Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mama Guilt and Much More Important Perspective

I try hard to ensure that my diabetes doesn't interfere with my daughters' lives, meaning I don't want a low blood sugar to prevent them from getting to practice or a party on time. Just to clarify, Graci & Addi are incredibly aware and sensitive to my needs when I am low or feeling queasy with a high and they look out for me. This fact alone has caused me immense guilt and worry over the years. It started when Graci was 1month old, hungrily crying next to me, and I couldn't move. I had nursed her at 5AM, Eric had gone to work at 6AM, and I had lazily fallen back to sleep in my new mom exhaustion before going downstairs to replenish my needy body with desperate calories. At 8AM her cries woke me up and I was so low, I physically could not move. That story was a difficult one to live and obviously we all ended up safe and okay, thanks to my husband, but the guilt I had after that particular episode made me feel like I didn't deserve this precious baby girl, my own daughter who I would do anything for; that guilt was severe for over a year. It started there and has reappeared countless times over the years. I know most mothers struggle with guilt over various things with parenting. Somehow it feels heavier when most of it is a result of MY blood sugar and I am in the driver's seat of those numbers.

My girls are both very aware of their surroundings, especially people. If someone needs help or is hurting, they sense it and I have watched proudly as they step in to be the voice of support or offer help. Although I have wrestled with guilt over the fact that they both know to get me a glass of orange juice if they see anything below 60 on my meter or they hear my beeps before I do in the early mornings that Eric is already gone, I also know they put others in need before themselves because of my diabetes and the hard lessons it instills and for that, I am okay. I think they are, too!

After traveling with work all week, we were all excited for some fun this weekend. Eric was gone with work until Saturday night so we were planning a chick night Friday into Saturday, which is always a good time. Lazy night Friday led into a beautiful Saturday morning and lots of outdoor entertainment. Bikes and running through the yards (just to clarify this was the girls and neighbor friends :) was an all day affair. I, on the other hand, was dealing with a bit of a spike in my blood sugar that wasn't responding very well to insulin. After a few hours in the afternoon of bolus attempts and blood sugar checks, I decided to change my pump site and found a bit of dried blood, indicating the culprit of my consistent 200's that were now in the 300 range. I did a correction bolus and waited for the relief of the drop with my fresh site. And then my youngest, Addison, asked sweetly if we could head to Barnes and a Noble. The nausea that had persisted for the end of the afternoon was heavy in my mood as I answered her with a grumpy, "No." I explained I hadn't been feeling well and she was really okay with it. My kids do hear no once in awhile but Eric and I are extremely easy going individuals so a trip to look at books is typically a yes. So why did I have a major case of the mama guilt? I had done everything right as a person with diabetes today, eaten well, gotten some exercise, kept an eye on things and eventually acted when I determined the major culprit. The pump site, which wasn't due for a change until tomorrow, was to blame, not me. Lows can usually be fixed quickly and I can get back to my life. This sort of high is the sticky kind that leaves it's mark for longer. The fact that it interrupted my day with feeling crummy, and worse, my daughter's day, is the deep indirect guilt that simply stinks!

But, as promised, I have found perspective, which I am so thankful for every day! When I was feeling crummy yesterday I spent some time on Pinterest and found something fun to try for breakfast this morning so I woke up before everyone else to get these little French toast roll ups ready. While I was smothering Nutella on the girls and cream cheese on Eric's and mine I looked down and saw this:
Amidst the sliced strawberries, rolling pin, and flattened bread for all the delicious fillings sits my case that holds my minute to minute supplies: OmniPod, DexCom, strips and lancet device. Looking back at my morning, diabetes isn't part of it. Yes, I checked my fasting blood sugar which was normal and I had brewed my coffee and bolused my usual for the effect caffeine has on me. That's it. My morning was filled with the thrill of surprising my family with a special breakfast (recipe here, which I strongly recommend with cream cheese!), the happiness my morning coffe brings, the sound of the girls giggling as they found their way down the hallway and onto their kitchen stools. This is my favorite kind of weekend morning, and looking at this picture now I can hear the melody and specific words Easy Like Sunday Morning in my mind. Yes, the tools of my diabetes are a definite part of my day, every day, but notice it isn't in the center of my picture, it is just a part of it. I couldn't help but smile when I looked at this picture after taking it, thinking back to the mama guilt that had ridden me yesterday and now knowing Barnes and Noble had long been forgotten and this breakfast may be the new favorite. I'm fairly certain Lionel Richie didn't have diabetes on his mind the morning he wrote the title Easy Like Sunday Morning. Luckily diabetes isn't in my title today either, it's just a part of my story...

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