ear infection”. He is on his third antibiotic in 5 weeks. His sugars started to come down by Sunday and I was able to get rid of his temp basal. His sugars for the last two days have been the best they’ve been in a while.

My positive attitude is still there for now. I am going to try very hard to keep a positive attitude even when things are not going well.

I hope I have a while before I have to find out how I do with that.


Amy said...

I so agree with you that it's easier to have a positive attitude when the numbers are good! I'm so sorry he's been fighting infections the last several weeks. I know we had some crazy high numbers when Jada had a cold for about ten days and I thought I would lose my mind, because I couldn't do anything to fix it. I'm so glad you were able to have a good cry and release it to the Lord. I know for me, if I can have a good cry and get it out- it does me a world of good! Sending lots of hugs and prayers to you today!

k2 said...

(((HUGS))))) BIG, tight,engulfing ones!
A positive attitudes is great, but not always easy - especially when the numbers are crazy infection numbers!
A good cry is warranted, cleansing,& absolutely OK.

Colleen said...

Well, you've definitely had a couple of rotten days. Hope things are looking up and you're both feeling better.
Incidentally, those ear infections really hurt. Long ago when my kids were young, I ended up with pink eye, strep throat and an ear infection. I was dumbfounded at how badly my ear just ached and ached. I had always been nice to my kids when they had ear infections, I was even nicer after I'd gone through one. Ick!

:) Tracie said...

You are in my prayers.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Penny,

Thinking and praying for you and the family.

Diabetes does its best to steal our positive attitude. Sometimes it gets the best of us, but only sometimes.

I often feel a lot of empowerment and encouragement when I think about all of the challenges I have faced over the years. Sure, I've lost some of the fights, but I'm still in the war and kicking strong.