I love my life. I have a good marriage, three wonderful boys, I live in a nice house, Jason has a good job . . . I have much to be thankful for. MUCH.
And regarding d . . . we are one year, five months and four weeks exactly into our journey. We have come a looooong way. A very long way.
And I am thankful . . . and it’s not even Thursday! LOL. But I am thankful for so many things.
But last week, out of the blue, I hit a brick wall. It was the first full week out of school. I was so excited for the year to be over and have my boys home and sleep in until 8a and to swim and bike ride and stay up late . . . and I (we) did ALL of that.
And his numbers went sky high. Stubbornly high. Struggling to get them under 250 high (but not ever any ketones). I just could not get it under control. And by Thursday, I hit my breaking point. And I fell apart emotionally. By Friday, I couldn’t do anything without weeping.
Remember after having a baby, ladies, how the emotions from horomones flooded in and it didn’t matter what you did, what people said, how good the baby was, or how hard you tried you could not get control of the tears? They were just were an endless stream. So much so, I was sure I would literally die of dehydration. I remember very distinctly after Ethan was born, I was weepy after all three, but probably the worst after Ethan, that my mom came over before Jason left for work his first day back after we brought Ethan home. I was lying on the couch with Ethan sleeping when Jason kissed me bye. So young and so green as a momma, I was terrified for him to leave, even with my mom there. When the door closed, the waterworks came and just did not stop. I held my breath trying to make it stop. And I remember my mom sitting in the gliding rocker in the living room said, “Don’t fight it, Amy. Just let it out. The more you try to control it, the worse it’s going to be.”
She did two things for me in that moment. She told me that it was normal, that my body needed this release. And she gave me permission to be emotional so I could get through it and not just get stuck fighting what was the natural course of my body, my mind and my emotions.
The thought crossed my mind on Friday as I talked to my mom about it again. But there was no new baby causing the hormonal gush of emotion, no new devastating news, no real anxiety to speak of that had me weighed down. Like I said in the opening lines, I have a good life. I have been so blessed. So why the inability to control the tears? To not be able to beat the saddness?
And what I kept going back to was Ryan’s stubborn highs. And I would think about d and just weep. With every beep of the meter, with every correction given, with every snack he asked for . . . I just wept. Why am I here? I’m, again, one year, five months and four weeks into this dx. GET A GRIP, AMY!!!
I so needed to reach out to my support group. My confidantes in this journey. My same-sames. And I couldn’t. And I backed away trying to work through the emotion alone.
I just kept thinking . . . I’m not supposed to be here. Move on.
And I have tried to stay so positive and encourage others and see the bright side (not to be fake, just to cope and focus on the good), I was embarrassed to cry out for help because all I could see was the bad, the sad, the hard.
So I just started reading blogs. And I went to Meri (I’m already tearing up). And I read, “Your story MEANS something.” And at that moment, I didn’t feel my story did. And I reacalled a previous post where she encouraged people to write when they are down, to write the uglies to work through it. And I couldn’t write. It’s easier for me to write when I’m on the mountain than it is to write when the valley is deepest. And in my weepy mess, barely able to read the white screen to type, I messaged who I call my “big sister in d”, Meri (not because we are that close, but just because she is further down the road, because three of her four beautiful boys have Type 1 diabetes, and just because it’s Meri) and just told her exactly where I was . . . in that dark place where all spirals out of control. And for those who know Meri, her response was quick and her words were wise and her heart was real and she reached out so far that I could almost feel the embrace of her hug. She said all those things that I may have said to someone else but in the moment, didn’t believe for myself. And she sent me love.
And then I read again the comment from my Singapore-living, British friend, Kerry, who made on my Thankful Thursday post. I kept reading over and over, “Your family is one of the most well-adjusted families with diabetes that I know.” And she thanked me for my friendship. And I thought, “well-adjusted”? I’m a weepy mess over here! Well-adjusted?!?!? I wanted to be. But would a family well-adjusted to diabetes have a d-momma such a mess nearly 18 months into the journey? I should be well-passed this! Kerry is the friendship that I am thankful for. The Cracknell’s are the well-adjusted family. I don’t even measure up. She has been my rock at times, at many times. As much as what she said should have made me feel good, it made me feel afraid. Afraid to be honest . . . but I mustered up the courage, because she asked . . . and she was there.
