One of the more frustrating things about diabetes is learning how to do things all over again. It really is like a rebirth. The moment your child is diagnosed is when they are reborn. You spend a couple of days in the hospital, and then they send you home with your new child. Those first few days in the hospital are filled with adrenaline and exhaustion and family and friends are calling and visiting and you aren’t really thinking about how daunting the next few weeks are going to be, you are just focused on learning what you need to know to go home (changing a diaper and how much formula to give or giving your child an insulin injection and how many carbs they can eat). Then you get home with your child and you and your spouse look at each other, like, “I can’t believe they just sent us home with him. We don’t know what we are doing. How are we going to keep him alive?” Then you spend the next several weeks or months getting up several times overnight to check your child and sometimes feed him. And the interior decor of your home has drastically changed. Now you have diapers, wipes, bottles and pacifiers stashed in every room (or you have glucometers, insulin pens, alcohol wipes and glucose tabs strategically placed in every room). Now it’s been a few days and you are feeling brave and ready to leave the house. You know the drill, pack a bag. All of those supplies that you have in every room in the house, now have to be portable as well and go everywhere you go.
Your new life with your “newborn” is full of firsts. First time she rolls over, first smile, first time he sleeps through the night. Or, for your reborn diabetic child, first time you let her to go to a friend’s house without you, first time going to the movies (how many carbs does movie theatre popcorn have, and exactly how many pieces of popcorn is in a cup?), and the first time you let him sleep all night without checking his blood sugar. First time parents (of newborns and reborns) have so many questions and are so uncertain of their abilities to care for their child. There is a reason that we talk about how valuable experience is. Because it is. I remember with each passing week when Medium was a baby that I gained more confidence in myself as a mother and trusted my ability to care for him more. It has been the same with his rebirth. It has been 6 weeks since diagnosis and I can’t believe how much I have relaxed about his care. I spent the last 6 weeks feeling like I was running around with a 10-foot tall stack of porcelain plates in each hand and I had to keep a perfect balance between my right hand (blood sugars being too low) and my left hand (blood sugars being too high) and my arms were getting really, really tired and holding on to all of those plates paralyzed me from being able to do anything else but worry about letting the plates get out of balance or, worse, dropping them all. But six weeks of experience taught me that Medium would be okay if the stacks weren’t perfectly balanced all the time. So I set the plates down and now my arms are free to do more important things, like giving Medium a much-deserved hug for being such a rock-star!