Friday, April 1, 2011

Looking at my Diabetic Daughter.....

As I sit here watching my diabetic 5 year old, asleep on the's 4:30 a.m.  I woke up abruptly at 2:20, panicking at missing her midnight check (blood sugar).  I raced to her room to find her awake, blood sugar of 70.  Why didn't I wake up?  I chastise myself....I get so tired sometimes.  At least 70 isn't "too" low.....she looks like she will go back to sleep so I get the Glucagon and give her 8 units (we use mini-dose glucagon for nighttime lows).  I go to the kitchen to make myself a snack and wait to recheck her.  A few minutes later I hear her yell out "Mom!".  Visions of her last hypoglycemic seizure, 3 weeks ago, fill my head as I hurry to her room.  She's awake, but blood sugar is 77.  Relieved, I get her a glass of milk, she drinks about half.  I ask her if she wants to come sit with me, she smiles and climbs down from her bunk.  She cuddles up on the couch and falls asleep.  On recheck she is now 238 but I know not to treat it, she'll come down later.  Her pump still lists active insulin.  I'll need to recheck her around 5 a.m. so I sit here on my computer.

Sometimes I ask myself "why me?"  "why was I chosen to have a child with diabetes?  I don't think I'm good enough."  Self-doubt is a daily threat for me.  We've been doing this since she was diagnosed at 22 months of age.  I remember those early days....a newly diagnosed toddler, a newborn, and 3 other children to care for.....and I thank God for my husband.  He did not shy away, he buckled down and we learned it together.

As I sit here tonight, remembering....and looking forward....I found this poem by Erma Bombeck.  Other diabetic mothers know of it....I just found it.  It is comforting to me but I feel it should say "parents," not just mother as my husband has been such a part of it all.  Here it is.....
 (found at tu diabetes).



by Erma Bombeck


Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with diabetes are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint Matthew."

"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, Patron Saint Cecilia."

"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a child with diabetes." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly", smiles God. "Could I give child with diabetes to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel".

"But has she the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I am going to give her has her own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps. "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she cannot separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with less than perfect."
"She does not realize it yet, but she is to be envied. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see .... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice ... and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as if she is here by my side."

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid air. God smiles. 

"A mirror will suffice."

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