Tag Archives: type 1 diabetic mom

Practicing Material Unattachment

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In our household, my son is normally the one to break things.  I call him “Henri the Menace”.  He really is.  No.  Really.  He is.  Anyway, yesterday however, my daughter Aurora had a stellar, record-breaking day.  She threw a ceramic decorative mask on the marble fireplace mantle, she smashed a cordial liquor glass that I was letting her look at on the wall just for kicks, and when I let her put on my necklace she ripped it in half like the Hulk would.  Oh, she also accidentally dove off my bed head first but luckily she’s fine.  That’s what happens when you smile at yourself in the mirror while jumping on the bed, chica.

Each time something broke I had to close my eyes and take a deep breathe.  Obviously it wasn’t her fault I let her handle any of these objects but a flutter of achiness stirred in me because of the loss of my things.  I had to really focus on how these objects are just that and how really, I’m just happy no one smashed their head or any other body part anywhere.

And so yesterday reminded me how it’s good not to feel too attached to our material belongings.  They bring us pleasure but they are no where near as important as the people in our lives.  It’s scary to think how we might guard a special piece of jewelry more than a loved one’s heart, but we often do.

So today, let’s just remember that things are just things.  But I will not be letting that little girl anywhere near my meter or insulin vial.  That would just be asking for it.

Happy Friday!

Help Me If You Can I’m Feelin’ Down

“Words of Wisdom” by Ana Morales

 

In the past two years since my twins were born, I honestly have endured many moments where I can’t decide which is harder to have:  diabetes or young twins.  That probably sounds crazy to someone with type 1 diabetes.  And perhaps crazy for someone with young children.  I’m the oldest of six children, five of which are alive, and so I’m no stranger to how wild a household with multiple young children can be.  And yet, nothing could have ever prepared me for what having twins is like. 

Part of what is hard about diabetes is that the overwhelming majority of the population doesn’t know what it’s like to have type 1 diabetes.  Same with twins.  The overwhelming majority of the population doesn’t know what having twins is like.  And if they do, a large percentage of the parents both work.  And there is a difference in spending 12 hours a day with your kids versus 4.  There just is.  And then how many parents of twins have type 1 diabetes?  I feel like no one out there could really understand what I go through.  And that’s ok except sometimes I feel like it’s not possible to do simply because I don’t know anyone who has done it.  Sound familiar? 

Before 6am today I was already up for three hours in the middle of the night with my twins.  First, Aurora because she woke up hysterical, seemingly frightened by sleeping in a toddler bed for the first time since we tried it a few months ago.  I had to hold her for 2 hours.  The first hour was non stop screaming and my husband and I went back and forth about whether she was in pain or just scared.  When I did go back to bed around 2am I was 125.  I didn’t think about how holding a 30 pound child while standing for an hour was a workout.  I woke up low right after my husband left early for work at 5am.  I then heard Aurora crying again.  And then my Henri.  “Uh oh”, I thought, I never know how to handle the two at the same time.  Two at the same developmental stage, two that are still very much babies, despite being toddlers.  Two that are 28 and 30 pounds each.  Two that both want to be held when they’re crying.  Two that don’t fit in my arms at the same time.  Two that don’t want to share me, anyway. 

I grab my glucose tablets and run to their bedroom.  Henri is on the floor crying and Aurora is at the window, screaming.  I try to put Henri back in bed because he falls asleep the easiest.  I hold Aurora while rubbing Henri’s back.  For some reason Aurora runs crying into the living room.  Henri falls off his bed in a fit of fury and goes hysterical.  He does this thing in the middle of a tantrum where he bangs his head on any hard surface around.  I try to cushion the blow and talk him into calming down.  In the meantime Aurora is getting more and more upset being all alone in our living room.  I think, “Oh dear God, I’m not gonna make it”  The entire time, I’m munching on glucose tablets, trying to muster up strength to control Henri, who is still in the middle of a trantrum. 

Suddenly, he gets up and runs to the living room.  Only he is still crying.  I catch a glimpse of his mouth and realize he has a glucose tablet.  I must have dropped one when fumbling to get them out of the container and hold two babies at once.  I try to calm him down so he doesn’t choke on one of the most perfect choking hazards out there.  The shape and texture of the glucose tablet is just perfect for choking, geez.  Of course, Henri starts choking.  My heart and breathing both stop as I grab my scared little guy and hold him face down over my hand like a football and then slam my open palm into the center of his back.  It doesn’t work.  He starts turning purple and for a second I think, “Oh my God, I need to call for help!”  and then I realize there is NO one here to help me and no time to call for help, I have to take care of this.  So I continue the only maneuver I know to do and finally the glucose tablet flies across the room.  Guess who goes after it?  Aurora does, of course.  Remember, she is at the same level as Henri, wanting to put everything in her mouth.  So I have to run over and stop her from putting it in her mouth, which causes her to go into fit mode. 

