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Why I Grieve Over Diabetes

Roselady over at Diapeepees wrote an interesting post on grief.  I encourage you to read it.

I have written a post on grief before... but I have never reflected on WHY I grieved (and still do) over Diabetes.

For me, the grief didn't come until later.  When Sugar Boy was first diagnosed, I was almost robotic: 

Just LEARN. 

Just DO. 


Sugar Boy was diagnosed in mid-November of 2008.  Two days before Christmas of that year, he woke up low.  REALLY low.  His pancreas, in one last ditch effort, had started fully producing insulin again.  He was able to eat and drink whatever he wanted and he had perfectly normal blood sugars for 7 days.  Then one night, I went in to his room to check him two hours after dinner.  We had kept up the practice of checking BG at regular intervals because our endo had warned us that it wouldn't last.  Of course, we hoped and we prayed that it would.  But our Christmas miracle was not to last.  I walked out of his room, after checking his BG and getting a 224 on the meter.  I didn't look at anyone, not even my husband.  I just handed him the meter and walked away.  I walked straight to our bedroom... selfishly leaving Sugar Daddy to deal with dosing Sugar Boy... and closed the door, fell down on the bed and just sobbed.  I cried until my sides and my throat hurt.  Until I was so exhausted I couldn't move.  At some point Sugar Daddy came in, and he cried with me.  He held me in his arms, and we sat on the bed and rocked each other while the pain ripped through us.  Later after there were no more tears to be had, we stayed there together and just GRIEVED.  It was a moment that I will never forget.  

Part of it was the loss of that perfect child.  My mother snorted when I mentioned that one day.  She just said, "Ha!  No child is perfect."
She completely missed the point... but, whatever. 

There was also the grief of the loss of "normal".  You know - the normal that everyone else, who doesn't deal with Diabetes, has.  The normal where you can leave the house and not carry a kit with you which contains a blood glucose testing kit, glucagon, sugar tablets, juice boxes, spare syringes and alcohol wipes… all the things that we may need in order to help keep Sugar Boy alive while we are away from home.  The normal where you can prepare a meal or a snack without measuring and weighing the food, calculating the carbs and considering the fat content and protein level of the food to determine how blood sugars will react when the food enters your child's body.  The normal where you can drop the kids off at school without worrying constantly. The normal where you can go to bed without setting your alarm clock for at least once, maybe twice, sometimes three times during the night when you get up to check and make sure that your child is still safe... that he doesn’t need sugar to bring him up from a low or more insulin to bring him down from a high. The normal where you can wake up in the morning without listening at the baby monitor to make sure that you can hear your child's steady sleep-filled breaths coming over the monitor.   The "normal" that we had been re-introduced to and had a whole new appreciation for during those 7 days of freedom from Diabetes.  The fact is that there is almost nothing that Diabetes doesn't affect in some way.

As I said, I still have days when I grieve.  I still have days, over two years later when it hits me like a ton of bricks that this is our life, and it's not going to change.  I still have days when I want to yell and scream and stomp my feet like a temperamental two-year old and shout, "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!  WHY US?  WHY HIM?"  Truthfully, most days are not that way.  Most days I am OK.  For the most part, I have accepted our new normal, and I have learned that there are indeed more horrible things in the world than Diabetes.  Of course there are.  It doesn't make us more fortunate - it just makes us different.   For that matter there are more horrible things that happen in other parts of the world that are Diabetes related.  There are children dying because they don't have access to insulin.  But just because those things are out there, it does not lessen the severity or the importance of what our family, and the families like ours deal with.  The fact of the matter is, Type 1 Diabetes IS horrible.  And it deserves our grief if we feel the need to grieve.  Everyone deals in their own way.  I think, for me, that by facing that grief, and by acknowledging it, I am better suited to handle what Diabetes throws our way.

My sister in law has a friend who's young son was just recently diagnosed with Lukemia.  When my sister in law was telling me about her friends' sons diagnosis I said, "I suppose I should be grateful... at least Sugar Boy doesn't have Cancer."  My sister in law laughed and said, "Its funny you should say that... because after they found out what they were dealing with, my friend said, 'At least this is a temporary fight... one that once we are through chemo we don't have to deal with on a daily basis.  Not like your brother and sister in law have to deal with their son's Diabetes.' "

Just something to think about...

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