Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Somewhere a Mother is Crying

My sweet little boy just took a shot
Somewhere a mother is crying
Sometimes he asks "Will it hurt a lot?"
Somewhere a mother is crying

We check his sugar several times a day
Somewhere a mother is crying
When his sugar is high, we go out and play
Somewhere a mother is crying

My son has diabetes and I feel sorry for myself
Somewhere a mother is crying
I worry about the long-term effects on his health
Somewhere a mother is crying

My boy is full of life
Somewhere a mother is crying
One day, I hope he has children and a wife
Somewhere a mother is crying

A mother somewhere has just lost her son
If only there was something she could have done
She learned of the cancer six months ago
Now she has had to let him go

She sobs and she grieves for the life he'll never live
She mourns because he had so much love to give
She cries because she misses him so
It was so hard letting him go

My son just came in and gave me a kiss
Somewhere a mother is crying....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Looking forward

Well, Riley's first endo appointment is only 3 days away. I'm excited and scared all at the same time. I feel like I've finally got somewhat of a grasp on what I'm doing. I'm scared they are going to change everything around on me. Riley asked me yesterday when he was going to get "that hook thing" so that he could get insulin and not have to take shots. He was talking about the pump. I quickly told him that he would still have to get stuck with a needle at least every three days. "But, no more shots?", he asked. How do you argue with that? How do I tell him that he has to keep taking shots because the Dr. doesn't want him on a pump yet? How do you tell him that without him being mad at the Dr.? If there are any parents out there with young kids on the pump, I would love to hear your stories. I want Riley on the pump, but I want to make sure I'm making the right decision. I want to hear the good and the bad. I want to make an informed decision. Then, I'll know whether to push for the pump or not. Well, I'll let ya'll know how the appointment goes.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


OK, I know there will be tons of posts done today in honor of Thanksgiving, but I couldn't resist doing one of my own. I want to try and come up with what I am thankful for in relation to diabetes. Not too easy, but I'm going to try. First of all, I must say some other thanks. I am thankful for my husband, Michael. He is a really good husband and father and really helps me out more than I give him credit for. I am thankful for both of my children. I am thankful that they are both healthy (Riley is healthy, just "pancreatically challenged") I am thankful for the close relationship that I have with Holden. He still talks to me and shares things with me at the age of 14. He is a wonderful person, with a beautiful, giving spirit. I'm thankful for Riley and all the things that come along with being his mom. I'm thankful for all the strength that God has given him to deal with his disease. I thank God for picking out Holden and Riley for me to take care of. Also, for sending Michael my way.

OK, now on to the diabetes thankfullness. I am thankful for all the advances that have been made in diabetes over the last few years. It wasn't that long ago that Lantus didn't even exsist. I'm thankful that people can now live with diabetes. One hundred years ago that wasn't the case. I'm thankful for all the people who spend their day looking for a cure, so that our children can lead normal lives again without counting carbs and measuring insulin. I'm thankful for the people who spends their days finding better ways to deal with D. The ones who find a way to make a smaller needle or that make the glucose watch that doesn't even involve beign stuck with a needle to check your blood sugar. I'm thankful and excited about the strides that are being made in diabetes research. I'm thankful that I'm more thankful for the little things now. Riley having diabetes has really changed my perspective on what's important and what's not. I'll hear people at work or somewhere complain that they didn't have the shoes they wanted in their size and they are really upset about it, and I realize little things like that used to bother me too, but not anymore. I've learned to kind of just let the little things go. Life's too short to let the little things bother you. I'm thankful that Riley is such a trooper about his shots and finger sticks. He doesn't complain, just picks out where he wants to be stuck and takes it. ( Sometime, literally in the rear, HA!) I'm thankful that even though finances are very tight since his diagnosis, that we have enough money to at least make ends meet.