By now it’s just hit me that Henri could have choked to death all because of my diabetes, essentially, and I break down into tears.  Both my kids are hysterical and on the ground, they’re tired and just want someone to hold them.  I am crying so hard I can’t see out of my glasses and I can’t see without them so I just lay on the floor.  They lay on the floor beside me, screaming.  I wonder if they’re behavior is normal.  I wonder how every mother has ever survived moments like these-and worse.  I wonder how single moms have done it.  How have they done it and not gone crazy?  Is that why so many have gone crazy?  I’ve been passing another kidney stone lately, and of course, at that moment, the pain starts up again.  “Seriously!?”  Aurora, then lays her head on my abdomen, on top of the pain.  Why of course.  Laying on me makes her stop crying so I don’t move her.

It’s now 7:30 and I just got Henri asleep.  Aurora is in a remarkably good mood and wide awake now.  I’m letting the TV babysit for a bit.  I can see her from the computer, dancing to Yo Gabba Gabba in front of the couch.  When did we adults lose our ability to pop back the way kids do?

There have been so many moments like these, aside from the choking-that was a first.  During these times I don’t know what’s harder, type 1 diabetes or having twins.  They intertwine and make the other more difficult and I don’t appreciate it one bit.  One is challenging enough.  Alex probably won’t get home today for another 9 or 10 hours.  I’ll just have to hang in there until then.  And I should probably test right now, while I can.  My blood sugar is 212- no surprise there.

The Terrific Twos Come Early

Henri is quite the character
Henri is quite the character

 

I’m ok with the term “terrible twos” because it’s meant to be humorous, which I can appreciate.  It comes from parents who say it in a “I adore my child but he’s driving me nuts”, kind of way.  For the record, my kids are little angels who can do no wrong.  So I chose “terrific twos” for the title, instead.  And let’s just say I fully understand where “terrible twos” comes from…

My two are now 21 months old and the past few weeks have progressed rather interestingly.  My son has increased his temper tantrum rate by oh I don’t know, 1000 percent.  He is sweet and cuddly and gives kisses one minute.  Then he bites, arches his back, and throws himself on the ground the very next.  I don’t talk to a lot of parents with young children and it has occurred to me that parents with older children must have forgotten the way their kids acted when they were one and two years old because to their recollection their kids “never did that”.  I may soon be repressing these memories, as well, believe me.

Anyway, I have been watching my son lately with my worried shades on thinking, “aauugh, what if something is wrong with him!  He can’t hear me say the word no without flipping out!”  The other day his dramatic behavior prompted me to check his blood sugar.  He was a perfect 85 on the meter and didn’t even bat an eye at the finger prick.  He must have been observing me well because he licked the blood right off his finger like I do after testing.  The very qualities in him of fast learning and intense longing for independence seem to fuel his frustrations.  He doesn’t just want in the kitchen to play on the floor.  Pots and pans are not enough.  Playing in the fridge (look, I get desperate) isn’t enough.  He wants to help me cook the food.  The other day I gave him a spatula and he stirred the lamb stew gently like a pro.  I turn to check on his sister and find her dancing, jumping, and spinning in circles in the living room.  She almost trips over a toy but catches herself from falling and exclaims, “I did it!”

Today after two hours of tantruming, I joined my son on the floor in a river of our tears.  It was overwhelming because I needed to test and I needed to change his diaper and my daughter’s and I needed to pee and I needed to feed them lunch.  Usually when her brother does his thing, my daughter goes off and plays on her own and lets me hold him.  It’s like she understands he needs mommy and that mommy’s hands are full.  I hadn’t finished my lunch when this all began so I gave her my plate of chicken, mushrooms, and brown rice and she used my utensil to feed herself like a lady.  I was so proud. 

When my husband got home I hopped online and looked up stages of development in toddlers.  Apparently the “terrible twos” is a developmental stage that can start as early as 18 months and the description of what children might do is pretty much a description of all the fun we’ve been having with our son lately.  Sigh.  All normal stuff.  I think what amplifies the situation for me is the fact that I have two of the same age and type 1 diabetes.  It’s a lot to handle while dad is at work 12 hours a day.  And we can’t leave the apartment all day because we’re on the 3rd floor and these tantrums come unexpectedly. 

Once, I was attempting to take the kids to the car for a ride and I couldn’t even lock the apartment door.  I tried with my teeth but no can do (I had to hold on to two kids).  Then I thought, “Oh well, this is a nice neighborhood” and left the door unlocked and then tried getting down the stairs with the kids but one wanted to pick up a salt crystal (the toxic ones from winter) and the other was tumbling down the stairs while holding my hand, dragging me along.  Then, because I felt vulnerable I started thinking, “I wonder if my blood sugar is getting low” and since I couldn’t get one to come down the stairs and the other to stop falling down the stairs I settled on that it was too dangerous to attempt.  I had juice with me but how was I going to drink it with my hands tied anyway?  I got them back up the stairs which took a ridiculous amount of time, resulted in a bloody knee for me, and we haven’t ventured out alone since. 

This age is really fun, there are a billion cute moments during the day, and my husband and I love them so very much.  But.  They are driving me nuts.  I’m literally singing the “I Will Survive” song in my head right now. 

 

princess Aurora is too!
Aurora doesn’t look mischevious but look out!