October 15, 2010, the day of days.
It was this day that the big D entered our lives. I have thought for months what I would write today on the 1 year anniversary of Connor's diagnosis. But now that I am faced with today there don't seem to be the right words. Today has been filled with a wide range of emotions for me. At different times throughout the day I've had flash backs to a year ago. Standing in the nurses office as she tested Connor's blood sugar for the first time. Seeing that 525 on the meter, knowing in that moment nothing would ever again be the same. The drive to the hospital stopping for water because he was so thirsty. Waiting in the triage room for the ambulance to come and take us to the children's hospital, praying for Brent to get there in time. Watching Connor as he played with all the different games on the tv in his room. His tear filled eyes that pierced my heart as he watched me give him his first injection. Almost every detail of every moment has been seared into my memory. I can tell you the clothes he was wearing, the food he ate, the movie that he watched as he fell asleep. The friends birthday party he missed, the phone calls I made. The look of worry on my oldest son's face as I told him we had to take his brother to the hospital. I can remember it all. It's been like a movie, playing in my mind all day.
As I have reflected on the events that took place a year ago I wonder, will the sting ever go away? 5 years from now will I be able to remember everything with such clarity? Will I be able to look back on THAT day and not have my eyes fill with tears?
These last 12 months have at times been daunting. Some days the weight of being a parent and a pancreas is heavier than others. Our daily routine had completely changed. I haven't slept thru the night in a year. I am up until midnight and up again at 3 am testing his blood sugar. Some nights I am up every 2 hours trying to get a stubborn high blood sugar back into range. I wake him in the morning with bated breath hoping that I've kept him safe for one more night. I attend every field trip, birthday party, and special function as his pancreatic backup. For me the nights are the worst. My mind always travels to the what ifs. What if my efforts as a pancreas aren't good enough. Will he suffer long term complications later in life because of the high blood sugars that creep their way in thru every growth spurt, cold, miss calculated carbs, or because the wind changed direction? Will he have a seizure from a low blood sugar we didn't catch in time? What if he passes out at school? Will the teachers/nurse know what to do. There is no greater fear to be had than that of a mother for her child.
We have learned a lot in the last 365 days. In fact I now speak a new language.
BASAL insulin: the insulin given via pump throughout the day to keep blood sugar steady.
BOLUS insulin: the insulin given at each meal
I:C ratio: the amount of carbohydrates that 1 unit of insulin will cover. IE. Connor's I:C ratio is 1:28. So for every 28 carbs Connor will require 1 unit of insulin.
CORRECTION FACTOR: how many points 1 unit of insulin will lower a high blood sugar. IE. Connor's is 1:100 or for every unit of insulin Connor's blood sugar will drop by 100 points.
TDD: total daily dose, (the amount of insulin administered during the day)
INFUSION SET: the part of Connor's insulin pump that attaches to his body. This must be changed every 2-3 days.
RESERVOIR: the syringe like canister that holds the insulin in the pump.
LOW BLOOD SUGAR: anything below 80
HIGH BLOOD SUGAR: for Connor anything above 150
504 PLAN: the protocol put into place to protect Connor during school, (being able to test/treat blood sugars, going to nurse when needed, absences, etc)
This list could go on forever.
I've watched my son grow and mature in ways I couldn't imagine. I admire his strength and determination. He hasn't let diabetes change who he is. He laughs, plays, explores, and imagines great and wonderful things. In fact, diabetes has only fueled his love for math. He thinks its funny to give me his blood sugar in the form of a math problem. He has taught me to love and have compassion, as we are all fighting some battle that is invisible to others. He is my hero and I am thankful EVERY day to be his mother.
As I have looked back over this last year, and have reflected on THAT day, I am grateful for THIS day. For this day we had lunch together, saw a movie, and enjoyed the day as a family. This day we laughed, hugged, and made good memories. This day diabetes was not the topic of conversation. This day diabetes did not take over our lives. This day diabetes was just something that we took care of as part of our everyday routine. This day I kissed and tucked in all three of my happy healthy children into their beds. And as I sit here on this day waiting to check Connor's blood sugar before going to bed, I think of all that we have been blessed with. On this day, his Diaversary, I am thankful.