Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A diabetes flashback

I was reading through some stuff that I had written, but never posted. This one almost took my breath away. It was written over a year ago; at a time when I was feeling very alone and isolated. I think I had just discovered other D-blogs out there, but it was all still new to me. This post makes me want to cry, because those feelings are very ghost-like to me; not 100% here, but still hanging around, haunting me.

But it also shows me just how far I've come. I was at this same park I talk about in the post, just the other day. And not one of those bitter feelings came back. It's amazing how far we can travel in such a short time, even when we are weighed down by the heaviest of baggage:

Diabetes plays dirty. It will hit you when you're not looking, and does not have a problem striking where you're most vulnerable. In fact, it seems to wait until you're feeling pretty confident about yourself before it tries to KO you.

Yesterday, diabetes used me as it's own, personal punching bag; reminding me that I am not in charge here. We've been having some very bizarre BG numbers lately; I'm talking a level of 490, and then down to 50 in less than 4 hours. I know, weird.

Elise woke up pretty high yesterday morning, at 330 with a trace of ketones. We were supposed to go to our local rec center for some open gym time, something we do every Thursday. Elise loves playing with all the fun toys and other kids as much as I love getting to talk to grown-ups. But it wasn't to be. I gave Elise her insulin plus correction, she ate her breakfast and I made sure she drank a lot of water. My hope was if I checked her in an hour or so, the ketones would be gone and we could still go.

Now her ketones are small and her BG is at 490. And she is one unhappy little girl. She wants to go out for a walk, but how do you explain to an 18-month old that she's not allowed to do that right now? I try to make her drink more water, but when I offer her the cup, she throws it and starts to cry.

Fast forward to lunch and her BG is now 127. I guess the insulin is now kicking in. And the ketones are gone - Yay! She eats all her lunch and goes down for her nap. About 90 minutes later she's up and crying... and at 50. I give her 7g of carbs (anything more will take her BG sky-high), but she wants more. She's loopy, cranky and very upset. It takes about 30 minutes to calm her down. Finally her BG is at a good level.

Because she missed her morning play-time, I take her to a nearby park that is filled with laughing, screaming children. It's amazing that it's at times like these that I feel the most alone. I look at the other moms and envy how relaxed and at ease they are. I'm angry. Angry because I feel like nobody out there understands what I have to deal with. Angry because they can sit and chat with their friends without a care in the world. Angry because I am alone.

I watch Elise and worry that the exercise could make her drop low again. I tell myself to shut-up and enjoy this beautiful, sunny day with my daughter. The feelings of despair lurk, ready to pounce at any sign of weakness. Tears threaten, but I will them not to fall.

When my husband came home from work yesterday, I finally burst into tears. I had a good cry and moved on. I'm learning that this is what I need to do. I cannot dwell on it. Today is a new day; no ketones, good numbers, and we were able to go to story time at the library this morning. With a normal blood sugar level, Elise is happy and content.

If somebody had told me back then how much better I'd be doing a year later, I would have called them a liar. I still battle those feelings of despair and loneliness on an almost daily basis, but I am also thankful at how far I have come.


  1. we all get those days dont we ? when we look back and think wow we have come so far !! Yeah !! Im so glad you know you are doing better and you are an awesome mom.

  2. With experience comes knowledge and we are stronger than we even know. You, my friend are one of the strongest people I've had the honor to meet and I'm so proud that you recognize your strength and change over this past year.

  3. so sad thinking of you and your feelings at the park...happy to know that there are more "better" moments now than before. . . your strength is inspiring to me, and to many around you.


  4. OMG - this made me cry (shocker - right?). I was at the park today with my 3 and was having those feelings. Just a little jealous of the other moms there that were able to relax and just let their ids play without checking, and snacking, checking and snacking. Oh and then the stares when I am making my son eat a breakfast bar instead of play.

    I'm doing better but looking forward to being in a far better place!

    Thanks for sharing your post.

    I'm way behind on emails but let's try and get together next week.
    M W or F?

  5. I am with you. Every time someone told me it gets better after a year... I would just roll my eyes and think ~yeah right! But it does, and now I find myself telling others those same words.

    There have been many post that I have written and then deleted. I wish I would have saved some of them to see how far I've come. I think I would be amazed.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I love this. Not the feelings, of course. But how even in the deepest of despair, because of this D community, I know I'm not alone.
    Many times I've posted and thought maybe I should delete- but those end up being the ones everyone relates to.
    It still stings sometimes to see others going thru life so carefree and without the constant worry that D brings. But what can you do but try to be thankful, kiss that sweet little face, get in a good cry and move on? Thanks. Jo!

  7. Sometimes I think reading all of your post that I should just copy and paste.. you guys are so correct with excatly how I feel... Joshua's numbers are all over the place right now and we cant figure out why. I feel like my friends dont really want to know the details about it all. They want to know he is okay but that is it. It is very lonley. Im glad to have you all!! THANKS!!

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone. While it's true that time does help, I know I wouldn't have as healthy an outlook if it wasn't for my D-Mom/Dad friends that live both inside and outside my computer. I owe you guys my sanity!

  9. I was at the park last week. Need I say more?

    Sometimes being in those situations just makes it so much more apparent, how different things are for us, for these precious kids.

    I look forward to the day when I can look back and see how things have changed.

  10. i started to cry reading this...i am so happy to hear that you are in a different place now... i just wanted to say: dear diabetes, you suck.

    i am not in a "making lemonade" mood lately about the whole thing... you think it would be different because i'm so far away. removed- got off easy- don't have to be the one up at 3am. not the mama & all that it entails. but i am still really...*really*... mad. and worst of it is, there is no one to be mad at. so where can that anger go?

    thank you for posting some of your previously un-postables. it really helps to know that the feels will soothe even if they never change. it helps me to know that my sister has people who understand when i am unable to even comprehend what it must be like.

  11. We've all been there, and will be again at some point..thats just the nature of the beast! :( It is amazing how time "heals" the feelings isn't it? ((HUGS))

  12. Joanne,

    Beautiful post...and obviously I can sooo relate. I held back on one of my posts for a while because I thought it was too raw and emotional (Cybberbullying and Wallowing).

    I still, at times, feel alone when Joe and I are out at a party or a special is like all I can concentrate on is Joe checking his number and carb counting the food. It amazes me how alone I can feel in a room filled with many of my closest friends...they are almost blurry-like on the periphery of this tunnel that I reside in. I find myself there, in the dark tunnel, once in awhile...I used to live in it in the beginning.

    Sorry for the rambling comment.

    Love ya! Have a good day sistah!

  13. Thank you for sharing! There's a lot of scary times, and a lot of terrifying times. In between is some semblance of normal, but even then the D is always on our minds. You're not alone, and thank you for reminding us that we aren't either.

  14. I'm so happy we all have each other on this journey. You're awesome...and, you're right. Look how far you've come!


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