How I feel on a daily basis about “my diabetes” has dramatically changed since I was pregnant and had my daughter, and has been undergoing a constant evolution ever since. Most days, I’m OK with it, but some days, it really pisses me off and makes me feel helpless.
Before Penny, I felt that “my diabetes” really only affected me. Highs and lows were my personal cross to bear, and only influenced me and my own health. I dealt with it, I controlled it the best I could, and I was OK with that.
While pregnant, I felt every blood sugar affected me AND her, and it totally freaked me out. I worried a LOT about her, there in my belly, dealing with *my* highs and lows with her own little pancreas, and hoping that she came out with no adverse affects from it. (She came out perfectly healthy, by the way.) I was pissed off about diabetes a LOT while I was pregnant.
In the early days of staying home with her as a teeny baby, I would assure I had juice boxes and fruit snacks handy when I was feeding her, and and I was constantly worried that I might crash and pass out and no one would be there to help her. I remember being fearful to take her anywhere in the car because my hands were still numb (from pregnancy-induced carpel tunnel – such a crappy side effect) but moreso from the worry of “what if” my blood sugar crashed while driving. On top of all the crazy hormones and emotions that “normal” people had to deal with post-partum, I also had to deal with this other variable of diabetes. I was pissed off about that. Frequently and unreservedly. (Bless my husband – he should be given Sainthood as a reward for dealing with me during that time period.)
Once I went back to work, and Penny was in daycare, I was back to dealing with diabetes mostly by myself, and feeling it mostly only affected me. I could handle taking care of myself like I always had, and skillfully managed my day of work meetings, taking snack breaks, eating lunch on time, etc. I am mostly OK with it on a daily basis, and have been for a while now. I have the occasional “off” day here and there, but have been in relatively good control, and feel proud that I am so on top of things. Things have been good. Really good. I am rocking it – goooooo me!
Then, this past weekend there was a moment where I felt it all went to heck in a hand-basket…. Penny and I were in a restaurant with a friend and her 2 year old girl. It was getting close to nap-time, and Penny was getting antsy. As our food came (which, I had just bolused for), Penny needed to go potty. So, we traipse off to the bathroom, and spend 5 minutes doing the needful. Come back to eat, and Penny is squirming in her chair, and generally needing my constant attention to be focused on her food and not creating a scene. Well, *I* needed to focus on *my* food, too. I was hungry, and knew if I didn’t start getting some food in my stomach, things could get sketchy. With no warning, Penny hops up and makes a break for the door. I drop my food, navigate through tables and patrons and chase after her. I successfully block her escape, and carry her back to the table. After giving her a stern talking-to, explaining that she should NEVER EVER exit a door without Mommy, and dealing with her subsequent tears, I try to scarf down my food, while assuring she’s eating some amount of food herself.
The clock is ticking….my insulin is taking effect, I need to eat, get her out of there, get back to the car, and get her back home for a nap before the time-bomb-that-is-a-tired-Penelope goes off. Oh, and I need to do it all while assuring my own blood sugar doesn’t crash from the stress of trying to make sure she’s not running outside into traffic or harassing fellow patrons in the restaurant. I *wanted* to be able to leave with her right then. But I couldn’t. I HAD to stay there and deal with any ruckus she created because I HAD to eat and assure I wasn’t going to crash and burn and be no good to anyone in the next 30 minutes. I had to make sure we both could get home safely because my diabetes affected both she and I at that moment. It caused me to have to make the parental decision of staying there and eating instead of picking up and leaving like I wanted to.
My friend helped out a lot (thank you again, Monica!), and entertained Penny for just long enough so I could finish my lunch. We did successfully make it home in time for the much-needed nap. I didn’t crash (unless you count crashing on the couch and sighing from relief.) On most days I spend with Penny, my husband would be there making sure I had time to eat, and it’s not really a problem if we have to take her out of a restaurant – we are a great team and we roll with the punches. Usually, I have plenty of support around eating times, and it’s not an issue. But on that day, diabetes really pissed me off, and it was a day of mixing kids and diabetes that made me just a little bitter.