Diabetes has been my companion for almost 15 years now.
I'm used to it. I'm well versed in the language. I understand the storm, as I've sat in the eye of it many times and survived.
But lately, it seems the weight has shifted. Like when you hold a baby, or in my case triplets, and they arch their backs and you struggle to keep them from dropping on the floor.
I believe B is in the beginning stages of puberty. His insulin needs are increasing rapidly, and I'm feeling guilt with every off number.
I've preached it before: The numbers are a map. Don't take them personally.
But wherever I am, or for whatever reason, those numbers are hurting me right now.
L called from school with a 40 yesterday. He didn't have insulin until dinner that night, other than his basal, and he was still low all day. No kidding, sunny days do that to the kid. Really? Weather changes everything? What kind of whacked out disease is this?
I have a responsibility to the boys to keep their numbers in a good place without making diabetes the center of their lives. HA! Read that last sentence again. It seems so completely impossible when diabetes is present in every facet of their day. I'm trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I keep track of three pancreases, while they only (only? HA!) need to worry about one...their own. And that maybe, they aren't as overwhelmed with it as I am.
I really hope they aren't.
Without Ryan, I am completely 100% responsible for the well being of my boys. Physically and mentally. Do you have any idea the enormity of that responsibility?
What if I'm fricking it all up?
How do I know if I'm doing it right? Is there a right? There is a wrong way, so there has to be a right way, right?
Ryan and I would bounce ideas off each other. I ask people for advice and they have none to give. I have to make decisions, a lot of big decisions, diabetes and otherwise, all by myself. I can't convey how hard that is. Sure, over the years I was probably the decision maker in most of the diabetic quandaries laid before us. But it was so nice to have that voice gently cheering me on...affirming that I'm going in the right direction.
With all the worry I've felt internally, (most of which I can't say is completely justified, and some of which is totally justified,) I've been trying to keep my thoughts of Ryan on the back burner. I've been turning off the sad songs on the radio, and when I think of him I try to force a smile and tell myself that I can grieve later. I let a tear or two fall, but I don't allow myself to indulge in a full on pity-fest. For the most part it's been working. I've been holding it together the past couple weeks like a champ. I've let the feelings flow for so many months, (the month of March it wasn't so much flow-like as fire-hose-like,) there needs to be some respite from it all, right? And if I have to force it...so be it.
But then the guilt comes.
Guilt that I'm suppressing my feelings.
Guilt that I'm letting the boys down.
Guilt that the numbers aren't better.
Guilt that I'm not getting the boys the right kind of help to get through this.
Guilt that the boys can see through my warrior facade, and see I'm guessing my way through it all. Guessing my way through things that will affect the rest of their lives.
So much guilt, and worry.
I love my boys so much. They need a happy mom. I want to be happy. I try so hard to be happy.
But diabetes arches it's back, and grief throws a tantrum and I struggle to keep hold of this world I've been thrown into. Slipping up means my boys suffer. My boys. The people that I treasure more than my own life.
So yeah, obviously, it's weighing on me. For so long I was able to let it go. For so long my motto was, "You can't do better than your best." And it's true! Dang it. I know it is true!
But my circumstance right now won't let me see through those glasses. I'm sure in time I'll get back where I need to be. (Next week? Next month? Next year?) But in the meantime, how do I sustain my buoyancy with the waves of guilt crashing into me, surrounding me in every direction? Especially when there is nothing to distract me from it all. I'm looking at this responsibility square in the eye, day in and day out.
How do I believe I'm good enough, alone? Man. That word just screams at me. Alone. I have family. I have friends. I know I'm not alone. But you can be not alone and still feel lonely. I'm a living testament of that.
Oh my friend. I really have no words. As I was sitting here thinking of something encouraging to say, I had a flashback to one of my old posts and a poem that I wrote about Jada, but is so fitting for you in so many ways. I tried to post the link here, but my iPad is being difficult. I'll post it on Facebook instead. God will meet you my friend. I don't know how or where, but He is faithful. I heart you lots and lots and lots! Make sure you read your own comment at the end. :)ReplyDelete
Much love to you, Meri.ReplyDelete
Just think of where those boys would be right now without you... I think this is the definition of co-dependency (in a good way). You're doing great.ReplyDelete
When Leo was diagnosed I said to ny dad I feel so alone. I knew I wasn't but his reply was you are. We all are and in a way that made me stronger I knew then that this was a fight I had to win no matter how battered and bruised I get along the way. You sound like a fantastic person and you are a super-mum. I have one child with type1 and U have three. If im half as good a parent as you il be proudReplyDelete
Ryans voice is still there letting you know you are doing a great job. You just have to listen for it differntly now.ReplyDelete
Sweet Meri. I can't pretend to know all you're going through, but I do know how it is to feel like im playing guessing games with a life that is not my own. I want to believe that there are no mistakes, just lessons to learn and reasons why we made that choice in the first place(like we we were guided). All we can do is our best... AND, from what I can see, your best is damn good, my friend!!! SCL MTWReplyDelete
Standing in for one pancreas is hard, but three - with three different ecosystems? That's a superhuman job, and I can only imagine how hard. You do it amazingly well and write about it beautifully - hope that provides some solace!ReplyDelete
There's no instruction manual on parenting, Meri. I think we all wonder if we're doing it right enough, and I bet our parents wondered too.ReplyDelete
I think one thing that helped me, or at least helped me feel better, is literally telling my kids that I've never been a parent before having them, and that I'm going to mess us and make mistakes. And that, most importantly, if we talk about them, we can get through them. Maybe even in one piece, too.
Meri - we're not perfect and we're not supposed to be. Jesus died for us because of our sins and imperfections. Lean on Him during these pendulum swinging diabetes days. Andrew is experiencing some shifts since the weather change himself. You do an amazing job and your boys know that! I pray that God continues to have His hand on your family.ReplyDelete
God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. You are an encouragement to so many. Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your victories. It helps me believe that I too can be equipped! Robin in GA with 2 T1D boysReplyDelete
Just wanted to drop some love here and let you know you're heard. I am relatively certain you need to stop feeling guilty about how much or how little you grieve. You can't grieve incorrectly. I believe that. Just like there's no one way we're supposed to feel about a diagnosis of diabetes, there's no one way you're supposed to miss Ryan. On the days when you have to back burner it, as you say, you're absolutely still feeling him, his presence, and his absence. There's no shame in that. As for the pancreases, I've obviously got no help for you there. I'm managing just my own (or lack thereof, it seems) and I can't get good numbers half the time. ;)ReplyDelete