Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flying Solo

“It’s not easy letting go.”

No better phrase to describe my week.

Last week at the Endo I got a lot of praise. They are always overly kind, and as I alluded to before, I am pretty sure it is because I am so pathetic. Anyway…our Endo said something on the lines of this:

(And while you are reading her particular attention to how she builds me up, so after I am torn down, the aftermath isn't so messy...)

“Meri, you have done a phenomenal job raising diabetics that are dependent on you. You could write a book on how to take care of a young diabetic. But now you are onto something new. Raising a diabetic that is dependent on himself. We’ve been telling you for months, it’s time to let go. He is ready. He doesn’t want to be dependent on you anymore…he needs to do this for himself.”

HUH? (Picture a ton of bricks landing on my head.)

You mean I’m not going to be able to control my boys’ diabetes for the rest of their lives??? You mean I have to shift the responsibility onto them eventually?

What ev’. (Indignant sniff)

But is seems I have no choice. J is 12 now, and has had diabetes for 11 years and 7 months. He will be starting Jr. High next year and he wants to eat from the food court. He wants to be as normal as possible, and apparently, that doesn’t include calling me for carb amounts. (poo)

So as prescribed by our doctor…I have let him fly the coop so to speak.

He counts his own carbs now.

I still ask him, “So how many carbs did you count for that?” And he tells me. For the first couple days, I would correct his amounts if they were wrong. He got tired of this right away. “Mom, I can’t do it on my own if you are helping me!”

So now I zip it. And it is SOOOOOOOOOOOO hard.

Even if he is wrong…I zip it. Now later, after the fact, when he checks his blood sugar and gets a higher number than he expects, I talk to him about it. “Why is this number high? What did you bolus for that sandwich? Maybe next time you should count the bread as 20 each instead of 15. “ And I've become really good at sneaking in carb lessons. I will count carbs out loud within J's earshot...and ask his advice...and pretend I don't know how many carbs something is, and have him look it up for me. :)

He IS really impressing me. But it has added a couple grey hairs. Like yesterday, I bloused the younger boys and DIDN'T EVEN ASK J if he had bloused for his breakfast. I realized this at 8:20am. He was already at school, driven by my wonderful SIL. I called her in a panic. “I didn’t ask J if he bolused for breakfast. Is he with you?” Nope, he was gone. She hunted him down for me though…and guess what…He HAD bolused.

Oh me of little faith.

He is doing surprisingly well. When he is off…it usually is just by a few grams of carb.

It’s been very satisfying for him. On Valentine’s Day, I realized when he got home that he never called me that day about Valentine Party snacks.

“Did you have extra Valentine’s snacks today? “

“Yup, I cupcake, 1 small piece of chocolate and 2 orange slices.”

“You never called me??! Did you bolus?”

“Ya, I guessed 35 carbs.”

Pretty good guess…I think I would’ve gone higher…but I give him props.

“How did it feel giving yourself insulin without having to call me first?”

“Mom, it was really amazing.” He blushed. “It felt really good.”

Bottom line: I’ve been virtually benched.

So I’ll let go. I’ll empower him to control his life. I’ll have to hover at a distance. My new role with J is not out on the “diabetes field” so to speak, but on the sidelines…routing him on…occasionally cat calling advice from the bench.

Oh, I’ll be watching the game…silently scrutinizing every play.

But, He’s got the playbook now.

It’s time for him to shine.


  1. Awwww (((HUGS))) You were able to hold onto him alot longer than I could Kacey. After about 6 months of doing things for her, she told me she could do it herself! She packs her lunch every day and if the carbs are not on the food then she writes it on the bag but when she gets in lunch, she has to add them on her own. She also did the same thing at her Valentine party...except it was a cupcake and a cookie. She bolused 35 for them both because the cupcake had a blob of icing. She ended up wiping off the blob after a taste because it was too sweet....but she'd bolused and couldn't take it back. I asked her what she did? She said, I got another cookie and broke it in half. That was enough carbs to make up the difference. AHHHHHH! She may only be 10 but shes way more wiser than me! :)

    Best of luck to J as he moves forward with independence and HUGE (((HUGS))) to Mom for letting him do this! He's gonna do GREAT!!

  2. I don't care if his new found independance is a good thing... I think I'm going to cry!!! I don't wanna be benched!!! sniff sniff

  3. GO J! You can do it!!!!!


    I'm dreading that day, but know that if I can do as well as you have done with your boys....Jada will be just fine.

    I'm SO stinkin' proud of you Meri!

    It's your time to shine, too! He's a reflection of your love and hard work!

