Whew…….(deep sigh)…..December 20, 2010 to December 20, 2011. Can’t believe that we having been dealing with T1 diabetes for a whole year. To say that this year has been a roller-coaster ride would be an understatement unless the roller-coaster went as high as Mt. Everest and as low as the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
December 20, 2010 was one of the worst days of my life. But I think December 21, 2010 was even worse. I woke up that morning as usual and then was hit with the realization of what we learned the day before….it was like being punched in the stomach. I remember thinking “this can’t be really happening.” I kept thinking of the movie “Steel Magnolias”–which I vow never to watch again or let my daughter watch. D**M that movie! I hate it now. I wanted to throw up and then crawl back into bed with the covers over my head. But I couldn’t. KC’s life depended on me. How she managed this disease depended on me. The attitude with which she faces all of life’s challenges depended on the example I set. So I went into “Pollyanna Mom” mode.
But being positive all the time is hard work. And answering the “how is she doing?” question with “fine” every time isn’t really an accurate reflection of life. So sometimes, I just say “fine” but sometimes I say “as well as could be expected” or “it’s up and down but overall she is managing it well.” And occasionally, I actually explain how difficult it is to live with T1. I’ve come to think that the reason most people don’t realize how hard it is to live with T1 is because people with T1 just want to be perceived as normal. And they are normal people—who happen to live with a chronic disease that may have serious complications.
But the highs have been extraordinary as well. The existing friendships that have deepened and the new ones that have formed because of this disease are one gift that we’ve received. And every day that she is healthy is a blessing.
It has taken me three days to write this—we just got back from her well-visit with her pediatrician. He asked KC if she remembered her visit with him last year…he was the one who discovered that she was T1. They reminisced and he told her repeatedly how proud he was of her. I thanked him again, not only for taking the time to find out what was wrong with her last year, but also for checking in with us the next day to see how she (and we) were doing. I never expected that personal touch–but Dr. L has 4 children himself, including a daughter just about KC’s age. I know he identified with what we were going through.
In my next post, I’ll share some of what we’ve learned this year. Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!