11/12/2014

To the Parents of that Newly Diagnosed Kid

I see you there. You, the one who never imagined being in the hospital with your precious child. No matter how old they are, you still think of them as a small child while in your arms. You feel guilty that you might have missed the earliest signs and caused more harm. You are putting on the brave face in front of them and crying when you close the bathroom stall door. You're wondering how to pay for everything -  the hospital, the numerous new prescriptions, the time off from work, the various new foods that you're thinking will be needed. You are sitting in the hospital at your child's side, praying for both a miracle or someone to wake you up from this bad dream. You are also wishing for some sleep, because that's currently in short supply with all of the beeping monitors and nursing staff collecting blood every hour or two interrupting your REM. I see you trying to learn this new diabetic language while tossing all your preconceived notions about diabetes out of the window.  You are juggling your other kids/pets/job/family while being determined to spend as much time at the hospital as possible.  I see your stress as you learn this new lifestyle of carb counting, insulin formulas, emergency protocols, and all the while hoping that you aren't going to make a mistake and harm your child. I see you trying not to freak out the first time you have to stick your child with a needle. You are questioning every mouthful of food they consume, wondering both if it's enough or too much at the same time. You are worried about your child and their mental understanding of what this diagnosis means. You are also worried about how their teacher/sitter/friends are going to be able to take care of them if needed. And you are responding to well-wishers like a champ while swimming to your new island of loneliness where no one else understands. 

I see you. So on top of all the other information you are getting, listen to this. Soon, diabetes care will be the tiniest bit easier.  You will have nights where upon going to sleep, feel like you should get an award for best pseudo-pancreas. You will start talking the talk and understanding what the doctor's intent is when they make changes.  You will get diabetes "right" about 75% of the time, and curse it the other 25% for not making up its mind. You will know there was nothing you did or could've done differently to cause this diagnosis. You will find support where you least likely expect it. And I just want to let you know, I see you.  I've stood in your shoes. While every journey is different, we are all linked together because we get it. Like, "get it" get it. And it will get better for you. 

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