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.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Emerging Day: Copyright Krystin Clark-Goodsell 2011

This is the story of the very first Emerging Day! It all started, once upon a time, with a little caterpillar named Rowan.

One Spring Rowan started feeling really, really yucky and gross. She fought with her sister caterpillar Trinity all the time. Rowan was a very grumpy caterpillar.

She was also hungry all the time! She could eat a whole tree full of leaves and still feel hungry.

She was really tired all the time no matter how much she rested. She had no energy and exploring the tree with her sister and friends wasn't very much fun anymore.

Sometimes Rowan felt tingly all over and things would get all blurry.

Then came the day that Rowan ran away from LadyBug Lane daycare. She had run away because she was feeling really sick and wanted to snuggle with Mama Caterpillar. But when Rowan had finally crawled home, Mama Caterpillar wasn't there- she had gone to work at the silk factory.

Trinity the sister caterpillar helped search for Rowan with all the other tree bugs. Trinity was very brave even though she was worried about Rowan.

When the tree search party found Rowan, she was curled up, crying because she felt so sick. Mama Caterpillar came from the silk factory, took one look at Rowan and said "it's time to see a doctor!"

So down the tree they all slowly climbed to see doctors Stewart and Jackson at the very bottom of the tree trunk. It took much longer because Rowan had to use the bathroom so many times on the way.

The snail receptionist greeted the caterpillar family and showed them to the exam room.

Dr. Jackson, a long and lanky Praying Mantis checked Rowan's reflexes and temperature.

When Dr. Jackson was shining a light into Rowan's ears, Dr. Stewart, a kindly Junebug, poked Rowan's fingertip with a pine needle. The sharp feeling surprised her, but she was brave!

"Open wide please" Dr. Stewart squeaked.

Rowan still didn't feel good, but did as Dr. Stewart instructed, hoping the doctors would make her feel better... and quick!

Dr. Stewart leaned in real close and took a long deep waft of Rowan's breath.

"Smells like rotten fruit... have you been eating much rotten fruit?" inquired Dr. Stewart.

"No...n... no" said Rowan meekly.

"We haven't been to compost corner in weeks" Trinity, sister-caterpillar spoke up "She's had no rotten fruit at all!"

"Not good, not good at all" muttered the doctors, "we must get her to Tree Top Hospital right away... right away! This little caterpillar is very ill!"

Just then a hummingbird ambulance zoomed down. Rowan, Trinity and Mama Caterpillar hung on tight to it's back as it zoomed up, up, up! Up they flew to the highest of tree branches. Branches so high Rowan and Trinity didn't know the tree had grown so high! When the hummingbird ambulance landed, a group of fairy doctors awaited them.

Rowan was put on a leaf stretcher and moved to her hospital room: an empty birds nest. Trinity and Mama Caterpillar held each others hands as they enterred the nest.

The bird nest room had a wonderful view of the forest below. But Rowan didn't care. Fairies kept poking her with pine needles, and mosquitoes kept coming to draw her blood. She didn't like it, not one little bit, and wanted Mama Caterpillar to take them home.

Rowan felt very sleepy, like she could sleep for days, but she was afraid to fall asleep in this strange place. Eventually she couldn't fight it anymore and fell asleep.

When Rowan awoke, she was wrapped really, really tightly in a cocoon. She'd never seen a cocoon before and didn't know what to do. She peeked through the webbing but couldn't see Mama Caterpillar or Trinity anywhere in the bird nest room. More fairies kept coming to poke her with pine needles through the cocoon. She was scared and didn't know what was happening.

Just then a fairy dressed all in yellow and gold stepped out from the tree's thick leaves. Rowan couldn't tell if she was an angel, or a fairy sparkling in the sunlight.

"Do not be afraid little Rowan" the angel-fairy spoke softly, "Everything will be alright". The angel-fairy went on to tell Rowan that she had been very, very sick, but insulin will help keep her healthy.

"But Rowan, there will be changes little one. You will never again be the simple caterpillar you once were. Break free from the cocoon and you will see".

Rowan was scared, she didn't know how to get out of a cocoon. She didn't even know anyone who had ever seen a cocoon! She was still tired, but somehow thought she felt a bit better. But it was hot and sticky in the cocoon and she wanted out!!!

"I can't do it!" Rowan cried.

"Aaah, but Rowan, you must" angel-fairy insisted calmly.

"Will you please help me?" Rowan begged frantically.

"Rowan, I am sorry... but I cannot. This is a battle for you alone. It will teach you how ferociously strong you are. Capable of facing anything in your future".

Rowan was frustrated the angel-fairy wasn't helping. She didn't like this stupid cocoon and she wanted out of it! Finally she channeled her frustration and managed to rip free.

Trinity and Mama Caterpillar returned to the bird nest hospital room just in time to see the cocoon slip away and two big beautiful butterfly wings unflap on Rowan's back. It was true, Rowan had changed! No longer the cranky fuzzy little caterpillar she once was. Now she was something entirely new!

"What am I?" Rowan asked in awe.

"You are a very rare and special diabetic butterfly"

"But my family.... they're still caterpillars?!?" she said with worry.

"They are still caterpillars, yes. But they will always be your family. They love you very much: no matter what you are, no matter what they are" spoke angel-fairy.

Rowan stayed at Tree Top Hospital for many days, learning how to be a diabetic butterfly. Mama Caterpillar went to Diabetes School to learn how to take care of her. At first it seemed very complicated. Sister-caterpillar Trinity learned all about it too. She was a quick study and very helpful.

When Rowan finally left Tree Top Hospital, she left on wings, much as when she arrived. But this time the wings that carried her were her own!! She was nervous to show her new self to her friends on LadyBug Lane. She was afraid they'd think she was too different.

Down from Tree Top Hospital they flew, Rowan carrying Trinity and Mama Caterpillar on her strong wings. All her ladybug and creepy crawlie friends were waiting for their return. They were very excited when they arrived. Rowan was grateful they didn't treat her any differently, even when she did her pine needle finger pokes.

"Fly for us Rowan! Fly for us!" their friends cheered, and fly she did! She zoomed up, she zoomed down. She flew higher than she ever thought possible. Her friends 'ooohed' and 'aaaahed' watching her fly loop-di-loops in the summer breeze.

Rowan had never heard of a diabetic butterfly before and wasn't very sure yet if she wanted to be one. It didn't matter thought: she was what she was. Since she had already morphed into a diabetic butterfly, she wanted to be the best one she could be!!

The next day, Rowan the diabetic butterfly flew to unexplored parts of the forest, spreading word about diabetic butterflies.

On her travels, she met a cranky little boy caterpillar who was feeling very sick. When the hummingbird ambulance arrived for him, she flew right along his side the entire way to Tree Top Hospital. She helped him be brave during pine needle fingerpokes, and she was there encouraging him as he struggled out from his own cocoon. Later she made him smile telling him about flying loop-di-loops on a summer breeze.

When Rowan came home that night, Mama Caterpillar and Trinity were excited by tales of Rowan's new diabetic adventures. That night, the three of them fell asleep all curled up together on their leaf, Rowan's new beautiful wings covering them and keeping them warm.

After all, they were family: Mama Caterpillar, Trinity and Rowan. No matter what any of them turned out to be and no matter where Rowan's new wings would carry them.

And every year, on the date Rowan emerged winged from her cocoon, the little family celebrated Emerging Day!

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