I recently talked with a friend who was having a tough "diabetes" day. We have all been there and we will all be there again. There are some days when it just hits you, just like the day your child was diagnosed. At these moments, there is no holding back the tears. Personally, I let the tears flow. I cry, I whine, I fuss, I move on. Today is such a day.
Yesterday, I took the kids with me to a JDRF Promise to Remember Me meeting. Priscilla and Trevor will not speak in public so, they nominated Lydia to talk for all of them. The meeting started late so Lydia cut her speech short but I had already read it the night before. I was proud of her but at the same time, my heart was breaking. Such pure yet raw emotions flowed from her as her eyes welled up with tears. Lydia has had diabetes for almost 7 years. This year has been the most trying and difficult for her. Let me share a bit ...
As most of you know, we almost lost Lydia this summer. During summer vacation, she just got tired of diabetes. Tired of having to stop what she is doing to test, tired of counting carbs and taking shots, tired of people commenting about her disease, tired of feeling different. Because of this, she decided to take a vacation from diabetes. This resulted in one of the most severe cases of DKA the children's hospital had ever seen. Withing the first 24 hours we were told numerous times that we needed to be prepared, children didn't recover from DKA like this. Of course, this wasn't acceptable to us. I would not/could not lose my Lydibug. We contacted everyone we could and begged for prayer. I held Lydia's hand and cried and begged her to please not leave me. This was the most horrible experience I have ever gone through. Thankfully, God has big plans for Lydia and she made a full recovery, healthwise.
Lydia still hates having Diabetes. Yes, we are in therapy and she is taking some meds to try and help her learn coping skills. But, the raw and painful emotions are there. Spoken in words every day, so clear in her beautiful blue eyes, evident in the sadness that seems to surround her. These emotions were put down on paper (ok, not paper but typed on her Ipad) to be spoken to our congressman. Lydia mentioned that she hates having diabetes, she hates missing school, missing soccer, going to therapy. She hates being different. This hurts to hear. I have always told the kids they can do anything they want, they just need to plan more for it. I never wanted them to feel different. Lydia's response to this is: "Mom, I love you and I am glad you think that but it just isn't true. There are things I can't do because I have diabetes. Everything has to be planned and even then it doesn't always work out. No matter what you think, Mom ... I am different." At this moment all I could do is hold her close and share some tears with her.
I have been told that I shouldn't allow my children to see my emotions over their diabetes. I tend to disagree. My kids appreciate the fact that there are days when I am overwhelmed, tired, angry, sad. They have these emotions and feel they are supported and their feelings validated because I too, share these with them. What are your thoughts? Do you hide your emotions from your children? How do you deal with the times diabetes overwhelms your child. I am not looking to cause division or fussing, I am just looking for some honest support and suggestions.