Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life's NOT FAIR...Suck It Up!

"Life's not fair...Suck it up".

Ah, yeah, this is sometimes my "parenting tactic" when dealing with sibling squabbles and whatnot with Bridget and Joe. Not very original I know. And, perhaps it is a little too cut and dry. I think I use it because it is true and sometimes it is the easiest way to convey "Knock off the bickering"... "I am done with you two bickering" ... "If there is more bickering, I'll give you a real reason to bicker about" ... and so on.

Let me preface the remainder of this post with: I have it good. I live a charmed life. I do. I can pick and choose when and if I am going to work a nursing shift at the schools. I am available to my children 24/7. I live in a comfortable home. I have the time to exercise daily. I have the time to cook healthy, homemade meals for my family. I have it good. My children have it good. My husband has it good. Joe's diabetes is managed to the best of our capability. He is "teched-out". He has access to the latest and most advanced tools in the industry. We are definitely the diabetes "haves". I am thankful for this.


Why do I still cry?

I am fortunate... My family is fortunate... Joe is well cared for...

Why was I sitting rink-side two nights ago with tears sliding down my cheeks? You know the tears where they are literally flowing and you are unable to talk for fear that you may start sobbing. So... I sat, tears flowing. So... I sat, trying to regain composure; dabbing my eyes while trying not to smear my teal worries on the mascara; it was waterproof. So... I sat crying like a big fucking baby ... I was sitting between two "Hockey Dads". Poor guys.

I know I have touched on this in a couple of posts over the past month or two. I feel I am hitting a new phase of dealing with diabetes in my life and, more importantly, in Joe's life. You see, the "Numbers Game" doesn't throw me much anymore. Sure, the almost "passing out" from a low in the furniture store between the handsome chest of drawers and the king-sized bed display plussed me a bit. Joe crying in misery while waiting for a 38 to rise makes me take pause and cry and blog and cry some more. And damn if a week or two straight of highs doesn't feel like someone is poking hot ram rods into my eyeballs and shakes my confidence to the core. These things (the "numbers") I study. I tweak. I study. I tweak some more. I wait. I watch. If I am lucky they work themselves out in a week, or two, or three.

The phase, this new phase of "d" in our lives is I am realizing ... just now mind you ... that everything in Joe's life is gonna be a bit of challenge. Wait, let me re-phrase that. I am becoming aware that Joe is going to have to work harder than most of his peers in his daily life. I am just now seeing how his numbers are affecting his performance physically and intellectually. I think when he was younger it didn't matter as much. He wasn't taking spelling "assessments" (politically correct term for TEST). He wasn't playing hockey four times a week. He was just being a preschooler, a little boy, a kid playing. Now it seems things are changing a bit and this reality is there rubbing me the wrong way. It is grating on me a bit. It makes me sad. I feel like he is starting out life behind the "8-ball". And. Again. I am left with some uncomfortable emotions. Jealousy is one of them. Jealous of all the kids around Joe that have every physiological advantage to be present in the moment mentally and physically. That isn't always the case for Joe. It never will be.

It isn't fair!

WAH ... !!!

I know, follow my own words of wisdom... "Life isn't fair... Suck it UP"! And I am, "sucking it up" that is. It isn't as easy as I make it sound when yelling it at my kids. Meri's post yesterday helped "snap" me out of my funk. I am gonna keep trucking along with Joe riding the highs and the lows, while ensuring he lives his life to the fullest. The big picture? What about it? I cannot just stand back and take in the big picture of diabetes in Joe's life right now. It is too daunting.

A day-in-the-life of being a BABY... WAH... WAH.


Penny said...

Oh it's good to get it out - let it out sister! We all have those days, moments, weeks, months. And you are right, it isn't fair. Not fair at all. That he will work harder and have more to do and more to worry about. But it will make him stronger, more compassionate, wiser beyond his years and more treasured each and every day.
I'm all for telling the kids that 'Like isn't fair' and I always tell them, who told you it was? So, my dear dear friend, I am telling you the same - it's not fair, but it is a lovely ride. Don't waste one minute of it.