OK, that's enough. I've got to go get ready to go to my grandmother's for Thankgiving. One last thing, I'm thankful for my grandmother's mashed potatoes and gravy:-) I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and takes time to be thankful for the small things too. It's the small things that fill out the big picture.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lee Iococa

OK, I had my first crying spell today in a good while. And it's all because Lee Iococa's wife died several years ago from complications from Type I diabetes. Now, I wasn't crying because she and I were friends or anything, but because if she can die from complications, it stands to reason that Riley can too. I don't know what happened. Riley's been doing well lately, and I've been handeling everything pretty well. Then, I read about his wife and I became a blubbering idiot. I don't know her situation though. She could have been noncompliant for years or something. I don't know. It just scared the begisous out of me. I'm doing better now. I went to a chat room for parents of children with D and it helped a lot. There was one girl on there who has had D for 39 years and is doing fine, with no complications. I told you all that to tell you this. If you are a parent of a child with D and you are reading this, I strongly recommend you check out It is a great site with a lot of good info and it has a chat room for parents that I've found very helpful. There are parents on there who can pretty much help with whatever you're experiencing. They are also there if you ever just need to vent your feelings. And, if any of the "regulars" from the chat room are reading this ( and you know who you are) THANKS, I don't know what I'd do without you guys.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Rainy day

What is it about a rainy day that seems to make your brain numb? It has rained here ALL DAY. It seems to fit my mood, though. Riley has been doing well lately. His sugars have pretty much been in range the last few days, except for last night it went up to 348. (Dr. wants between 80-225) . I just can't understand what makes it shoot up sometimes. We covered what he ate for supper with insulin, but yet it shot up. (He got 2 shots at the same time. I gave one in one arm while Michael gave one in the other. It's time like those that make me realize how unfair life is for Riley sometimes.) Then, we had to give him more insulin to bring his sugar down, and it was 80 at 10 PM. Well, that's in range, you might say to yourself, but his sugar needs to be at least 130-140 to go to bed. If not, his sugars tend to drop during the night into the 40s and 50s. Some kids have seizures when their sugars get that low. Luckily, Riley hasn't done that. Now, do you see why I haven't slept at night in the last six weeks? I get up quite a lot to check on Riley. I sometimes just nudge him to see if he'll move. My husband gets up and checks his sugars too, but I can't sleep through it. Anyway, just trying to live it one day at a time. Counting down the days until his first Dr's appointment. ( 11 more to go) In some ways I'm excited but I'm also dreading it. I know they're going to draw his blood. And I know that they are going to scrutinize everything that we've done over the last 2 months. I am also very interested in getting him on the insulin pump. The Dr. that he sees likes to wait a year before putting a kid on the pump. I am going to try my best to convince him to change his mind. I have research articles to take to the appointment and everything. I'm not looking forward to that part. I know from being a nurse that some Dr's are very good as dismissing you and your feelings. I haven't been around Dr. Harris enough to know how he'll be. I really liked him in the hospital. If he won't change his mind, I don't know what I'll do. The next closest Dr. is about 2 hours away. I'd rather have a Dr. closer to home in case anything bad ever happens. I just pray that God will get the Dr. to change his mind, or lead me to know what to do if he doesn't. I also pray that Riley will do well and the blood draw won't hurt too badly. They will draw a 3 month average of how Riley's sugars have been. I'm nervous about that too. I'm afraid it might be really bad.
On a brighter note, Saturday was my birthday. It was really nice. We went and had a nice supper at my mom's. She even made my favorite cake, pineapple. Riley was even able to eat a small piece and it didn't run his sugar up. I had to choke back tears while he ate it. Only another parent of a diabetic child would understand why. I knew it would probably really effect his sugar and I also knew I had to let him eat normally sometimes. It was actually painful to watch him eat it. He enjoyed it very much, though, and like I said, it didn't bother his sugar. Well, that's one thing about diabetes. There are no absolutes. If I let him eat the same amount of cake, it might make his sugar sky high. Diabetes always leaves you guessing.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

