Haven’t updated my blog for a few months; not that I was avoiding it…
We have been busy as usual. On a good note we are fighting the D monster and winning. Attitude is everything, and we are slowly gaining ground. We don’t have answers to our ‘event’ back in March. Nothing about it is making sense. For now we are relating it to a massive hormonal shift (thanks puberty), and will continue on with that mindset throughout puberty (hello the next 5-6 years); and hopefully it will resolve into adulthood (by resolve, T1D will just ‘normally’ suck not extra suck). So until then we go about our business battling when we need to but not forgetting to just live (and smile while we do).
Kids are all growing up quickly…I think our house might be one of the noisiest places on earth. And I am okay with that. We are always on the go from one activity to another…from one appointment to the other. I guess if we didn’t have a busy schedule we would be bored.
We just finished June, which may have been our busiest month ever. With a weeklong session at Kinzie’s dance studio, 2 dance camp and her Young Women’s camp we were gone for the majority of the month. What makes this tricky is right now I need to follow her and just sit in the background and be on duty during activity (especially at night) so I have to make sacrifices in our home, miss my 3 other kids and get back up for my ‘motherly’ duties. It isn’t the easiest thing to do…leaving my family for nearly a month with a few day breaks in between. I missed my husband, sons and daughter so much. And would wrestle with the ‘guilty’ monster here and there the entire time I was away or preparing to go away. But I go because duty calls and my job with Kinzie is pretty important right now, as our answers are not very clear and everything has changed.
While we were gone, we faced several of our fears…like staying overnight in a hotel for the first time since seizure (me, elvis, Kinzie and her friend that was there during the seizure). I think it’s safe to say we were all on high alert the first night but made it through. Several other nights in a hotel followed and all were uneventful (Thank goodness!). Small victory! We also survived camping…and Kinzie camped in the tent with her friends and I camped several yards away from her…I wasn’t sure I was going to survive with my high anxiety levels at night, but with Elvis by her side we made it through and he never failed an BG alert throughout any night.
If I had to dub this the summer of something I think I would dub it the summer of change and confronting/facing fears. I think it was something that needed to happen, for all of us. We had to face reality outside of our comfort zones and Kinzie needed to see (once again) that she can do anything she wants to…even if Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t play fair. Blessing in disguise?
Our first trip away was for a Junior Dance camp. Kinzie tanked all day every day, as they were dancing and working hard from 8 in the morning to midnight (practicing routines even after the camp day ended). She plummeted the first night, but never gave up and continued to review the previous days routines dancing while drinking her juice, basal decreases on top of using her exercise basal rate program, eating trail mix while choreographing her portion of the All American Dancer routine. Her tanking so much had myself, Elvis and her coach (who happens to be my sister) on edge. We don’t like plummets late into the night or during sleeping hours…a little too close to home for now. This camp was a success and Kinzie pushed through the entire thing. She received blue ribbons in all routines, several gold ribbons for winning drill downs, became drill down champion (yay), tried out for All American Dancer and actually made it! She needed this experience; it was a boot in moral, confidence and lit a fire under her. She started realizing that even when she hates T1D…she continues to do anything any other child can and will do (with just a little extra TLC and challenges). Even when T1D tries to say no; she won’t let it hold her back.
We had to do a pit stop to the orthopedic physicians’ office. Kinzie’s knee has been killing her to the point it takes her breath away. We waited 2 weeks to get in. She has patellar tendonitis and Osgood schlatter’s disease where she grew too quickly for her ligaments couldn’t keep up with her bone growth (which she has grown crazy amount of inches…so it didn’t surprise us). Another little bump in the road.
