I’ve been feeling pretty consumed lately with Little Brother’s diabetes. Today we were back at CHOP for a visit with the nurse practitioner, endocrinologist, nutritionist and a few other miscellaneous folks. While the appointment was reassuring and we were told that we’re doing very well to help him manage his diabetes, I’m still overwhelmed. It feels like a full-time job to keep him (safely) fed and properly dosed. God bless TheDad, who gets the Night Shift–because someone has to test this kid in the middle of the night to make sure his sugar has not gone too low. Yes, that can happen. And it does happen. So every night, around 1 AM, TheDad gets up and tests him. If he’s low, he gets some apple juice and another test an hour later.
The Phys. Ed. teacher at Little Brother’s school is the mom of a diabetic; her daughter was diagnosed in 4th grade. We were talking the other day about how it seemed like just as our child was becoming more independent, diabetes happened and required us to pull in the reins, “starting over” in a much more intensive role than most parents of kids this age would have. I guess it’s like any other special need, in that regard, but we had no warning, no time to get used to the idea.
A few weeks ago, something had to go. I’ve been doing freelance writing for some shopping blogs since 2008, and while it’s nice to get paid for doing something I love to do, there just wasn’t the time in the day anymore. I’m at Little Brother’s school for his 10 AM and noon finger sticks, and between everything else that’s going on, I couldn’t keep up. First, the meltdown happened as I admitted to my husband that I needed to drop that part-time job, just to save my own sanity. Then I sent the email. And then, peace.
I may never come to know that same peace regarding diabetes. It’s a guessing game all the time. There’s no magic formula, no Excel spreadsheet (though we have one), no way to know that if he eats the exact same lunch he ate yesterday, his after-school blood sugar will be the same. It is said that the definition of insanity is that you do the same thing every time and expect different results. Well, the definition of diabetes is that you can do the same thing every time and GET different results. I’ve come to regard food as, if not the enemy, a huge stumbling block. I’ve hardly baked a thing since Thanksgiving, and cooking isn’t very fun anymore when I’m measuring and counting and figuring.
But there’s nothing I can do that will take away the diabetes, much as I would love to be able to relieve Little Brother, and the whole family, from the burdens it causes. The best I can do is accept and adjust.