Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Far I've Come

Grace's 9th birthday was at the beginning of June. I mentioned in a previous post how differently I felt this year versus last year. As it turns out, my husband found an old e-mail I'd sent out on her birthday last year, describing to friends and family how I felt. As I re-read it, I can't believe how sad I felt. Thanks to the wonderful support of friends and family, and most importantly my new DOC friends, I've come a long way. What a difference a year makes. Here's the e-mail:

Today is Grace's birthday, and I'm sad. I'm sad for the loss of the "healthy" Grace. I feel like we've said good bye to the last year that she didn't have diabetes. Planning this year's party is completely different than last year's. Now, we're skipping the pizza and ice cream and have to plan her cake around snack time and extra insulin. People have offered to bring desserts, and I have to say no.

I'm sad because we're now in the season of picnics, and bar b ques, and ice cream, and lack of schedules, and none of that works for us anymore. Grace cries at halftime of every soccer game, when the oranges slices come out and she can't have them.

I'm sad because Grace has taken this on so well. She went to a birthday party last weekend, and all she snacked on was carrots. She said no to the fruit and chips. All on her own. I had to come back to the party in the middle to check her blood sugar and give her insulin so she could have cake. It's a huge burden that she bears, for the most part, on her own. For as much as I can try to guide her through this, it is her disease. She's such a trooper that it breaks my heart.

I'm sad for myself, because I feel like I never had a chance to digest all that's happened, because life goes on, and I have two other children who need me too. And I feel selfish for even feeling this way.

I won't tell Grace any of this. This is a day to celebrate her youth and her health and her resilience, which deserves celebration. This is a day to remember that things could be much, much worse. This is a day to hope that there will be a cure for diabetes in her lifetime. But in a small part of my heart, I am sad."
June 4, 2009


  1. Many, many, many hugs to you. It's crazy to look back on where you've been...and where you're going. Congrats on a healthy happy year and enjoy all the pizza and cake you can take today ;)

    Gotta make up for last year, ya know!

  2. Sending love your way Pam. You are such a good mom to Grace. I understand the sadness and the changing of life, just like that. It makes me wistful at times. I am glad you are in a different place this year.

  3. Hugs to you... Justin was dx'd 2 days before his sisters birthday. I remember being so confused and lost. At that time I didn't think cake was the best idea. It was a hard time for sure and I hear over and over again about "that first year". It IS the worst... but we made it right!?
    Were still kicking.

  4. That email was heartbreaking. I'm glad you can read it though, and see exactly how far you have come. ((HUGS))

  5. yes it is heartbreaking to read old stuff we wrote when first dxed and it is elating to see how far we have progressed and how well we have handled it and yes grace is a trooper . You are doing fine and there will be people around you who still dont get it and will try to bring food that you have asked them not to bring anyway . Oh well another thing us d moms have to deal with . You are doing a great job and so is Grace .

  6. I can only imagine how hard it is for a parent to deal with all of that. I was diagnosed at 4 years old. I still, sometimes, feel a little guilty for all I put my parents through. Also, I still know my preschool teacher. The one who had me when I was diagnosed. She says that I would look at people and say "I can't have that." And I only had diabetes for about 4 months while I was in her class. Kids pick up on stuff so quickly. And I'm glad life is settling down some for you all now. The parents who raise us kids with D are so, so special. You all deserve a medal. :)

  7. I'm glad you're doing better this year. Diabetes does stink. But it really could be worse, and we must never forget that. WE HAVE INSULIN!

    I have a friend who's son is autistic. Looking at him, he will never life a normal life and my heart breaks for his parents. We are blessed that our kids can live normal lives....with a little help!

    You seem like such a good mom! I'm glad you're doing better this year! : )

  8. You have done such a wonderful job. One day Gracie will realize how lucky she is to have you for a mom. We love you, and praise you for you courage, strength and love.
    Mom & Dad

  9. What a difference just a year can make, I too remember the sadness that I felt in our first year when Miss E and Lil Miss C were was so sad and painful.

    I am so happy that you are in a better place now, that first year is the hardest I think for a lot of us.