Thursday, May 16, 2013

What We've Accomplished in 67 Days

Today is day 4 of the Fourth Annual Diabetes Blog Week.  I'm still hanging in there!  Read on for today's prompt:

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you've made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small - think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.). (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)

It's been 67 days since Eleanor's diagnosis (and 14 years since her daddy's diagnosis, since they are both PWD that I know, live with and love)  I must say, that in spite of Michael and I already having lived with diabetes for 14 years, I've still had a tremendous learning curve since my daughter's diagnosis.  Having a little girl face this disease is a whole different ball game.  To be honest, with Michael's diabetes, it had gotten to the point where I hardly noticed it.  Oh sure, he had a low here in there, mostly on the weekends 

when our schedule is off, and I see him pull out his insulin pen and shoot up under the table when we're eating out, but it had gotten to be no big deal.
I paid more attention to it during my pregnancies, frankly.  Just for fun, I used his glucose meter now and again to check in on myself.  I never found anything numbers out of line.  I'm an information junkie so I found it fascinating regardless.  But, with the advent of Eleanor's diagnosis, I've built up quite a list of accomplishments:
1. I gave an injection to another person (I'd done injections on myself with various arthritis medications)

2. I've done upwards of 500 finger pokes.

3. I've gotten into a regular habit of waking for those midnight and three A.M. alarms to check her.
4. I've joined the club.
5. I've started this blog.
6. I've reached out to the DOC and begun to find my home here.  I'm beginning to build warm connections.  It takes some effort to find the right place for yourself.
7. I've inserted her Dexcom sensor.
8. I wore and Omnipod full of saline for 3 days.
9. I slept on a hospital chair/bed/thing for two nights with rheumatoid arthritis.
10. I slept in my own bed with Eleanor in it too with rheumatoid arthritis, during the countless early days when I was terrified to let her out of my sight.
11. I've slept in a lumpy camp bunk bed at Camp Sweeney during the Spring Fling family weekend with rheumatoid arthritis.
12. I've climbed the ladder to her loft in near agony in the worst stiffest morning hours to check on her with rheumatoid arthritis.
13. But I'm most proud that I have become an advocate for her.  I've been assertive and effective in getting her a CGM and an prescription for a pump, in spite of the "standard schedule" that the attending clinic usually follows.

But, enough about me, this is really her story.
Here's what she said she was proud of:
• I'm proud that I'm brave.  I'm braver than some kids.
•I proud that I got used to injections, because I don't cry anymore.
• I'm proud that I accomplished convincing my grandparents to send me to Camp.

There were other things, things I am proud of her for that she didn't want to list herself.
•Speaking of stage performances, this girl is fearless!  She loves to perform and there doesn't seem to be an ounce of stage fright in her.  I love how she lights up when she gets on stage, be it singing, dancing or acting.  (She can be rather reticent in a classroom, seldom raising her hand to answer questions even though I know she knows the material.  It's a fascinating contrast to see her bloom when performing) I'm proud of how determined she was to get through her rehearsals and performances of The King and I even though her diagnosis fell right in the middle of it.

• She rode a zip line at Camp Sweeney during the Spring Fling family weekend - one handed and waving! Holy Cow! This girl is Six!! 
Eleanor, coming down the zip line…

…with one hand!
• I'm proud of how she shares her diabetes with her friends.  She wants to educate them, show them her Dexcom transmitter, and tell kids about insulin.  Those kids will have a greater understanding later in life because of Eleanor.  
• I'm extremely proud of her generous heart and her efforts to build an organization that will raise money to donate Jerry the Bear to other kids who are newly diagnosed with diabetes.  She wants every kid who's scared and overwhelmed to have that furry friend by their side to hug and hold and make the path a little gentler.  That's where she's thinking about other kids, and giving back.  She's pretty special.


  1. I am proud of all of you!!! Special shout out to her big brothers for adjusting to the huge change in routines and helping out.

    1. I almost included a section about what her fabulous brothers have accomplished! I decided they deserved an entire blog post of their own. I'll add that to the queue.

    2. I almost included a section about what her fabulous brothers have accomplished! I decided they deserved an entire blog post of their own. I'll add that to the queue.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. My husband's best friend was diagnosed with diabetes in childhood. It hasn't stopped him from living a rich full life. You are doing such an amazing job with Eleanor! I love that she kept going with everything and didn't let her diagnosis sideswipe her!!!

    1. She's not thrilled, but she mostly keeps a smile on. I'm proud of that too, but I never blame her when it all gets to be too much and backs up on us all a bit. She holds it together so well most of the time.

  4. Big hugs to all of you! Eleanor is a lucky girl to have a family that is taking the time to understand what she's dealing with, and has the stamina to help her! Just make sure you take care of yourself, too.

    1. Thanks. I try… you wouldn't believe the doctor visit *I* had yesterday… spinning my wheels, but that's another topic.

  5. She is incredibly special, and I am grateful to you both for sharing your journey with us!

  6. It may be hard to imagine now but one day your daughter's diabetes will be as unnoticeable as your husband's. I love your list. You and your family should remind yourselves of these accomplishments every so often. There is life beyond diabetes. Keep living life!

    1. It is hard to imagine, and yet, I hope we get there, because I want it to move to the back burner. I feel like right now I mother hen her more than I should. I try but… it's hard.


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