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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I Wasn't Yelling, I Was Typing Briskly

We who live near the wilderness, are always aware of the potential to encounter bears,and heaven help you, if you encounter the Mama Bear when her cubs are near. Heaven. Help. YOU. It gives pause for thought as to where the term "rip your face off" originated.
I hang my head in embarassment, the morning after an online tirade. Yes, it seems my Mama Bear was provoked.  I'm not using that as an excuse, but I do think it's an accountable perspective.
Sometimes, there comes a time in life, when there is just such a level of frustration, and emotional involvement, maternal love and obligation.... that I can become reactive.

I have a mantra that I have used for years "don't do anything impulsive. DON'T do anything impulsive" for the most part it works, but sometimes, I walk onto such a landmine, that I don't even have a split second to recognize if I'm heading towards impulsivity. The Mama Bear shackles have been RAISED and those typing fingers go aroaring.  Be grateful for this much: it's much prettier when you only have to deal with typed words. When I hit this level of intense need to protect my T1D child, my face turns red, my nostrils flair, I shake and sometimes will cry, because the level of energy is just TOO INTENSE.

But you don't know that if you haven't walked this path of ours.
Wanna know what set me off?
Public school lunch times. More specifically dietary restrictions during public school lunch times. More specifically: peanuts.
I'm going to do my very best not cannonball jumping right back into the intensity. Truthfully, I can already feel my arms tingling. It's coming. I breathe deeply, try to centre myself so I can continue.
Rowan had one blissful year in school before being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. One blissful year: Kindergarten. Free of fingerpokes, and limited grams of carbohydrates per serving. One blissful year of being "normal" (which, we ALL know.... "normal" is simply a bolus setting on an insulin pump).
I think I have both perspectives on this nut issue. Well, in theory I think I do. I know the frustration of not being able to send my child's favourite lunch to the school. 
But I also know the frustration of having a seemingly healthy kid be struck down with a life long condition. A condition that has such unrelenting maintenance to it; a condition SO MISUNDERSTOOD.  That not being able to send peanut butter has just been launched via emotional grenade attack, completely out of my mind. Because I look into the eyes of my child. The child I just want to keep safe. That I would do ANYTHING to help keep safe.  To try and make her happy. To try and teach her to find the bright side.
It is an experience unlike anything you have ever experienced as a parent, when you have to say to your beloved "I'm sorry.... you can't eat that right now" as their friends chow down glutonously... drooling. It is unbearable for a little kid to watch all of their friends have cupcakes to celebrate so and so's birthday, but they aren't able to eat it with their friends, for whatever diebetic reason at the time. Don't believe me? Please try it! Please take several trays of donuts and your child to the local playground. Start handing them out. Now look at your child and deal with the emotional meltdown because they've been left out. Been made special.

Damn it. I'm going off onto a mini-rant.  Reassess Krystin, reassess!

It has been said "it takes a village to raise a child" which is FANTASTIC if you have a willing village.  Some villagers get dragged into this kicking and screaming. Some are most gracious, compassionate and helpful. But there seems to be an awful lot of "it's not my kid, so it's not my problem" in this day and age.  Trust me, the flip side to THAT is a little kid and/or family wondering "but don't I matter to you?"

I'm not posting this for pity. I am posting this in an effort to challenge your paradigm.  You don't know what you've got until it's gone. That is most certainly the case with the insulin producing cells of your pancreas. They leave. You know the gratitude, the relative ease of living, it's gone.

In closing.... I ask this of you.  If you encounter a child in the school system with a dietary restriction. Please don't trivalize it as 'a lifestyle preference'.  There is nothing preferential about this lifestyle we lead. Please be grateful for the fully functioning organs of your loved ones, please try to be compassionate, and please..... if you are able to help by honouring the limitations, please do so.

There is a little person in that school looking to you to see if she MATTERS.

Does she? Because she's watching.

Wishing you and yours fully functional pancreases, and happy blood glucose readings.

With much love and light,

Krystin and her LadyBugs.

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