October 6, 2005

This is the day my son's life changed forever. He was more thirsty than usual. Since I'm a nurse, I knew this was a sign of diabetes. I checked his sugar with my blood sugar machine from work. I didn't really expect to find anything. My older son had begun to drink a lot when he was in 2nd grade, and when I checked his sugar, it was fine. That's what I thought would happen with Riley. Boy, was I wrong. When his sugar registered too high to read on the machine, I let out an involuntary gasp. I rechecked it, just to be sure, but it again read too high to read. My dad has a machine, so I called my mom to bring his machine over. My mom is only about 5 minutes away, but it seemed to take forever for her to get here. While I was waiting for her, I started to get clothes together. I was hoping my machine was wrong, but deep down in my heart, I knew it was right. And, if it was right, then I knew what that meant, a hospital stay. When my mom arrived, I checked his sugar for the third time. Riley never complained once. He just looked on with a little curiousity. Well, you guessed it, it registered too high to read. My stomach felt like it hit the floor. I knew this meant his blood sugar was over 500, and that terrified me. I just thought that this couldn't be happening to my son. He was fine!! He was just thirsty. He began to beg for something to dirnk, and I gave him water. I called the pediatricians office and my husband and work, then we (my parents and I) picked my older son, Holden, up from school and drove an hour to the pediatrician's office. The whole way there, I prayed that it wasn't diabetes, that it was just something that could be easily explained and treated. With my being a nurse I knew just enough about Type I diabetes to scare me to death. All the complications that can come from diabetes and all the needle sticks that Riley has to endure rolled through my head.

When we arrived at the doctor's office, they got Riley to pee in a cup. He thought this was really cool. But, I knew they were looking for sugar, and they found a large amount of it. The nurse checked his blood sugar and it was 574. It sounds funny, but I was a little relieved by that. I was envisioning a sugar of 800 or something. Then, the Dr. came in and told me the news I still wasn't prepared to hear. "Your son has diabetes". I think I was a little in shock as I heard him say he was going to contact the pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Harris, and Riley would be admitted to the hospital. I then left my son with my mom and somehow made my way to the waiting room. When I saw my husband, Michael, I collapsed into his arms and sobbed "Riley has diabetes. They are going to put him in the hospital." I just cried uncontrollably. Then, just as quickly as I had started crying, I stopped. I knew I had to be stong for Riley. I also had to be stong for my older son who was now softly crying in the corner. I glanced around and saw the office staff looking at me with pity on their faces. All I could think was, that they shouldn't be looking at me like that. I wasn't one of those mothers that people felt sorry for. I had two beautiful, happy children. I didn't like the role into which I was suddenly cast. I knew that not only would Riley look to me for strength, but also my entire family. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders as I returned to Riley's room.

We were admitted into the hospital. That's when all the poking and prodding and one million questions started. Riley never cried. He never complained. He never asked why everyone was poking at him. He just took it all in like it happened everyday. Riley had always been my strong boy. Just taking life like it came. It was if God had designed him for this very moment. And, I guess he did. God knew he would have to be strong enough to handle all of this. And, he was. He didn't even cry when they started his IV. Once, he looked at the nurse and said, "Ow, that hurt." But, that was it.

The next day, we were discharged from the hospital and that is when the really hard stuff started. Riley was perfect about his injections and finger sticks in the hospital. But, now that he was home he would run from us and cry and scream everytime we came at him with a needle. I couldn't blame him. I wanted to cry and scream and run away too. I didn't run away or scream, but I did my fair share of crying. I never cried in front of Riley. I would lock my self in the bathroom and just sob. I would sit there and bargain with God, "if you'll just take this away, just heal him, I'll do anything you want." I've never pleaded with God so hard in all my life. I felt like my soul was being ripped out of my body. I pleaded for God to take the diabetes away from Riley and give it to me.

None of this happened. But, God gave me the strength I needed to get through. After a couple of days, Riley stopped running from us and just let us do what we had to do. 3 weeks into his diagnosis, he even started checking his own sugars. He's such a wonderful, strong little boy. And in many ways, he's my hero. Sometimes now when I feel like I'm going to breakdown and cry, I look at him and all that strength he's acquired in his few three years and I smile. I smile because he doesn't let diabetes shape his life and he's teaching me not to either. Things get better every day. There are still bad days here and there, but on a whole life is starting to resemble something normal again. So, to all of you parents out there, hang on. It will get better.