Saturday was better. I was exhausted because Friday morning I made some MAJOR basal changes and I had to check that night, often. But numbers were better, much better. We went from averaging over 200 to averaging 128 on Saturday. And it continued on Sunday with average of 120 . . . and both of those days, minimal lows (once at a birthday party while bouncing in a bounce-house in over 100 degree weather, but it wasn’t scary and Ryan enjoyed the candy!). We even did okay with pizza on Sunday night. Monday’s average was in the 120s as well. (I know what you are saying, the bottom will drop out soon enough, but I’m reveling in it now!)
But the kicker was Sunday night. I was sitting ready for the Mavs to take the floor for Finals Game 6 and had just posted in my status, “Ok, Mavs, let’s get this done TONIGHT.” They were up 3-2 in the series with the Heat (in case you are not an NBA fan). I have never in my life watched a more stinkin’ nail-biting series in any sport in my life. The only time the Mavs seemed to get things going was if they were down by double-digits in the fourth! Sheesh!! Stress I do not need. And not to mention the announcers for the games should have been sporting their Bosh, Wade and James jerseys while sitting live through each game. UGH. Double UGH.
AnYwhOO . . . I was talking about Sunday night. Less than 30 minutes after posting that status, my phone rang. And for the first time, I got a phone call from Reyna. She’s a fellow-blogger too and has a T1er that’s a year older than Ryan. We exchanged numbers a while back but never used them, not even to text. Always conversing via blog comments or facebook. Joe’s dx was over four and a half years ago. I love her and Beta Buddies. She writes so real, so matter-of-fact. So humorous. So colorful! She moves me at times. She makes me laugh outloud! One of the funniest things I ever read was about her dog. I STILL go back and read that November post about Oscar the Mini Schnauzer getting in trouble for the scene he made that looked like the “murder of a squirrel wearing a diaper” and the “bedroom would be illuminated like a Rockefeller Christmas tree if a forensic team doused Luminol on the mess.” Ohhhh, it still has me in stitches! She, on more than one occasion as well, has picked me up from a face-plant on the concrete of diabetes. I’ve heard her voice from her vlogging. I laughed myself off my chair at one and cried like a baby in another. I.heart.her.
It was literally a breath of fresh air to talk to her. I was able to be honest. Honest about what had gotten me down. I was truthful for the first time with a d-mom about the JDRF Walk this year and about not walking and why (talk about feeling naked saying that outloud!). But we talked about the grief and the 24/7 care of diabetes. How there is no break, no vacation from it. She said something that I wish I had written down (I actually did look for a pen but none in sight) she said something like she was at times just one-string-of-high-numbers away from spiraling into that dark abyss of overwhelmingness and depression. THAT’S EXACTLY WHERE I HAD BEEN. Where I was crawling out of. And the comfort of hearing those words . . . to know it wasn’t just something broken in me, but that it was normal, and it was okay. I stood there glassy-eyed as I listened to my Vermont friend share with me where she was 18 months in.
And then we laughed. A lot. And it was therapy.
And today, I have thought over what transpired over the weekend. My swapped messages with Meri. The comments exchanged with Kerry. My phone conversation with Reyna. And I went back to that time in 1999 lying on the couch weeping in my mom’s presence and her words of not fighting what is normal, natural and real.
And I gave myself permission to grieve the life we will never be able to live again. To grieve not being able to just go to the pool and swim without worrying about the pod being knocked off or the sugar dropping too low. To grieve going to a birthday party and just letting him eat cake and candy without guestimating carbs in every bite. To grieve going to sleep without having a number or pizza that is bound to catch up at 1am swirling around in my head. To grieve the fact that I just can’t let Ryan go over a friend’s house this summer for a play date alone without having to find another mom willing to take on the responsibility of a diabetic child. To grieve because of the constant, hard, relentless care of a high maintenance disease. To grieve the fact that, barring a miracle of a cure, he will live with for the rest of his life (and that grieves me to the core).
And I gave myself permission to be sad when it’s simply what I need to do to get through it. To tell myself that it’s okay to cry and there’s no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed.
And it was almost like once I gave myself permission, I was able to move passed it.
So I tell you, my d-readers, don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself permission to cry. It’s like a cleansing, a washing of sorts. And if we allow it, it can be renewing. It can be strengthening. It’s part of the process . . . even 1 year, five months and four weeks down the road.