And so it continues…
Type 1 Diabetes continues to instill fear with every chance it gets. Since Kinzie’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ episode, she hasn’t really left me that much… unless she is with her Aunt, who learns as much as she can about Kinzie and involves herself in Kinzie’s daily care, changes, corrections, etc.; aside from a few friend play dates. (Have I ever said what a relief it is to have a pillar standing strong for us like that in our life?)
Well, today, that moment came…and I knew it would. That moment when I knew I would have to inhale and exhale, and just let go of those fears that dwell inside. Her best friend called and wanted to take Kinzie swimming. (Swimming, a harmless activity, usually safe, fun, and innocent activity…until you add hormones, type 1 diabetes and an ongoing list of changes in the past few months).
Immediately I wanted to say she couldn’t go. Why you ask? Well, because I am scared. I am scared that people won’t know what I know (well, people do not know what I know. I know her best. I can spot a change in an instant. I have intuition when something is changing…I live, breath, eat and sleep everything T1D. It is my job. I am good at it). Then reality hits (or we can say the words of my sister hit me as I bounced my feelings off of her). “At some point, some time, some place…she will need to leave again. It will happen again; and when it does, she will be fine” (because we choose who she is around wisely and educate when we can). We set her environment up to be as safe as possible at all times. Before our epic episode, I felt more comfortable in the role of letting her venture out. Before the many changes hormones have brought, I felt safer, more at ease. Now…it is a new world. Now, I feel like I have this and hope every one else does too.
That is diabetes sneaking in. That is diabetes instilling fear. That is diabetes finding a way to gain control. Once again, I let it get the better part of me…once again I fail to recognize it before it has the upper hand.
Fair? Is it fair? I would like to think no…but then again, what is fair? Who is ever really dealt a ‘fair’ hand?
So with one huge breath we prepped. We packed her supply bag together, we checked her blood glucose together, we treated her low together, we got her ready for swimming together, and together we made the decision she is safe to go with her best friend and her family. Because, in the end, this is a fantastic family who has from day 1 been there for us. They continue to stick around and offer support, willing to learn, grow and change with us. (A dream friend family for any T1D parent).
Tears streaming down my face (alone) I have been able to come to the conclusion that it is okay to be scared and it is okay to hate these feelings…but it is okay to let it be. It has to be okay to continue to live without limits as long as we safely provide a secure and prepared environment. It is okay!
This stuff never gets easier…but it does get more common, more familiar.
These small moments we overcome will prepare us for our future and help us for whatever may come our way. These small moments that appear not to render much merit to the outside world is HUGE to us. These small moments are huge milestones and accomplishments to us.
They came to pick her up…and of course I spent a few solid minutes reinforcing (what they already know)…because it makes me feel more at ease. Because I think reinforcing is simply essential. As they drove off a weight was lifted and I realized that I was able to let go of just one fear I didn’t want to face just yet. It felt good. And now I anticipate the hours…watch my phone, and hold on to a little prayer in my heart that all will be well…and if it isn’t well…that everyone will remember what to do and Kinzie will be safe. Life continues, even when we are not ready for it…it continues so we can be prepped. It continues because it has to continue.
And as I type these exact words I get a text that her sugar is 53, she is out of the pool drinking a juice and eating a snack to bring it up. Now, in the beginning I would have raced over to the pool thinking I needed to be the rescuer. But here I sit, yes, a little bit nervous with phone at my side (no T1D parent likes lows…let alone a low when we are not around). But I sit here…and that is a big deal. I am not rushing out the door, I am not frazzled thinking I should be there…I sit here knowing she is in good hands. I sit here knowing that we are blessed to have people in our life willing to go above and beyond to help keep Kinzie safe and willing to continue to learn more about type 1 and what they can do to keep her safe when I am not there. They do this because they see what she goes through and want to make sure that she has support all around. They do this because they were here before diabetes and refuse to leave just because diabetes tries to throw us curve balls. They do this because they love Kinzie.
Once again, Type 1 Diabetes has made me pause…but once again, we continue on and do not let it stop us. I keep saying it is the small steps…small steps are huge for us.