Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest Post: The Land Of Chronic

Photo of Penny & Grace - Snagged from their Blogger Profile

Penny from A Sweet Grace, is "Guest Hosting"today while I'm in the second day of my Canadian Adventure.

Penny and her amazing type 1 daughter Grace are truly fantastical in so many ways!!!

I admire the way Penny parent's Grace, and I love the way she allows Grace to be an active participant in her diabetes. Plus, Penny is a hoot! She makes me laugh and she's a great friend!

Grace is also playing "Guest Host," and she's a real firecracker! Seriously, that girl is funny, bright, articulate, a pistol, and girlfriend is a Diva Fashionista!

I look at Grace, and I see my 9 year CWD self - Sans the fashion sense and the beautiful blue eyes.

And I learn so much from Grace. Like that sequins are not just for evening wear, celery is the 'surprise' in "Tuna Surprise," and I learn to continue to see the world through the eyes of a wise beyond her years & almost tween. Except that I don't have nearly as much confidence as Grace - Or Bieber Fever!

I love Penny and Grace very much - And had it not been for this thing called diabetes, we would have never crossed paths. And like each of you in the DOC, Penny & Grace are what (who?) makes my "diabetes glass," half full.

Take it away ladies!!!!!

The Land of Chronic

By Penny Starr-Ashton

There are days that I still cannot believe it. That Grace has Type 1 Diabetes and it’s for LIFE. I mean, I know it, deep in my soul, that she does and she will. (Insert swelling theme music here and the standard CURE mantra - how many years until the cure, 5-10-20-30 years???) But it’s still hard to believe, if you know what I mean. The un-endingness of it all, the 24/7 of it all, the, well, the chronic-ness of it all.

May I have the definition of chronic please?

chronic : always present or encountered; especially : constantly vexing, weakening, or troubling <chronic petty warfare>

Well, thank you Merriam-Webster, cause that’s a little enlightening don’t you think?

Always present. Yep, that one was right on the money. It’s always there, the need to address the diabetes. Every. Darn. Day. It always shows up, is never absent and it’s never late. It would have been a good school student, getting that A+ for perfect attendance all these years. It’s just always, so, here.

Always encountered. Looking for a chance meet-up? Count on diabetes. It’s everywhere. It’s in the walking, the eating, the laying down, the running, the sleeping, the showering, the gardening, the snacking, the playing and I could go on, but the darn things shows up everywhere. It’s like the party guest you cannot get rid of no matter how you try. I look around corners and there it is. I open the bread drawer and there it is. Damn thing needs a home, and not mine.

Constantly vexing. Did you totally just nod your head and say ‘Absolutely!’ cause tell me that you ate the same thing two days in a row and bolused the same and got different numbers, right?! Right. Vexing is too pretty of a word, it conjures up spells and witchery and a little sexy number too. Diabetes, I have never once thought of you as sexy, I am afraid to say. You do vex me in the way you operate though, slyly upping the numbers one day, slyly sending the numbers down the next. You do constantly try to trick me and you throw me a total conundrum wrapped in a puzzle wrapped in a sphinx wrapped in a soft pretzel with cheese sort of trick. It can only be unlocked through an extended bolus with a temp basal with a step to the right, a 360 turn and three jumps while scratching your head. Yeah, you vex alright.

Weakening. Oh diabetes, sometimes you weaken my spirit. The chronic-ness of it all weighs on me at times and I try not to let my 9 year old gal see it. But you sometimes weaken my heart and my brain. My strength breaks down and in slips nasty thoughts of night-time lows, not waking up, ketones and DKA. But I have some words for you diabetes: I am stronger. Grace is stronger.

Troubling. In more ways than one, huh?! Trying to SWAG a bolus for a homemade cupcake brought in for a school treat that has ‘a lot of icing Mommy’ over the phone, when it’s time to eat lunch in school and she’s already late as it is. That’s troubling. Basals that reduce me to tears on some days, trying to figure the damn things out. Worrying about complications, that’s the biggest worry of all. Troubled that my gal will live a shorter life because of diabetes and praying that God takes me first. Troubled about the ‘what if she has a low and no one is around to help her,’ that’s always a doozy too.

Whew. That’s the chronic-ness of the diabetes in our lives. It hits me some days, just like this. It’s like a wave that washes over me, then it’s done. The waves are less than they were at the beginning of Grace’s diagnosis and I suspect in the next 5-10-20 years they will subside to tinier waves, as we all grow and change and well, accept more.

Thankfully, and mercifully, most of our days are spent not in the chronic part of our lives. They are spent in the moment, the non-troubling, non-vexing, non-weakening moment. I don’t pretend to live there all the time though. The land of chronic calls me to visit every now and then.

Diabetes Stinks

by Grace Ashton

I love the summer, but I hate diabetes.

It’s fun to go swimming, but not fun to prick.

I love hanging out with my friends, but I hate coming home to test.

I love everything about summer, but I hate everything about diabetes.


Unknown said...

Ah, Penny...what a wonderful way to state what I feel. Love the way you broke down "chronic". You effectively described the "never-ending-ness" of it all.

And GRACE ~ me too

And K-2 ~ I sure hope I get to meet them someday too. You are so fortunate and they too for knowing you. xo

Alexis Nicole said...

Penny! I love you. I love this post. Your honesty and how it was as if you're reading my mind.

Thank you.

G. My G! I adore you. You're awesome. Strong. Beautiful and hairflip like no otha!

K2 thank you for sharing this with us. You rock! Xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts as only a D mom could. I'm actually sobbing right now because I'm having one of those "Chronic" days. I know that I can't focus on the never-ending-ness of it, but some days it knocks you out a bit. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone in my feelings.

Cheryl said...

Penny...you speak for all of us eloquently...this disease wears you out. But, as you said, we are stronger and our amazing T1 kids are stronger too!

Grace...Nicole and I are right there with you!!

Kelly...does your awesomeness ever end??!! ;-)