Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Ugly Underneath

A few weekends ago, Fred took Elise to her very first Daddy/Daughter prom. She was so excited for the event; a pretty party dress, shoes with a hint of a heel (her first!), body spray with sparkles, and some eye glitter and lip gloss. She didn't want to look in the mirror until she was all done up. The results had her uttering a hushed, "oooohhhhhhhhh!" As she twirled and curtsied in front on the full length mirror.

(For the record, she must get it from Fred... I have never twirled or curtsied in my life and the thought of putting on a dress at her age would have made me run, screaming.)

There was a small party at a neighbour's house before all the dads and daughters left.  There were appetizers, the girls admired one another, and we took pictures.  Like the one above.

To the casual observer, the little girl does not appear to be enjoying herself very much. She looks like she doesn't even want to be there. And that's because they are missing the ugly underneath.

The ugliness of a blood sugar that was 356.

And a CGM that had been reading HIGH most of the afternoon.

The awfulenss that was all the other little girls drinking sparkling grape juice in fancy cups, while I only let Elise have a tiny sip, just to try.

And even though I encouraged her to have a chocolate covered strawberry (high BG be damned), she didn't want to because she knew she was high and didn't want to go higher.

The ugly underneath of diabetes is not only how it can damage physically, but also so heart-breakingly emotionally too.  After awhile, you kind of grow hardened to the BG checks and pump changes... it's all a part of a routine, like brushing your teeth. 

But what you never get accustomed to is how this disease pierces your heart when it wrecks havoc on the emotions, and you're the only one who sees the tiny tears slip down your child's face as she tries to sit unnoticed in a corner. It just about breaks me.

But at the end of the night, while her CGM from that evening looked like the world's most vomit-inducing roller-coaster, she still declared the night, "pretty much the best time ever in my life."

Because the beautiful underneath that people also miss is just how strong and incredible these kids are.


  1. So true Joann...we have pretty amazing kiddos :) I am glad she had such an awesome time despite the big d roaring too loudly. I do, however, believe that we parents of CWD are the only ones that "get" this aspect of d. The way that high BG makes Isaac feel is so much more difficult for others to understand than a low BG. And for me the guilt is there, too - maybe that's because it always takes hours to change a high to a just right and only minutes to change a low to a safe number. Anyhow, I hope this week is less roller coaster-y :)

  2. This was so beautiful...not only is Elise beautiful but the words written were beautiful and so true about the ugly underneath! xoxo

  3. This broke my heart to read... until the end. They are strong... stronger than THEY even know.
    We have started taking something "special" like diet root beer to parties where the usual sourse of thirst quenching is carb overload. It helps that Justin doesnt get it all the time... kinda makes it just as special as that grape juice, ya know.

  4. Our children are remarkable! What a beautiful post. Love you guys!

  5. Another beautiful tear jerker. Elise looked absolutely beautiful and I am so glad that she had a wonderful time. I like to think we are raising aware adults, who will function way better than most. Keep up the good work, you're a great mommy!

  6. When I looked at the photo - before reading, I said, "Uh oh."
    I'm glad she got to go. I'm so happy that she loved dressing up! And I'm really impressed that she didn't eat the chocolate covered strawberry. I don't know that I'd be as smart as she is.
    Hugs to both of you - and the boys!
    PS - the "dabs" are fun! Thank you!

  7. It's times like these when I really really hate diabetes. But I'm so proud of Elise for having the best night ever in spite of diabetes!!


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