Riley’s 8 year diaversary is coming up next week. 8 years. Wow. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 8 years. Also, it’s hard to believe we ever lived a life where we didn’t do this.
Riley is 11 now. He’s at an age where the majority of diabetes things fall in his lap. There is no nurse at his school. He is solely responsible for caring for his sugars while he is there. Some days it is hit and miss. Some days he forgets to check his sugars. Some days he forgets to bolus for food. And, some days, he’s just plain sick of it and ignores it all. Figuring out how to “punish” him is difficult. On one hand, isn’t diabetes and all the crap that comes along with it punishment enough? But, on the other hand, this is his health and well-being we are talking about. I want him to live to a ripe old age and enjoy his grandbabies, free from complications from this stupid disease. So, I muddle through the murky waters the best I know how. Some days I think I get it right. Most days, I think I don’t. Currently, he is grounded, not for not bolusing, but for adamantly lying to me about it. Which brings into play, why is he lying about it? Am I too hard on him? Blah. Murky waters indeed.
You would think after 8 years the ins and outs of daily diabetes care wouldn’t affect me anymore. But, it does. Not anywhere like it used to but it still affects me. There are nights when I prick his finger at 3 AM to check his sugar that I think how wrong it is. How there is no way I should be sticking my child with a needle several times a day and not give it a second thought. There was a day not too long ago when I picked up his set and hurled it across the room. I had just changed his needle and seeing his set sitting on the bed next to me angered me. I just couldn’t stand to look at it any longer.
I guess the biggest difference between now and 8 or even 6 or 7 years ago is when it affects me. When Riley was first diagnosed, and several years thereafter, diabetes inundated my life. It filled up every single aspect. It affected my emotions, my sleep, almost every thought. Now, it sneaks up on me when I’m least expecting it.
Yesterday, little man and I were sitting on the couch watching a TV show, The Little Couple. They recently adopted a little boy from China. On this episode he was having surgery. They were talking about how hard it was to have him go into surgery. The father said how he had burst into tears a few days earlier while thinking about it.
This prompted Riley to turn to me. “Mom, did you cry when I was put in the hospital when I got diabetes? “ I just looked at him and said: “Yes. I cried every single day for a long time.”
“Did Dad cry?”
“I’m sure he did baby. But, not in front in me. I think he was probably trying to be strong for Mommy. I know Holden cried. I’m sure we all cried.” Everyone cried except him. He never shed one tear. Not even when they started his IV.
At that moment I turned and looked at him and his big beautiful brown eyes. The thoughts of waking up next to him in the hospital bed that first morning came flooding into my mind. I looked at him and said: “You were so little just lying there.” And, right there in the middle of The Little Couple I burst into tears.
So, sneaky; sneaking up on me like that right in the middle of a TV show. And, sneaking up on me again just a few minutes ago when I re-read what I had written: “He never shed one tear.” My eyes spilled over yet again thinking about my strong, brave little boy who I wish never had to be so strong and brave.
So, so sneaky….