Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Diabetes Monster

Fly Away Balloons Image

We celebrated our youngest daughter's birthday this week.

She is 8 years old. 

For anyone who has the luck to be entranced by a happy, shiny and sweet eight year-old, it is pure pleasure.  She relished every moment of the festivities and truly savored the flavor of the day.  From dawn til dusk, she enjoyed having a special day all to herself.

For me as her mother, this marks another date as well.

The day my daughter was born.  It was an easy, short labor and we often tease that she came out quickly into the world with a smile that said, "Let's play!" to her 2 year-old sister.  Having our daughter completed the family and she made our world so much brighter with her giggles and happy thoughts.

Then another memory...
Our youngest daughter was diagnosed shortly after her 3rd birthday.   Celebrating her birthday makes an image immediately appear.  One of a very tiny three year-old who refused to leave the party table until she ate pizza.  Sitting so anxiously and asking for food repeatedly while her friends enjoyed all of the party games.  None of this erratic behavior made sense until a few weeks later when an official diagnosis was made.

Some years, this second birthday memory slips by with only a gentle pause at thinking of how far we have come.  On other years, type 1 diabetes rears it's ugly head and makes itself known.  After all, type 1 diabetes doesn't go away just because you are celebrating a special day.

This year, diabetes raged loudly.

A cannula tugged loose while the adhesive remained in tact and a dosage of insulin was lost, resulting in a HIGH on the blood glucose meter.  A new site change, six units of insulin bolused and a fast descent leading to a 39 blood glucose just a few hours later. 

She felt neither of these numbers.  Nor does she remember them.  But I do.

The panic, the anxiety, the stress of trying to control swinging blood sugars in an environment 240 miles away from our home, all while trying to give her the most special birthday an 8 year-old could hope for.

So while I marvel at how quickly my baby is growing up, I also sit with a heavy heart thinking of what will happen when she does reach full maturity.  How will she look after herself and who will take care of the diabetes monster that rages within?

And at the relief that for a while longer she is all mine.  To love, cuddle and protect from everything in the world.

Mom magic is strong and as I tucked her into her bed, she simply hugged me tight and thanked me for giving her the 'best birthday in the world.'


Professional Mommy said...

Amy, thanks for sharing that. Getting through daily life with a diabetic child has become just a part of life, but when it effects their special times it tends to be more heartbreaking. No one but a mom can understand how sad that really is. Hugs, and besides D.. I hope she really had an amazing birthday. You are a great mom!

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Thank you for your kind words. You are right, no one except another mom (or dad) can feel that true sadness. One thing that I will never fully be able to get over is how Diabetes can steal moments in time. But at the end of the day, she did have fun and that is what is most important.