  4. WHOOT WHOOT for you and J Meri!

    I cannot even imagine it, but know my time will be coming in the next 4-6 years as well.

    You have handled it with grace and by doing such a remarkable job, J will shine.

    Proud of you both!

  5. YIKES. I can imagine how hard it is....I'll keep biting my tongue right along with you!

  6. I'm so proud of you BOTH! I know you both can do this and do it well.

    Love you and those amazing boys of yours!

  7. Fantastic story - good for both of you!

  8. Oh Meri, I am so feeling what you are going through. My daughter is only 10, but her doctor has always stressed the personal responsiblity in this. It is hard not to know what their blood sugar is at all times and certainly to trust their judgement on carb counting. As I write this I am nervous because I let Brittany go on a fieldtrip to the symphony w/o me and I haven't heard from her yet. Did she drop low? (lunch would be later than normal) and did her teacher assign her a buddy like I asked? I hate not being there for her, but she was happy for me not to go. Sucks! We just pray that we taught them well. At least he gets to help with his siblings and be an example of how to take care of yourself. I love how you can quiz him on his carb counts without being too obvious. You are an amazing mom and your doctor is right, you could write a book on how to raise a T1 child!

  9. I see this coming for us as well. In a way I crave her autonomy, being able to have a "break" like other parents when she's at friends. But on the other hand I'm going to find it soooooooo difficult to let go...

    You're doing awesome Meri !

  10. Tough to let them go - but we have started to have Ethan do some of his calculating and bolusing too.

    It sucks!!

  11. Okay I have been through this you all know my diabetic baby is now 25 and well past the stage of letting go and I did and it aint easy . You meri have done an awesome job and now it is time to turn it over to him and you will be fine and so will your son . You know we all love you .

  12. Oh boy! Well done momma!

    How wonderful that he is doing the best he can for starting off on his own. And what a big girl you are to let him do it without butting in! That will be difficult for me when the time comes, but sounds like you are teaching a life lesson in a productive way.

  13. Love this! You will make it through, YOU have raised J. to do this on his own!

    (Now remind me of this in 10 years!)

  14. Oh Meri! Pat yourself on the back because you are one awesome Momma! You must let yourself feel VERY GOOD and PROUD that you have raised such a responsible, intelligent boy! I know it's hard to let go! I am thankful that I don't have to for awhile (although if she had her way she'd be doing it all herself at 4). I get tears reading this - but you've got to focus on the happy and the fact you are doing such a great job of raising ALL your kiddos! Bravo to you! Luv ya!


    I'm crying. That's all I can think of.

    I know it's time...but...but...


    Thank goodness I have you to look up learn walk this journey with.

    Because, seriously, I have no idea how I'll EVER be able to do this.


  16. this is what happens when you are an excelent mom as you are we are proud of you love you meri larsen in los cabos

  17. Hi Meri,
    I'm Heidi and my six-year-old son Jack has T1D. This post really struck a chord in me. I have a feeling I won't let go until our endo tells me to let go. I know it's going to be difficult. I'm dreading it. I so admire how you're handling this!!! Great job!!! :)

  18. "So I’ll let go. I’ll empower him to control his life."

    Powerful words Meri. You have done such a great job raising these strong, healthy, capable boys. It's so hard to let go, but look at you, doing it from a distance! It's all so hard, especially with our kiddos. I hear ya hon. Think of all that you have taught him, you should be so very proud of how well he has turned out and I'll say it again, how capable he seems. Congrats.

  19. Meri,
    Your comment on my blog made me smile. :) Thanks for following me! Likewise, I'm now an official follower of Our Diabetic Life, too. :) I'm looking forward to getting to know you and your family better!

  20. Look at you Meri, you are doing it, you are letting go.. Good for you!!! Letting go is the hardest thing for a mom to do, doing it with a T1 child is even more difficult.
    There are some days Tyler does not write in his book, his meals, snack, supplements, insulin etc.. Life lessons learned. When he does not write he forgets, eats too much and is usually high. I let him have days where he is in the drivers seat, tho it is not easy.

    It is all about EMPOWERMENT, like you said. We need to give them the tools they need. Yes, they will fall, but haven't we? We are their support system, teaching them how to lift themselves up, dust off and begin again...

    I am so proud of you!!!

  21. Oh good for you! You are handling it like a champ! :) I'm scared of when that time comes with Tristan.... but I will know who to run too! :)

  22. I'm proud of you coach- you've raised a champion!
    He's empowered, confident, and proud.
    You have given him a tremendous gift~
    Damn girl, you are one fantastic D mom!

    Kelly K


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