Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fear: A confession

Deciding to get pregnant was one of the hardest things I've ever had done. Big Nan had utterly convinced me that a healthy pregnancy was an impossibility, that I would be irresponsible and cruel to try to bring a child into this world through my toxic wasteland of a body. Clearly, Big Nan was big-time wrong about that.

I still worried, though, throughout the entire pregnancy. (Actually, I was kind of a mess.) It's hard to trust your body when it's already failed you once, y'know? So I worried and worked at BGs and visited doctors and did everything in my power to ensure my daughter would be healthy when she was born. And she was healthy. Happy ending, right? Yes and no. Yes, because - other than being a little skinny - she's the absolute picture of baby health. No, because I am forever worried about what sort of genetic hand she was dealt.

Last Sunday - after she'd had a week or two of fussiness, sobbing instead of napping, guzzling nearly double her usual amount of milk, waking twice a night to inhale a bottle, and utterly soaking her diapers - this worry reached a crippling extreme. I could not stop thinking about all the signs and what they could portend. I could not stop feeling sick to my stomach, certain that something awful was going on but not quite brave enough to face it.

I knew, though, that I'd never forgive myself for going through with a party when L should be taken to an emergency room. So I took a deep breath and made the worry tangible by saying it out loud: I asked B if he thought I was crazy to want to test L's blood sugar.

B was, as always, himself - calm and rational and supportive. He did not think I was crazy. He, too, agreed she wasn't behaving like she usually does. More to the point, he knew I was not going to be able to think of anything else until I saw proof that I was wrong. And so we decided to test. I took my Delica and lanced her teeny tiny heel, feeling like a monster all the while - my girl didn't so much as bat an eyelash. I put blood to strip and held my breath while it counted down to a 112. 112. I was crushed by the relief I felt - completely overwhelmed - and promptly burst into tears.

I don't want to be the T1 mom who can't let her kid be a kid, who's overprotective and always thinking the worst. But it happened to me, and it's happened to so many people I know in the DOC. Why not L?

I'm working on being positive, on reminding myself that I have no control over this and that all I can do is be vigilant without being crazy. And, honestly, deep down I know that diabetes is not the end of the world. I have an amazing life, and I've lived with this disease for 18 years. I know countless tremendous people who also have diabetes and are happy and live well with it. I wouldn't wish this disease on anyone, but I do know that - even if my worst fears were realized - L would be just fine.


  1. I know this feeling, or at least the version of it I've felt in similar moments with my little Bird. I wish I could say something comforting, but all I have is, "Me, too." xo

  2. I know I don't have the same perspective as you, but I felt the worry right along with you as I read. I had a little scare with Lila a ways back and I have to say the seconds it takes to do the poke, suck the blood and wait for the number to pop up were a bit of an out of body experience for me.

    I continue to worry, I've even played the scenarios out in my head of Colin and Lila being diagnosed and how they might handle it. I'm not sure I have anything valuable to really add. I had five years of blissful ignorance and feared only the trivial silly stuff that I didn't realize was trivial at the time.

    I'm glad she's 112 and hope she's back to her normal self. She's such a sweetie and I enjoy all of her that you share with us!

  3. I had the same worry last night. Over the past week, Kip has been doing the same. Fussy, peeing through diapers and clothes when he has NEVER done that. Result? 80. But the worry and fear that led up to it had me soaring through the roof. That fear is so gripping.

  4. I give you credit. I have the same thoughts (I blogged about it earlier this week), and I couldn't even bring myself to test my own child's blood sugar ... because I couldn't prepare myself to see anything OTHER than a 112 (or similarly "normal range' number).

  5. I literally just sobbed reading your post. I am a lurker on your blog and read along with your pregnancy as I went through mine (Type 1 for 32 yrs and my son was born in September). It broke my heart to hear you "verbalize" my own fears. I'm thankful to have you and the others in the DOC community to know I'm not alone in my feelings. Thanks for sharing this!