Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Guilt, yo.

Hey.  You have something on your chin.

Oh, no worries, it’s just a little guilt.  Here’s a tissue.

Guilt: feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy.

These days it seems like I’m bleeding guilt.  Hemorrhaging guilt?  I don’t think there is a band-aid big enough to cover my guilt wound.  I’m working, (Oh, did you hear I was working??,)  which means I’m leaving the boys alone for the first time in forever.  Although my oldest is 18…this is still a completely novel concept in the Schuhmacher house. 

I leave a list of things that need to be done whilst I’m gone, and then I go.

I text and call to keep in touch, “Did you bolus for breakfast?  Did you check your sugar?  Did you brush your teeth?”  (Side note: Apparently teeth brushing doesn’t happen during the summer unless I ask.)

But even though I have the power of the iPhone and its ultra convenient communication methods on my side…things happen while I’m gone.  A hypothetical example might be that I asked a child to put Clorox toilet cleaner in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a half hour and then flush.  A child may have hypothetically taken one of those Clorox toilet-cleaning pucks that are supposed to be put in the BACK of the tank, and thrown that into the toilet bowl, which lodged itself in the crick of the toilet bowl and now won’t let anything through.

Hypothetically.  (My ass.)

Also, when I ask, “Did you bolus for breakfast.”  50% of the time the answer is no.

When did diabetes become no big deal?

Oh, my bad.  That’s my fault, as I try hard to make it no big deal every day.

But am I doing a disservice to the boys?  Should I make it a “bigger” deal?  Obviously bolusing for the food that is going to go into their mouth is important.  One would think that doing the same thing a dozen times a day, every day, would…I don’t know…maybe become a habit?

Excuse me; I just throw up a little guilt in my mouth.

I do see the good side of it all.  My boys need independence.  I was probably smothering them or something with all my love, so it’s for the best, right?

That’s what I told myself until this conversation happened…

“Hi Mom, sorry to call you at work.  Do you know when you’ll be home?”

“In about an hour, I think.  Is everything ok?  Are your brothers being mean to you?”

“No, nothing like that.  Everything is just better when you’re here.”


Also, I wake them up every morning on my way out.  They are so peaceful and sweet laying in their beds, but I can’t fathom leaving without knowing that everyone’s blood sugars are ok, so I prick all three of their fingers and inevitably wake them.  What if one of them was in a coma and I just…went to work??

Be nice.  It could happen.

Oh wait; I think guilt juice is coming out of my eye.

I know that one day we'll look back at this and marvel how we survived this new time in our life.  And see…just the fact that I can say "we’ll look back on this" is proof I know we will survive this.  (See what I did there?)

It’s going to be ok.  (When I type those words out, I believe them.  That's why I type them a lot.)

Until then, we’re having guilt for dinner.  With a little courage on the side.


  1. Same here Meri! This is the first Summer that I'm MIA every day, and it IS true we gotta ask for teeth to be brushed! Sigh. I'm trying not to freak out over my little who is carb counting for herself and TRYING to remember to check blood sugars.....guilt, guilt, guilt! (hugs) I hope you (we!) find our way past this useless emotion sooner than later!

  2. I was diagnosed when I was 18 and my mother still felt guilty about leaving me home alone. I have 2 older siblings and I would get frustrated if they'd remind me to do anything diabetes related. BUT, I do know one thing. Even though I know I could never take away my parents' guilt, I never blamed them/wanted them to blame themselves for anything related to my diabetes. I'm not a parent nor do I have a child (or children) with diabetes but I am diabetic. And I know that your kids appreciate all your love and hard work even if you can't be with them all the time. Everything is better when your parents are around but independence is great too! Hope your guilt juice runs out soon and lots of "My kids are awesome. They kick ass at diabetes and my smothering love let them focus on being a kid instead of being a kid with diabetes" juice overfloweth. They'll learn to make diabetes a bigger deal. Hugs to you, Meri!

  3. "One would think that doing the same thing a dozen times a day, every day, would…I don’t know…maybe become a habit?"

    I think I have said this to myself many many times. I have the same guilt every day...but I too know that we will get through this. Hard to remember in the midst of it though.

  4. Boys & bathrooms... I could write a book. But I won't.
    You're doing great. Your sons are wonderful and smart and they love you.

  5. I was diagnosed when I was 11. My mom went back to work about a week after I got out of the hospital (she worked nights), and with a mostly absent father back then, she felt so guilty and I could definitely tell. I have a twin brother and four older siblings who helped out a lot. In the end it made me so much more independent and I am glad that she didn't watch over me so much, it made me have to learn more about diabetes, and for that I am thankful!


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