Breathing seems like a very easy action. A natural reflex we are born with. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. Looking back on my facebook status’s I came across this post that I wrote right after we returned home from our first endocrinologist appointment…
“Relief! We LOVE our specialist!!! So reassured- on our way to figuring it out. Thanks mom for going with us and supporting Kinz. Crys, we couldn’t have gotten so much out of the appointment without your help and support! I cannot thank you guys enough! Lots to do but I do believe we have the best medical team EVER and supportive family!!! One step at a time but I feel like I can breath…sigh!”
I can remember feeling like I was being smothered, unable to take a complete breath of fresh air right after Kinzie was diagnosed. I remember so badly wanting to be able to, but I couldn’t. I remember struggling so bad to just let it be, but I couldn’t. I don’t appreciate the feeling of not having control, perhaps that is why I have never felt the need for outside stimuli…control is what I thrive on. I remember so desperately wanting control back when it was ripped from my hands and rendered me completely useless. I cannot fully describe how it felt, but as a mother, it was the worse feeling in the world.
I anticipated going to our endocrinologist appointment and frantically putting everything into place and prepping for this appointment every minute of every day. I would not let Kinzie out of my sight, in fact, I was by her side every single second of every single day. I couldn’t breathe and the only thing I could do was to prepare. Only way for me to survive in those moments before our appointment I had to be the nurse. I am not sure if that is even a healthy coping skill…but it was the only one available to me at the time, it was all that I knew. I had been able to witness tragedy from the outside, I was able to rescue (or at least try) other people as part of my job. It was all I knew to do when I was faced with my own tragedy.
I can always tell you how I ‘think’ I would act in any given circumstance…but that is judgment based off of stability and surrounded by control. When you have to face such loss of control, what you ‘thought’ you would do and what you ‘actually’ do are usually two different things. Perspective and reality change that.
I remember dreading going to the endocrinologist. I was afraid of what I was going to have to face. I knew diabetes…and knew that in order to go on I would have to accept it.
I can recall meeting our pediatric endocrinologist and diabetic nurse educator for the first time and just wanting to cry. They got it, they understood, they allowed me to have my fears and let me know it was okay and normal. They were the providers of stability and the back-up I so desperately craved. They were going to be our stability rod. They were going to help, teach, love an breathe for us. I remember listening to our physician and thinking right away what a great fit for us she was and how blessed we were to have her in our lives. She is an amazing woman. Our nurse is completely fabulous; I remember thinking how amazing it was to see such professionalism. They took to us like they already knew our needs. They took their time, they embraced us, and they instantly became a part of our family forever. I will forever be greatly appreciative for these amazing examples in our life. For the first time since Kinzie’s diagnosis, I remember breathing. I remember breathing and it not hurting. I remember breathing and not panicking. I remember being able to take that first breath as Kinzie’s mother, not her nurse. It felt good.
I cannot quite explain how it felt, but I live it every day. I remember it every day. I remember not being able to breath and wanting to crawl into a hole…feeling so lost, like I had no control anymore and failed as a mother. I felt like I failed at my one task given to me the day I became a mother. I couldn’t protect my child. I had no control.
But truth be told, I have control. I may not be able to choose to rid Kinzie of diabetes, but I can control everything around it. I can be optimistic, I can be flexible, I can set the tone and approach it with the best of my abilities. I can be an example for my daughter; I can show her the importance of taking care of her body. I can give her the tools to be capable to do such a task correctly.
I want every mother who is feeling suffocated to know that they will breathe again, that they are not alone. As a mother, we want control and to be able to fix every situation. Remember when we are not granted certain powers, when not all choices lie within our grasps; there are always things we can do, ways to approach what we are given to create the best possible outcome. Always know you are given circumstances because you are capable to face them and conquer them. I draw much of my strength from my daughter; she has taught me how to breathe every day.