May 6, 2013

The Sugar (Part 3): Stronger Because Of It.

When I wrote the first post about The Sugar, I somehow thought I would write two posts about how we found out and just move on to the next thing meandering through my brain.  How impossible.  It's not as if we just found out, tucked it away in a closet and never thought about it again.  It affects Moo (and occasionally the whole family) every day.  Every.  Day.  

I had written and scrapped and written and scrapped and written and scrapped a third post about diabetes for a couple months now.  I was babbling on about how I'm not an activist and how I am too lazy have no time to organize walks, be in walks, raise money for walks or any other activity designed to fundraise for the disease.  Basically it was kind of blah, blah, blah, Negative Nancy, I feel guilty, but not really.  Anyway, it got scrapped again.

Some time after Moo was diagnosed with Diabetes I came to tell many people that I was so amazed at her strength and courage in dealing with the whole thing.  She had always seemed to be my crabbier child.  (Although in hindsight some of her moodiness may have been symptomatic.)  Slim was way more easy-going and happy-go-lucky and The Geel wasn't here yet.  If someone had told me one of my children was going to be diagnosed with an incurable disease I would not have pegged her as one to take it so well.  But she did.  She was such a trooper.

I mentioned before about how the hospital we went to when she was diagnosed was really good about making sure you knew what the hell you were doing and were comfortable with it before you were discharged.  The Sarge and I agreed that we wanted her to try giving herself the insulin injection right from the start and that we would go from there based on her willingness or ability to do so.  With a little practice on a stuffed bear designed specifically for that purpose, she did great and has done so since.  We were and are so proud of her.  For all this disease can take away, strangely it gave her a certain confidence she never had before.  She felt in control and capable.

I wanted to write about this because the other day I took a survey about Diabetes.  I take surveys quite a bit about many different things and this one was very personal and asked a lot of questions about how it feels to have a child with Diabetes.  When presented with a blank box I dug up some real gems like frustrating, overwhelming, and chronic.  Then the survey presented me with some choices and I got a big kick in the hoohah.

BOOM!  As soon as I read down the list I thought of my crappy ass blog post that was wallowing in the Drafts.  And I busted out the phone to take a pic.  

Why didn't my mind go there? THOSE are the words I should have thought of. THOSE are the words I had used myself to describe my daughter, her journey, our experience. Proud. Self-sufficient. (Good grief! how many times I used that word: birthday parties, sleep-overs, babysitters.) STRONGER BECAUSE OF IT.  That confidence.

The one word I know I have NEVER, EVER used to describe Moo and her Diabetes is "victim."  That's just not in the vocabulary for us.  I will never say it hasn't been frustrating or overwhelming at times.  Even as I look at the list, I wonder if I ended up checking "Roller Coaster" before I clicked through.  SO fitting, that one:  the symptoms, the blood sugar, the emotions.  Very fitting.

The second thing that struck the same chord with me was Moo herself.  She was on the computer yesterday morning playing around with Power Point. No reason, she was just bored.  (Its times like these when I know they are so my children.) I peeked over her shoulder to see her creating a short presentation about her Diabetes.   I then thought of this revised post I wanted to write and asked her if I could include her presentation.

Her matter-of-fact-ness makes me proud.  Her almost nonchalance speaks to her confidence in handling it.  I occasionally wonder if we are too relaxed about it, but the alternative is living in fear, and I don't think that is healthy. Could serious things happen with her Diabetes? Absolutely.  Do I want her in a constant state of worry about every detail of every activity and every bite of food?  Absolutely not.

Moo wrote an essay last year that I hope I still have tucked away somewhere.  It was autobiographical.  She  wrote about her family, places she had lived, what she liked to do, what she wanted to be when she grew up.  She never even mentioned her Diabetes.  I was a little shocked, since we deal with it constantly.  But then I realized: as ubiquitous as it is in her life, it does not define her.  She is not my Diabetic child.  She is my first baby.  My Lovey.  My Moo.

She is not it, but she is stronger because of it.


  1. Great post! And yes, our trials make us stronger, but they do not define us. What an amazing girl your Moo is.

  2. Thank. Your blog is good for people. We can find enough information from your post

  3. Wow! It was a good place for seeking info and courage. All three parts about The Sugar are truly great.
    Thank you for sharing the meaningful story. Diabetes Destroyer , Destructeur De Diab├Ęte


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