The Diabetic Mom.

It’s weird to think I’ve been a type one diabetic almost as long as I’ve been a mom. My first pregnancy followed very closely to my diagnosis and it became a whirlwind of overwhelming emotions. I hadn’t really grasped what being a type one diabetic meant but I was going to have to figure it out quickly because it wasn’t going to be affecting just me. I was going to have a baby bump roommate who would be experiencing the roller coaster that is this illness right along with me. Needless to say it was a stressful time, happy, but stressful nonetheless. The beginning of motherhood, along with my diabetes journey, would cause me such anxiety I wondered often what kept me going. Aside from the beautiful, bouncing, baby girl smiling up at me. I prayed for strength and wisdom. He only gives us what we can handle but there were definitely times I was left feeling like the weight of the world were on my shoulders.

Thankfully I made it out of that worrisome time with a beautiful, smart, and perfectly healthy daughter, valuable knowledge to combat the tediousness that diabetes can bring daily, and a sense of humor. Because at the end of the day if you can’t laugh about it, even just a little, then life is going to be one big ball of yuck.

So I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss with you some things I’ve learned about myself, this disease, and motherhood, and how it’s shaped my view on life.

So let’s jump in…

The connective line between all three is me. If I am not on my game and doing my best then everything falls a part, not always drastically, but I have found that things don’t run as smoothly as they could be when I am in a funk. In the equation of life it is fundamental to remember you and your health. Whether that be mental, physical, or emotional. Doing what you can to ensure you’re at your tip top shape in those categories is key. Exercising, taking time to treat yourself, or even venting with someone in your support system, can all be ways to rejuvenate you and your health.

A technique I’ve used when I start feeling any sort of frustration, diabetes burn out, or insecurity in my parenting, I write it all out. Every single thing bothering me, I write it out, removing it from my thoughts and the fabric of me and then I crumble it up. I rip it to shreds. It doesn’t necessarily remove the “issue” but it gives me visual gratification that I am in control of the situation. Even when it doesn’t feel that way.

Alongside all of that it’s important to remember that we aren’t alone in this. Our friends, our family, and even our coworkers, are right there with us. They are ready and willing to be a shoulder, a comforting conversation, a useful resource for almost everything going on in our lives. The thing about parenting and diabetes is that neither one are easy. Each one comes with their own set of aspirations, frustrations, victories and failures, but not one of them have be done alone. Take the time to gather yourself up and allow your trusted confidants to take the wheel sometimes.

And above all else. Be gentle with you. Because you really are doing your best.

 

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A letter to myself.

People often discuss what they would tell their younger selves if given the opportunity. The advice and wisdom they’d share, the “friends” to stay away from, and the comfort they’d wrap themselves in after that deep heartbreak. I’ll admit I’ve thought about it a few times myself. The younger me was a bit naive, a little insecure, and way too worried about what others thought of her. She liked to think she was an “individual” when really she craved to be accepted by her peers. With thirty around the corner I got to thinking…

What would I tell my younger self?


Dear Self,

I’d like to start off by saying that lime green eye shadow is not your friend. But don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to express yourself either. If people don’t like it, or you, it’s truly not the end of the world. They’ll get over it or you’ll move past the criticism better and stronger. Learn to pick and choose your battles this will make life so much easier in the future. Sometimes it seems like the best reaction is the fiery one when most of the time it’s perfectly acceptable to take a step back and evaluate whether the issue is even worth your time. In all honesty, most of the battles you chose could have been avoided, or worked through, had you and the other person not been so quick to jump to conclusions.

Which brings me to my next point. Those bridges that were burned, those people who decided they were fine, with or without you, were never really your friends. The hurt seemed like the weight of the world on your shoulders but in reality you were able to bloom and blossom into something so special once that toxic energy evaporated. Don’t dwell on any of that. Instead learn from it and continue to grow.

Never stop wearing your heart on your sleeve, because one day you’ll find a man who will love and appreciate all that you are and everything you bring to the table. Be kind and respectful to one another. He’ll be your biggest supporter and your very best friend. You’ll need someone like him on your side. Love him with all that you have and he’ll always do the same.

Spend time with your family, because one day you or they wont be around and you’ll regret not making the most of the time you did have.

And please stop beating yourself up so much. You are worth so much more than you believe. You are beautiful, smart, and overall a really awesome person. I should know.

Keep in mind that life will throw a lot of lemons your way but if you persevere. If you continue to be the fighter I know you are, then nothing is going to stop you from achieving your goals. So keep your head up, keep on smiling, and buckle up. Because you have quite a ride in front of you.

