Monday, March 09, 2009

Most days diabetes doesn’t get me down too much. If Riley is really high or really low it might upset me for a bit, but once the high or low is gone I’m OK.

But, for the last several days the needle pricks and the counting of carbs have stung a little more than usual.

I think it all started on Thursday. While we were on our way to the doctor to follow up with Riley’s asthma, he’s doing great with that, by the way, Riley started talking about diabetes.

I’m not sure what started it, but at some point he said, “If I get rid of my diabetes that means I can eat whatever I want, right?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“So, that means I can just eat as much as I want? I can drink real drinks too?”

“Yes, that’s what it means.”


I felt my throat catch. It’s such a foreign thought to him. The idea that he can walk to the cabinet or fridge, grab whatever he wants, and eat or drink it sounds like heaven to him. It’s something that we non-D people just take for granted.

He’s mentioned diabetes a few more times since then. And each time it’s tugged at my heart.

Thursday night I made some basal adjustments. I called Riley into the room so I could remove his pump to reprogram it.

As I was reaching into his pocket to pull out his pump he stated, in a very stern voice, “I hate diabetes!”

“Me too, son.” Then, I gave him a great big hug.

And, that adds to the pain. All I can do is hug him when he feels this way, listen to him vent his frustrations. I know hugs and listening to him are important, but it doesn’t change anything.

He still has diabetes. He still has restrictions on his eating. I know we say “People with diabetes can eat just like everyone else.” I’m not sure why we say it. We all know it’s not true.

That’s something I struggle with too. He’s a growing boy, I want to just let him eat and eat whenever he wants. But, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

One night this week I was on the couch. I had been eating some mixed nuts. Riley saw the container and asked for “one”. Yes, just one. I know nuts don’t have many carbs in them. But, he only asked for one because he knows he can’t just reach into anything and grab a handful and walk away.

My throat caught and my heart ached again. This time I almost cried. I grabbed him and hugged him and told him I was sorry that he has diabetes.

Maybe it wasn’t the best the best thing to say. But, I said it, because I meant it.

Usually it’s the highs and lows that alter my moods. But, sometimes it’s just the plain old day in day out stuff that comes along with the disease.

And, because that “stuff” happens to my son instead of me, sometimes it’s almost unbearable.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Big hugs to you Penny. It is such a tough thing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that comment about how they can eat anything they want just bolus for it -- I hear this all the time from other diabetic parents, well, for us that is not true. There are restrictions on WHEN they can eat, depending on BS numbers; WHAT they can eat depending on BS numbers; they have to eat sometimes when they don't want to eat. They cannot eat tons of carbs at once without consequences. They can have a small slice of cake, yes; but not a huge hunk with tons of ice cream and candy like other children at birthday parties. Thankfully, I have one nit-picky eater here (whose appetite was much improved with insulin), so have few problems with her. I feel so bad for other parents, though, especially those with children with healthy appetites. I can see how this disease, which requires preoccupation with food, could easily lead into an eating disorder for these kids.

The Turner's said...

Penny, wow - I am in tears and as a fellow T1 mom, I relate to everything you are feeling - I'm sending you hugs. Your feelings were beautifully expressed.

:) Tracie said...

Those are the days when I can break down as well. But we have to let our children know that their feelings are spot on and although we do hate it, we can live through it together and do the best we can and leave the rest up to The Lord.

It still can break our hearts though.

Amy said...

Sending hugs your way Penny! I'm feeling your pain!