Nikki said...

I love how you ended this post. Very clever.
But a baby you are NOT! Nuff said.
Love you <3

tara said...

Dude....not sure what else to say...ughhhhh...

Stacy said...

I think about this, too, and it makes my heart hurt. As if life with diabetes doesn't suck enough, they have to work harder and deal with more :( And it's probably not correct to say it sucks but let's be's not exactly a dream life to stab your fingers, be attached to mini computers and vomit every time your mom guessed wrong and you're high. The fact that our kids are even able to see it as normal just awes me. Who am I kidding...our kids are awesome!

Kelly said...

You made me cry dang it! :) Maddison struggles tremendously in school, half of it being blood sugars Im sure. She is the kid that feels every off number. If she isnt "perfectly" in range her cognitive ability sucks. She is at the nurse too much. She sits out of PE too much for lows, she misses out on ALOT. Because of Diabetes. And THAT makes me ANGRY too!Heartbroken. Its not fair! WAH! So true!

Then there is ME. To work out every day I have to prepare. Thats the ONE thing I hate most about Diabetes, is having to prepare. Afterwards I never know how the numbers will go....Im with you! Its SO not fair! I too feel every number. If Im over 150 my brain is mush. You are so right Reyna! ITS NOT FAIR! Sucks when you come to this realization about Diabetes! Its can really cause some wacked out feelings hugh? ((HUGS))

Stephanie said...

((hugs)) I've missed your posts! I totally get fact, one of the first weird thoughts I had when Adam was diagnosed was..."omg, he can't really BE what he wants to be when he grows up." There are some things he just won't be able to do. And he'll have to make damn sure he gets a good job when he gets older for the insurance! He can't just choose any old thing he wants to be. Weird, right? Worrying about my 4 year old's career path. LOL. But D affects everything and it sucks.

Glad you are back, friend.

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

I think we all need to just cry or vent every once in a while to get it out.

It is true that the more they do, the harder it is to plan. I often think of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is interested in the sax player and learns that Jerry mentioned them being "hot and heavy". She freaks out and tries to explain that developing a relationship is like coaxing a squirrel and you can't have any big flailing motions. Diabetes is that squirrel. When things start to flail, I feel like I've got to bucket up and arm myself and get ready for battle. The older they get and the more variety there is to their life, the more battling there seems to be.

It's hard sometimes - a lot of the time. They persevere though. It's not fair. Not one bit. But life isn't fair, it's true. Joe is lucky to have you and you him. One day, one game, one bg at a time. That's all we can do.

Hugs. :)

Tracy1918 said...

It does suck totally. I just try to keep reminding myself that diabetes is going to make our kids stronger.

They will be more responsible, more in-tune with their bodies, more.....fearless. I just gotta hold on to that. husband and I are convinced that when Matthew decides to get married...this diabetes thing will totally weed out the duds! No stinky daughter-in-law for me! Or you!!! : )

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking the other day "I haven't seen any Reyna posts recently..."

As I've said before, girl, you've got a way with words! "Funk" is the way we deal with it that demonstrates our strength. You've got it in spades!

I can't imagine dealing with the challenges all of you face every day, especially little Joe who isn't so little anymore. Your grace with it all is not only commendable, it is heartwarming. You don't sugar-coat the difficulty; you face it. Sometimes with tears at hockey practice, sometimes with a blog post and sometimes with a warm hand on Joe's cheek.

Cheers to you both during this holiday season. May you find bits of restfullness and peace along the way.
-Cara Coon

Cindy said...

Big hugs, Reyna! I've missed your posts and am so sad to know you've been feeling like this! I know it's so hard to be a d-mom and this probably won't help a whole lot, but as a diabetic myself, I've never really sat down and felt sorry or upset about everything I've had to do in order to do what I wanted. Like Meri says, you just don't think about the big picture much. It sucks that there's more work to just living life when you're diabetic, but the reality is that we just do the work and stop thinking about it. And sometimes, that extra work means that our accomplishments and our activities that give us joy are that much more important and valued. We learn not to take things for granted when we have to work for them, right?

