Jessica turned nine a week ago. She has not even been diagnosed two years. She told me last night that she does not remember not having diabetes. Her twin sister concurred that she also does not remember the years that Jessica did not have diabetes. I knew this time would come. As her mom I can't help but be sad. You see, to me, there were seven years-the majority of her life- when we lived carefree days. It saddens me to know that she no longer remembers days without multiple finger sticks, counting carbs, adjusting basal rates, site changes, and dexcom beeps. But, then I take a step back. She is happy. She is thriving. She is so incredibly healthy. This is who she is. Diabetes has made her stronger, healthier, responsible, more resilient...it has become so much an integral part of her, that I am not even sure I would recognize the little girl prior to diagnosis anymore. I would love to go back and somehow magically avoid that horrid October day. But yet, I would never want to change who Jessica has become. Perhaps this is just one more step towards acceptance.
Life has become easier. The pain has dulled. Counting carbs is almost routine, although I have developed an intense hate for cooking whereas I once loved it. My wild a*s guesses are getting better. Jessica is getting better and better with site changes. She is so independent it blows my mind. We are not running to her camps at noon every day this summer to give an insulin shot. She is checking herself and self-managing with her pump. She has less "I hate diabetes days." I have less "I hate diabetes days." Diabetes has brought our little unit of four closer together than I could have imagined. I still hate the worry and sleep deprivation, but it has become normal and expected instead of disabling.
We are eagerly looking forward to our diabetes family support weekend again in August. Seeing old friends, and meeting new. For two and a half days being immersed by people who walk it, live it, get it. Learning tips and new information. And, reflecting on how far we have come in a year. Thanks to that weekend Jessica has a pump and a new care team- it changed our life.
Diabetes-I still hate you. I still will do all I can to find a cure and rid you from our life and so many others. I will fight you every step of the way. I will not allow you to take my husband or daughter from me. But, I also finally accept you.