11 out of 15

This is where we are today. Eleven years of diabetes out of 15 years of life. Seems daunting when those numbers are laid out there. For 11 years of my son’s 15 years of life he has had to be a pancreas in order to stay alive.

11 years of finger sticks, needles, pump changes, highs, lows, Dexcom alarms, insulin pump failures, and endo visits.

But it’s also 11 years of strength, responsibility, resilience, and friendships.

Strength. My son is the strongest person I know, even if he doesn’t see it. For 11 years now he has been getting shots, finger pokes, insulin pump sight changes, CGMS sensor changes, not to mention dealing with bleeders, infections, lumps, bumps, and bruises. He is tough. Both inside and out. He handles all of this with the strength and grace of the strongest man out there. His life of living with diabetes shows just how no one knows how strong they are until being strong is their only choice.

Responsibility. I mean who can say their 15 year old is responsible? Well, in a lot of instances, I can’t. I find laundry in piles that are bordering on haz mat materials. I find toothpaste in the sink that could fill it’s own tube. I have to remind him to shower and drag him out of bed to cut the lawn. But this boy is the most responsible kid I know. He counts carbs, checks his sugar, changes his POD, changes his Dexcom, carries his supplies, like a freaking champ. He does what he needs to do to stay healthy, happy and ALIVE.

Resilience. The definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness, and that IS my son. That is all kids with diabetes. They take the hits of low blood sugar, high blood sugar, ketones, headaches, thirst, exhaustion and THEY HIT BACK. My son does not ever let diabetes get in his way. He manages and MOVES ON. His bounce back astounds me and I know that will only serve him well as the hits of life continue to come through. Life is tough. Diabetes is tougher. My son is the toughest.

Friendships. This is more on my end than on my son’s, but the friendships I have made over these last 11 years are out of this world. The people that I get to call my tribe from living these 11 years with a son with diabetes are the most supportive, caring, understanding people I have ever met. I know where I can find my back. I know where my son is going to find his support when he is ready (even if it’s through me). The T1 moms and dads that are in my circle are my forever friends and that is a blessing in and of itself.

Oh diabetes. I could do without you, but while you’re here we’ll make the best of you, but when there is finally a cure don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

 

 

 

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10 years…

10 years…

10 years of checking…checking blood…checking insulin pumps…checking if he’s high or low or somewhere in between…checking if he’s ok, I mean REALLY ok…checking if we’re good…checking if we got this.

10 years of needles…from syringes to pen needles to insulin pump inserter…10 years of OUCH and sometimes DAMN and other times TEARS…10 years of did that go in right…will this do what it’s supposed to do…or will things go wrong.

10 years of stopping…stopping playing because of a low…stopping eating because of a high. ..stopping sleeping because we need a drink…10 years of stopping breathing because I hear no noise from the basement…10 years of stopping in my tracks on the way to his bedroom hoping he is breathing.

10 years of numbers…10 years of blood glucose checks…45, 155, 400, 1250…10 years of ratios…1:45, 1:100, 1:10, 1:80…10 years of basal rates….05, .90, 1.24, 1.40…10 years of adding, subtracting, counting, covering, and weighing.

10 years of little sister taking the back seat…10 years of interrupted stories for a low…10 years of interrupted mommy time because of a high…10 years of waiting for the attention to be back on her…10 years of hoping to be the center of attention without interruption.

10 years of starting…starting Kindergarten…starting Middle School…starting High School…starting sleepovers…starting roller coasters…starting parties without mom…10 years of starting creating a greater distance…starting to become independent…starting to find ourselves again.

10 years of ignorance…10 years of can he eat that…10 years of my grandmother went blind from diabetes…10 years of too bad he ate junk food to get this disease…10 years of stares…10 years of judgment…10 years of impositions…10 years of educating the masses.

10 years of friendships…10 years of crying on shoulders of people that get me…10 years of questioning my worth as a mom…10 years of needing reassurance that I am doing the best I can…10 years of talking me off the ledge or pushing others back on the wall…10 years of ‘you got this’ and ‘you are doing great’ and ‘i love you’.

10 years of worry…10 years of waiting…10 years of anger…10 years of pain…10 years of questions…10 years of strength…10 years of awe…10 years of bravery…10 years of hero status…10 years of it is what it is…10 year of kicking diabetes in the ass.

10 years of winning.

Go to hell, diabetes, today and everyday.

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Teenage hands.

When we (yes, I typed ‘we’) were first diagnosed almost ten years ago, my son was a baby. A real live 4 year old baby. A baby in many other people’s eyes too. I mean, c’mon, 4 year olds are still adorable, cute, funny, silly and well, babies.

I used to test his blood using his teeny, baby fingers. I would hold his little, yet chubby, hand in my hand. I would separate one tiny finger away from his chubby friends and I would make him bleed. I would poke a needle into my baby’s chubby finger, to make blood flow, to check his sugar. Check his sugar to see if it was too high, too low, or just right.

I remember thinking and even saying out loud to some of the more seasoned moms, “I will never be able to do this to a teenage boy hand.” I mean, c’mon, teenage boys are smelly, gangly, goofy, and sometimes even obnoxious. Never mind thinking where there hands have been. Teenage boy hands are in places that no mama wants to think about. Sorry for making you think about that.

But, alas, here we are. Here I am with a teenage boy. A 13 year old to be exact. And I can now tell you first hand, that teenage boys are indeed smelly, gangly, goofy and sometimes even obnoxious, but yet, he is still my baby boy. The world sees a 5′ 10″ pre-man, yet, for some reason I still see my 4 year old baby. I still see his chubby cheeks, his two missing front teeth and his teeny, yet chubby, baby hands.

I see his little chubby hand when I dig it out from under him while he sleeps. And in the wee hours of the morning, as I hold his now larger than my hand, if I take pause for a moment, I can still feel his tiny, baby fingers. The slight weight of his tiny hand in mine. How his little fingers curl in tiny fist as I try to separate one friend from the others. So much time has passed since our diagnosis, but in the dark, for those middle of the night checks, it’s just us. My baby and me. Tiny hands turned big. Broken heart turned strong. Little boy turned almost a man. Forever my baby. Forever my heart.

My baby and me.

 

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