Young Women’s camp was next, and Kinzie needed this more than ever before. She needed to see that even when she is ‘different’ then her friends at church, they think of her as normal, one of them. (much of them are her school friends and a few her dance friends). She chose to sleep in the tent with the girls and not with me and wasn’t even worried. It was like she refused to buy into her fears and had all the confidence in the world between Elvis’ alerts and my checks she would be fine. Another victory (or two) for us despite what Diabetes thought. She let down her guard a little and was her goofy self. She was a little open to her church friends and they all loved having Elvis there (each of them offering to hold his leash while she prepared her meals, went potty, or even just sat around at camp). He was just part of the group and they all loved cuddling with him (often arguing over who got to hold him, hug him, or play with him…and often would say Elvis is alerting!). We came home exhausted, dirty (even after taking camp showers), but successful.
We had a day to recover, clean up and pack and head out to the high school dance camp. It was a whirl wind of craziness. She was challenged, she faced D, she continued. She never sat down, never complained, and never said she couldn’t hang (mind you she isn’t in high school…just starting junior high this year, so the level of this camp was higher than she was use to). She once again rose to the occasion and bulldozed ‘D’. Dancing and drinking Gatorade/juice to keep BG up or battle a low. Elvis was on the sidelines sitting with me watching his girl. He was the star of camp. His 1st birthday came during camp, and we celebrated it with her dance team with cupcakes, Elvis got his doggy cupcake, presents and party hats. The camp staff was great and even sang to him on his birthday with the entire camp. Everyone loved him. Kinzie pulled off blue ribbons with each routine, won drill down champion again (and couldn’t try out for All American Dancer since she was already awarded it, but a few of her teammates made it too. She was so excited that they excelled and made All American). After Kinzie won Drill Down Champion we all cheered! That was our kid, from junior high, with T1D, fighting lows and highs…winning against everyone. I think the entire team was proud. A lady I had visited with earlier on during the camp (who was asking me about Elvis, because she had never seen a D.A.D. before and had a T1D son) sought Kinzie out after winning Drill Down Champion with the biggest smile on her face, so proud. It was a connection she had with us and shared in our excitement because she knows how T1D plays. She knows the extra commitment you have to make and extra chores/duties you have to do to do anything. She was very kind.
Our summer is finally relaxing. We have regular upcoming appointments. We are in the process of getting Kinzie on the OmniPod (insulin pump) which will better fit her activity level (which is level crazy), and training with our trainer for Elvis in August. I would like to think we are dealing with the changes T1D has thrown our way pretty well. Sure we had a few months (or four) of complete chaos and hate but we are dealing, changing and facing it head on. We aren’t backing down. We aren’t stopping. Although our endo jokingly says if she weren’t as active we would have a few less challenges (she doesn’t mean no activity…it’s just Kinzie’s activity level is in overdrive. She never slows down and just adds more to her plate). Kinzie continues to gain her confidence and rebuild her freedom as we learn to face all the things new in our ‘D’ life.
Junior high is a month away, and this mom, oddly enough, is okay. I have a little anxiety but more for the reason of crazy junior high stories then T1D. Endo wrote orders for Kinzie to manage it all on her own at school with Elvis’s help. Somehow knowing her friends are really good kids and has walked a part of this journey alongside Kinzie and know how she looks when she is tanking, acts when she is high and know Elvis’ alerts calms me. They also know how to do emergent care (physically have been trained with glucagon shot and an orange) and are prepared to save Kinzie’s life if need be with glucagon kit and gel (and will be covered by Good Samaritan Law) if they touch a needle at school and weren’t authorized to do so. Somehow I am looking forward to this challenge and change. Kinzie is ready for it.
All in all our summer of growth has been somewhat of a successful push into letting some fears fade and having to face the others head on. We cannot change what we face daily, but we aren’t allowing it to hold us prisoner. Wither her intermittent hypersensitivity to insulin and exercise, her hypoglycemia unawareness and the regular T1D odds and ends that come with the package we are learning to live and thrive. We do what she wants to do, no matter what. ‘Can’t’ will never be in her vocabulary and there will be no single fear that will ever dictate what she is capable of doing. The sky is the limit. And with great anxiety with some moments we tackle that bucket list slowly. Never know what is next but we cannot predict the future and choose to live in the now, enjoying everything it has to offer us. We are choosing to be happy.