I've been MIA. Life gets away from me. Time passes and difficulties come up. Sometimes I feel like talking about them and sometimes I don't. I'm playing around with the idea of completely doing away with the blog, but it's nice to have someplace to go when I do feel like getting all my thoughts out. So...we'll see.
There's something I want all d-parents to know. Something I think they need to know. Diabetes is a game. Your children will play games with their numbers. They'll play games with their condition. It's a fact. Sometimes those games are innocent and harmless, like aiming for a certain favorite number. Sometimes those games aren't so harmless. Like adjusting your numbers. Giving a little too much insulin so they can have an extra piece of birthday cake later. Giving not enough insulin so they can drop an extra pound or two. I'm not sure that I have any wisdom to offer all of you in this area, except to be aware of the numbers, to pay attention to your children and to keep your eyes out for these games that your children are going to play whenever the opportunities arise. It's not something to worry over-much about. Your children have an advantage that I didn't in my childhood....parents who care, parents who contribute and watch and pay attention to them. Parents who've shown them that they have value.
Childhood is rough sometimes and there are so many stages and elements of it. One of those key elements is the idea that bad things aren't going to happen to us, the feeling of being invincible. The lack of weight to future consequences. With diabetes, there are so many consequences. And so few of them actually make it into a child's brain. I never thought seriously about the consequences of my disease. I never really considered the idea that I might lose feeling in my feet. That I might lose the ability to see. Diabetic consequences don't play much of a part in the numbers games that diabetic children play. I didn't take them seriously. Most people don't. Until it happens to them. So now, I'm here, telling you about the diabetes complication that no one told me about, that I probably wouldn't have thought about anyway. I've been having some issues over the last few months. Nothing too big. Just a general feeling of nausea. Not being hungry. Just run down and with a stomach that didn't really want me to put much into it. And then, a few weeks back, I had a bad reaction in the middle of the night. I sat on the kitchen floor, eating a baked sweetbread and trying to get my blood sugar up. Crawled back into bed when it was safe. Woke up a few hours later with stomach cramps, vomitting, violently ill. Spent several hours being violently ill before crawling back into bed and sleeping some more. I blamed it on the bread....maybe it was an allergy or something. No one else got sick. Just me. Couple of weeks passed of me being back to slightly nauseous all the time, but nothing major. And then this weekend....another episode. Low blood sugar. Lots of orange juice and some cookies to bring my blood sugar back up at bedtime. Woke up at 2 in the morning, violently ill. Orange juice is not good when it comes back up. In fact, it's pretty damn awful. After being violently, painfully ill for five hours, I begged my husband to take me to the hospital. He obliged. They did nothing more than give me anti-emetics, fluids, and some really great pain killers, but three hours later, I was no longer praying for death. I'm scheduled to visit the radiology department of the hospital at the end of the month. The idea is that they will run a few tests to determine if I have developed gastro-paresis. When they talk about diabetic neuropathy, this is not what I imagined. But, this is a form of that. Basically, the nerves controlling the stomach become damaged due to diabetes and the stomach fails to empty completely. It sounds a lot more pleasant than it is.
Twenty-six years of diabetes this month. I thought I was one of the lucky ones, one who wasn't affected by complications yet. And there they were, lurking in the background, just waiting to sneak up and tear my life apart. So there you have it, my wisdom to share with the d-parents....be aware that there are games being played. Know that most of those games are harmless, but keep your eyes open for the ones that aren't so innocent, for the games that will come back and hurt your children in the future. And somehow, someway, get them to understand that diabetes complications are not an "if". For most of us, unless they can find a cure, the complications will be a "when" and what kind. And the better care our children take of themselves, the better chances they have of minimizing those complications. Time and diabetes will take their toll, regardless, but with proper care and management, their toll will be minor and much less painful.