Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Diabetic Parent? Really?

Funny that the above thought has just occurred to me...

Almost one year ago my ex-husband returned from deployment and took all of the kids to Disney World. During that time my now 11-year-old daughter, Breelyn, (whom we refer to as Busy since birth) was irritating the entire family. Why you ask. Because she was holding them back from rides by peeing virtually the entire time. I spoke to my Ex on the phone and told him I had guessed she had a UTI. During an earlier conversation with Busy she had mentioned it hurt to go to the bathroom (now I know it was simply because she was going so frequently) But I in turn told her to drink more water. "Grab some cranberry juice if you can."

When they arrived home my daughter McKenna (Moi) was telling me how strange it was, the way Busy was drinking. I can remember this moment perfectly. "Mom," said Moi, "you don't get it. It's strange the way she is drinking so much. It's like she can't get enough to drink." At that moment I realized Busy was standing beside me watching one of the other kids. She had a water bottle in hand sucking in the water as if she had be deprived of it for days. I can still remember the cracking of the plastic bottle as she virtually breathed it in. I looked to Moi with question and called the doctor.

The next morning I took all of the kids with me to the appointment. I don't know why. The older girls are of babysitting age and it was the last day of Summer vacation. Busy and I sat in the room with Logan while the other three sat out in the waiting room. I explained to the doctor the situation and spoke of UTI's running in my family, no worries. We waited for her urine specimen to come back being patient...actually we were sending pictures of Logan acting like a zombie back and forth to the other kids in the waiting room. We have never lacked for entertainment that's for sure.

Doctor comes in...looks to the kids...looks to me. He places a strategically calming smile upon his face and speaks gently, "Umm...there is glucose in her urine and her keytones are really elevated."

Even as I write this my eyes well up. I understood. I was so grateful for his thinking of the two little zombies next to me, they weren't alarmed in the slightest. "Umm...their uncle was a diabetic" I responded quietly.

The nurse came in a few moments later with a glucose meter...the silence was finally broken by an ever so subtle beeping..."503" said the nurse.

I remember shaking my head yes in a strong and controlled manner. I remember worrying only about the directions to Mission Children's Hospital. I've been blessed to never have been there before. "Don't stop for anything." he said reassuringly. "Not even a drink."

I shook my head in understanding gathered up the kids and got in the car. "Mama," said Busy "Is Bill going to be there?" That about broke me. I didn't know what to do with the rest of the kids, my husband was at work with no relief and she wanted us both to be there for the most frightening thing she had ever experienced. She didn't even know what Diabetes was. Moi called Bailey, my oldest daughter, who was in college in Utah. I remember that silence was deafening also. The sister who mirrored Busy in so many ways was 2000 miles away. Here's where Heavenly Father stepped in...again. My mama's work was on the way to the hospital. Somehow Bill called someone in to cover for him. As I pulled into a turn around at my mama's work she was standing there. The other four kids jumped out of the car and ran to Mama Jode, tears in their eyes. They didn't understand why we had gone to a routine doctor's appointment and now was suddenly rushing Busy to the hospital. Bill pulled in behind me, yah just like that. We left one car there and continued on in less than two minutes.

After three days in the hospital (and the first two days of starting middle school missed) we were released to survive this. "How can they trust me?" I thought.

So while I cut the story short, I come back to my original title of this little post. Bill and I dropped Busy off at a camp for Diabetes on Sunday. But here's where it got me. I was making brownies from scratch. We all gathered around the ridiculously loaded with chocolate, item of pure pleasure and I immediately began counting the carbs. For those of you who are not familiar Type 1 diabetics can eat anything their little hearts desire (although moderation is still the best) all they have to do is count the carbohydrates. That's it. Count the carbs, adjust the insulin, inject and eat wonderful things!

Moi and I looked to each other laughing that we both were concerned with carb counts when for the first time in almost a year, it didn't matter. It hit me. I'm a diabetic parent...and it's hard sometimes. I had only ever worried about Busy and her carbs, her insulin, her keytones, the time she eats, her reactions, her schedule. I had never, until that moment, allowed my self the fact that it's altered me too.

As a mom and parent really, I think we all tend to focus on the game. I don't worry about the times we have to wake up in the middle of the night to check her sugar. Night time is the scariest for us, that is the longest time they go without eating and we really don't know what they're little bodies are doing. We don't think about how hard the worry is on us when the child gets a cold which sends their blood sugar into an upward/downward spiral. And goodness knows puberty which attempts to kill any child with or without Diabetes. :) We just do. We just move in the direction that keeps our kids safe; night or day, rain or shine.

I cried.

I don't allow that luxury so much but that day I did. The day I allowed myself to feel the insurmountable change that came crashing down on this family, to her, to me. She has handled it all with flying colors. She teaches me daily. I'm blessed that she, up in the pre-existence, decided she would take the chronic illness. She just needed me to stand by and hold her hand.


  1. oh, what a tough girl! its good that you guys went through it as a family.

  2. Hope she is doing well. My husband has diabetes and his numbers are always high. 550 high, for a long time. We're finally getting it under control and he is losing weight (like 70 lbs). It was scary! I know it changed our lives.


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