 

Love always, me.


What would you say to your younger self?

Things you shouldn’t do when your blood sugar is low…

With type one diabetes there are some days when you’re hitting those numbers and you’re hitting them hard. You look like a freaking rock star. And then there are those days when your numbers are doing their own thing and you’re left feeling all sorts of wonky.

Now, I don’t know about you but when my blood sugars (blood glucose levels) are low I get a little weird. Aside from the normal symptoms; shaky, sweaty, dizzy, disoriented, dealing with a numb sensation in my mouth and limbs, feeling lost, and everything else that comes along. I also get combative. A bit aggressive, in the sense that I don’t want anyone to tell me anything, don’t even talk to me when my sugar is low because I’m not me when I’m low. Ha. Like the snickers commercial…okay.

I’ve compiled a list of things you shouldn’t do when low because it will end badly.

Trust me.

 


  1. Do not. I repeat. Do not try to have a conversation with anyone. Happy, sad, or even political. Because when that sugar drops so does the filter. At least for me. I don’t care about anything other then gobbling up every single carb under my roof so I am not concerned with you and your political stance on bacon. I just don’t care.
  2. Do not try to operate heavy machinery. That’s for obvious reasons, I think. If you can’t remember your own name then driving a vehicle or anything like that should not be on your list of things to do right at that moment.
  3. Do not attempt to put make up on. I’ve been there and done that and it never comes out the way you hoped, the way you think it looks in a moment of low sugar rage, or the way the girl in the YouTube video says it will. Step away from the makeup.
  4. Do not go grocery shopping while low. Because I’ve come home with so much junk. And most of it was opened and half eaten. Not only that, the cashiers usually look at you weird and then there you are having to explain with a mouth full of oreos why you have opened and consumed most of your groceries already. They tend to understand for the most part but it’s still not a pretty picture.
  5. And lastly, do not try to shower. I’ve lost track of time in there. I’m washing my hair, minding my own business when my sugar drops, next thing I know I’ve been in there for an hour just wondering what the heck is going on.

Most of these are from personal experience and in no way reflect other type one diabetics. I can only speak for myself and when my blood sugar gets low I can only focus on one thing, trying to get my numbers up so I don’t feel this way anymore. Because it’s an awful, ugly feeling. If you can relate tell me the funniest, or weirdest thing, you’ve ever done while your sugar was low.

Also, don’t forget to smile. It’s a beautiful day.

Sleep when baby sleeps…

baby-mickey-mouse-sleeping-babymickmoon2

This is a very common phrase or piece of advice that is doled out to new parents, new moms, if we’re being specific. I heard it a lot during my first pregnancy, and again with my second one, however with my first I was actually able to sleep when she slept. She was the only one so all of my attention was on her. I solely focused on what she needed and even let my diabetes slip here and there. I ignored the laundry and the dishes. I vacuumed only so she wouldn’t get anything in her mouth she wasn’t supposed to. I literally did the bare minimum in house work and just enjoyed cuddling with her.

It was awesome.

With baby number two being a very rambunctious little guy and also having a very active seven year old now I don’t have many opportunities to “sleep when baby sleeps..” because when he is sleeping I am washing clothes and cleaning baby food stains out of the carpet and dealing with the aftermath of poo explosions, yes, those happen a lot. I am trying to give my oldest enough attention so she doesn’t feel neglected or feel any sort of animosity towards her little brother. I am trying to spend quality time with my husband. And this time around I am not allowing my diabetes to sit on the back burner. I’m busy being the secretary and planning meals.

There is so much more on my plate these days that when it comes to sleep it seems as though it is only something I can accomplish at night, once everyone is asleep, the house is semi picked up in case people stop by, laundry is done -because kids go through a lot more of it than you’d think- and I am just that exhausted. I can never sleep when baby sleeps during the day because there is always one thing after an other that needs my attention. So when I hear that piece of advice being thrown about…I cringe.

I’ll tell you the truth.

You can’t really sleep when baby sleeps unless you basically want to ignore the whole world. Occasionally it’s possible but those moments are few and far between. So no, don’t expect to sleep when baby sleeps. Instead of that incredibly played out advice I’ll say this, do try to relax whenever you can so that you can maintain your sanity. Always remember that eventually your to-do list will get done. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and never be afraid of letting the laundry go for a bit. As long as you’re happy, your family will be happy.

It’s going to be okay!