Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not mine

It is usually with great jealousy that I read other people's blog posts about "diabetes in the wild" encounters.  For some reason, it just never happens for us.  My husband would tell you that it's probably a good thing, because I tend to act like a puppy when they do.  Meaning I get really stupidly excited and tend to pee myself.

Just joking about that last part.

The other day, I had to take Elise to a dermatology appointment.  It seems she has inherited my penchant for weird skin things.  Lucky girl.

When The NP walked into the exam room, she was reading Elise's chart.  We exchanged hellos and she sat down, scooted up really close to Elise and said, "can I show you something?"

As she reached into her bra (something I realize that would alarm most people, but as someone well ingrained in d-culture, I knew what was coming), I smiled.  She pulled out a pump and said, "I have diabetes too."  She then showed Elise the site on her stomach.

Elise showed the NP her pod, and then we got down to business.  It was then that something very wonderful happened.

The NP asked Elise about "bad diabetes days" and went on to tell her that she sometimes feels sorry for herself for having diabetes.  She held out her hands, palms up and fingers spread.  She added, "I hate having to poke holes in my fingers and seeing those little dots everywhere."

Elise held out her own hands, mimicking the NP.  At that moment I felt very much like an intruder.  An outsider.  It was not unlike peering in on a secret handshake to a very exclusive club.

And it was a very poignant reminder that it's her disease, and not mine.

Intellectually, I know this.  But for those of us with kiddos diagnosed very young, for awhile, it is your diabetes too.  No, you do not have to endure the BG checks, the shots, pump changes, the lows or the highs... but you are there for every single number and sometimes you swear you feel that 45 too.

I watched them, one a stranger and the other my sweet 5-year old daughter, as they shared a connection that I can never be a part of. 

Elise has been struggling with diabetes lately.  Laments of feeling alone, like she's the only one that has to poke her fingers and wear a pump.  Crying because she just wants to be like everyone else.  Hating that a high BG won't let her eat dinner, telling everyone to go ahead and eat without her.  I can't even tell her I understand, because she knows that I don't.

I am so thankful to PWD who take the time to reach out to my child, letting her know that she is not alone.  To reassure her that she is going to be okay.  To let her know that she will have a wonderful life, despite diabetes; and it may even lead her down some amazing pathways, if she lets it.


  1. Sitting here at work reading blogs like I do most days at some point. Today while reading yours, I had to literally fight back the tears. I am the wife of a Type 1 so I understand how you felt and I can only imagine how it felt to see your sweet one connect with another PWD. Priceless. I love healthcare workers that take the time to understand and connect with "us"

  2. Oh, Joanne this made me cry. I think that these moments are incredibly priceless. We have the one benefit of having a father with d to consistently connect, but then again being the father it is sometimes hard to just let go and not lecture while connecting. I also appreciate your note about when your child is diagnosed early, how it almost feels like it is "your diabetes", too...I try to explain this to my mother-in-law as TJ was diagnosed at 12 she doesn't get it, but with Isaac counting carbs and just knowing the fluctuations of his body with this is almost ingrained in me now. Oye, there are days I wonder what it will be like when I stop looking at a plate of food and know the carb count without really thinking - times when I won't wake up exhausted and panicked because the CGM alarm is going off. But, these other moments of connection are truly priceless. And, I hope her lovely skin finds some relief, too :) (Isaac has excema and it is a pain!)

  3. Love this. Makes you almost happy to go to the doc, yes? Maybe not... but still, how nice is that?

  4. What a wonderful glad that Elise was able to have this and I hope that it has helped in her feelings of being alone with her "d". xoxo

  5. Elise, I really don't like diabetes sometimes too. Sometimes I get mad that it takes so much work for me to eat, when others can just eat what ever they want. Please know you aren't alone. I'm wearing a pump and doing finger sticks too, and sometimes I feel tired of it all. But then sometimes, it doesn't seem so bad!!! On those days, I'll send some happy diabetes thoughts your way too, so it won't feel bad for you either!!

    Hugs and Love,

  6. Wow! That's so powerful! What a great doctor to know exactly what Elise needed to hear.

    Any chance you can make it to Friends for Life this year? Elise will definitely see how many people there are who are just like her!

  7. What a powerful thing. Sounds like the NP approached it just right.

  8. This is probably one of the sweetest things I've read in awhile. It's like something Ryan said to me lately, "shit just got real" in relation to the seriousness of it all.
    It's her diabetes and although you will one day relinquish control, she won't. Ever.
    And by geez, if she ever feels alone, you know where to go!

  9. Ahhhh hearing this about an awesome NP just made my day knowing Elise felt connected to another with D!

  10. love it when our kiddos can connect with others living the life we will one day no longer be such a big part of.
    it's hard knowing that it's 'their' disease because we want so much to bear that burden for them.
    but, knowing that they will have connections, like we do, to support them and help them along the way makes it a tad easier!

  11. Awesome post. Love the connection.


Comment moderation now in effect because of jerky comment spammers.

Now please leave your message after the beep.