Woman, Independent Parent, Artist, Advocate, Artifical Pancreas.... and EVERYTHING in between.

I am blessed to be parenting two beautiful girls, ages eight and eleven. My youngest nearly lost her life at age six (August 2010) to diabetic ketoacidosis: an often fatal consequences of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. This is OUR journey: raw and sometimes, uncensored.

Thank you for visiting wishing good health and a cooperative pancreas to you and yours.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gratitude In The Midst Of Diabetes...

Caring for a little one with Type 1 Diabetes can be overwhelming, emotionally and physically exhausting. I am a *total* needle-phobe, and in highschool I failed both biology and chemistry, so the fact that I am the sole caregiver of this high maintenance condition baffles me.

But in the middle of caring for Rowan and Type 1, I always have a choice in how I handle it. I can get angry by the injustice of the entire situation, I can let her condition slowly pull me back down into the dark depths of depression of which I've struggled all of my life. Somedays I do. But, I also have the choice in responding to life's circumstances with the most grace I can muster. I don't want to raise this little girl to consider herself a victim of life's circumstance. I don't want her to ever assume the fetal position in the face of adversity. Perhaps because of her tender young age, I am conscious of her watching me all the time. Learning from what I model. So today, I am choosing to be as grateful as I can for this entire situation, and hopefully some of the gratitude and positivity will rub off on her as well as her sister.

I am so tremendously grateful for the following aspects of Type 1 Diabetes:
  • I am grateful that the original endocrinologist we saw last August at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, drives out to the Abbotsford Hospital one day each month to see patients within the Fraser Valley. That saves me an hours drive each way to her quarterly endocrinology appointments. Approximately $30 in gas return trip. For this, I'm very grateful.
  • I am grateful that both my girls are learning exactly how a body operates, what it needs as proper fuel, and how to maintain and care for themselves. Most people reach adulthood without a firm foundation of this knowledge. Not my little ones. Diabetes is teaching them proper self-care. For this I'm grateful.
  • For a community of online women who when I'm in a dark place, I can be honest with them about what I'm feeling, and chances are, they have been experiencing it also, making the whole situation that much more normal for me.
  • I'm grateful that Rowan has some medical coverage, otherwise I'd be bankrupt under these continual medical costs.
  • I'm grateful that Rowan's paternal grandparents took the initiative of receiving diabetic training, without it ever being asked of them, simply because they knew they would need the training/information to continue to be a regular part of her life.
  • I'm grateful Rowan is able to identify in the middle of the night, in the depths of slumber, when she is low. She awakes and requests "Mama, please test me, I feel weird... I can't feel my legs". This little girl has a remarkable ability of being able to recognize when she's dangerously low.
  • I'm grateful that diabetes has reminded me how strong I am capable of being. I am a fighter, always have been, and apparently will always continue to be so. As a single parent, sometimes the workload is insurmountable, the needs never ending.
  • And while I'm certain there is even more to be grateful for, I'm going to close this post on this note. I am grateful that one week after being discharged, I (the single parent) took my little girls camping at Rolley Lake for the first time ever. I have never been the sole grown up of a camping expedition, so that was a first. As was incorporating insulin and diabetes throughout the camping trip. In hindsight, I don't know if it was the bravest or most daft thing I've ever done. But I had made a commitment to take them, the reservation was already there, we weren't THAT far from home. I'm proud of myself for not renegging on that trip. Because you know..... if you can administer an insulin dose amid dust and dirt on the top of a picnic table, baby- you can do it ANYWHERE.

So even though I'm not too impressed with this latest development within her life, it is teaching us things about ourselves that I don't think we would have learned otherwise.


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