My friend Amy shared a wonderful video on Facebook a couple of days ago. It gave me the chance to see my life through someone else's. The video speaks of everything Michael and I do every day to ensure Rocco has a normal life, long and free of complications. This video says it all.
This video helped me see my life through this mom and dad's story. I cried while watching it. I was halfway through it and I wondered why I was so captivated by their story. I just kept feeling so bad for the mom. Watching her struggle and seeing her worried face, I understood her pain. Then, when the cute, little boy said, "This is what my mom looks like when she's worried," It hit me. She was me. I asked myself, "Is that what I look like all day? Is that what they see when I worry?"
I remember one time when the boys were two, I was worried about something (I can't remember what now) but I sat down and slumped, exhausted and defeated. Rocco came over to me he put his tiny arm around my shoulders and said, "Rewax mommy. Just rewax."
Now, I often chant that to myself in my moments of overwhelming parenthood. It lightens me as I remember that feeling of that tiny little arm around me. Haha!
Also, as I watched it, I saw the mom moving through her day. I was mesmerized by watching her daily activites. I watched her as she carried on her day, all the while dedicating every step along the way to her son's care. I related to her instantly.
If someone asked you what do you do all day. It's really hard to answer, isn't it?
It's really hard for me to answer too, because most of my daily tasks seem very mundane. These activities, when I say them out loud, don’t seem as noteworthy as those of someone with conference calls, flights, deadlines and itineraries. My daily activities are basic. However, there is one activity that I accomplish every day that until I heard it in this video, I’ve never given myself credit for. It is my main activity. It is my most prominent activity. It IS what I do all day.
I keep my son alive.
I know it sounds very melodramatic, but it is true. It is the basis for every single activity I do.
If I go to Target to get groceries, I get snacks under 15 carbs because there is no recess after snack time. When there is no recess, Rocco doesn't get the exercise he needs to help him process high-carb foods. If I get something with more than 15 carbs for these times, Rocco's blood sugar always seems to go too high.
If his blood sugar is high for more than a couple of readings, I go to his school to change his port.
When I research after-school activities, I look for one for which I can be there to monitor his blood sugar throughout the activity.
When I plan family vacations, I find ones that are not too swim-intensive because I don't want Rocco to have his pump off for very long.
Every meal I plan, I consider his previous blood sugars when finalizing the menu.
So, if you were to ask me, "What do you do all day?" I would have to say, "Well, I went to Target, I cleaned my house and I kept my kid alive all day." Even as I type the words they seem too dramatic to "type out loud”. However, as dramatic as they are, they are still true.
As parents caring for kids with diabetes we go about our days with a combination of hope and anxiety. Defeat hits us at least once a day, but so does triumph. The roller coaster that our kids feel physically exactly mirrors what we feel emotionally.
It is no surprise that we say "test" your blood sugar. That reading on the blood sugar monitor gives us the same feeling as when you used to look at your test scores in college. That "hold your breath to see if you tried hard enough" feeling. We live with that same anxiety all day and night. Sometimes, we catch a break and the number is in range and we feel triumphant! Like we aced the final!I started this blog because I wanted to connect with other parents caring for kids with Type 1 diabetes. I have met many great parents along the way. I have also used this blog as my therapy, many times. It has saved me in some of my darkest moments. Since my job is to be Rocco's pancreas, I don't get a physical paycheck each week. However, when people write to me and tell me they hopped on my blog and felt related to or connected with me, it fills me up so much! I tell my family those comments are like my "paychecks", because when people leave comments or emails about how my words and/or experiences have helped them, I feel like I just got paid!
I want to thank these parents for sharing their story through JDRF. It has helped me in so many ways.
So if you have ever reached out to me, to thank me for sharing my feelings, I would like to thank you. Your comments and insights help power me to keep writing and sharing. After watching this video, I know understand even more how good it feels to know someone else is traveling your same path!
I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did. Thanks again to Amy for sharing it. Gotta love Facebook!