Hang in there, Reyna! Things will get better!

Jen said...

A big hug to you my Northeast friend! I totally get what you are saying. Even though Addison is still in that carefree preschool age, I see him affected by D and how it can keep him from doing things other children can do without a second thought. I try not to go that dark place about it but sometimes, you just have to. And find your way back to that happy place (as Meri called it). Much love..

Denise said...

Yes, it is not fair and yes it sucks. Bryce's moods and behavior are like night and day when he is out of range. I wish he didn't ever have to experience those highs that make him so mean. I worry it will affect his time in school, etc. But as Meri says, we got to deal with the NOW and take care of those bgs as they happen. Hope you are able to wipe off those tears and know we are all here for you...and each other.

Rachael said...

(((HUGS))) to you sweetie! You know what? IT DOES SUCK! He WILL have to work harder than his friends, and things won't be so easy sometimes.

BUT. . . . . .

You are giving him a lifetime of positive habits and the ability to handle things that most wussy, lazy kids now days could never dream of. Your kids will be ahead in life because they will see life differently. We are both kinda going through the same kind of emotions right now. My last post was along the same lines. Its hard to see the good when things suck.

I don't know what it is like to be a mom, I do know what it is like to be a diabetic with a good mom. You are a super hero! It's so sad that a parent has to go through so much. Try to see what amazing gifts you are offering your children now. They are pretty awesome. Just like their MOM!

Amy said...

Been wondering what you were up to. Now I know you went to that dark place in your brain, and you went there by yourself.

:: warning!!! danger! danger! ::

The brain is a scary place. NEVER go alone.

Seriously, though, this is the big bad brother of D. Lurks in the shadows waiting for you to climb out of our cubucle of crunching numbers and counting carbs and dosing insulin. Shows his ugly face just when you are feeling good.

I worry ALL the time about what kind of man is going to want to marry my Ellie with her big bag of diabetes in tow. But, I can't let myself get caught in that loop of worry.

Not a baby, just REAL . . . and keepign it that way.


Renata said...

Do you remember that post I did "If Diabetes was.." and the kids kept commenting on the numbers? I think our kids get the fact that as you grow older trying to nail that in range for a period of time is like trying to nail jello to the wall.
Just remember that he is learning from you. He sees how you get frustrated but that you just get after it. He will do the same when he gets older, from watching you. Mom's a pro, I'm a pro.

Jonah said...

Comparing one person's abilities to those of another or even to a group is not productive, unless you're trying to find peers. My non-diabetic students face different challenges to learning and functioning in the world. Just being who they are means that some of them will have to work at things harder than others.
But a lot of times, the happiest kids, are the ones who can take pride in the effort they put in rather than the results they get. The kids who know they did their best can usually take pride in that.
There's also a benefit to having less energy, in a weird sort of way, in that it forces you to look at what you really want to do and do that, because you just don't have the energy for everything- not that anybody does- and so you have to pick the best things to spend your energy on.

Heather said...

I'm not sure I can handle the "big picture" right now either. This post and Meri's last post are hitting a little too close to home right now. Crying, again. *sigh*. ((hugs))

Karen said...

Oh how I wish this wasn't true . . . . but it is. Life isn't fair. As good as we have it (we diabetics and the people who love and care for us) it's flipping hard work. We'll always be different. But I like to think of it as we'll always be special. And you and Joe are very special - and strong and loved!! :) You can do this, and you will. {{{Hugs}}}

Sarah said...

But, but but...there is a light, there does come a time when they're a bit older and are able to feel that they're high or low and are more able to adjust quicker so that they don't go as high or as low. This is what my husband tells me, it's that glimmer of hope for days a little easier for Isaac, Joe and all the others...the thought that someday diabetes isn't first, or second, but much more of a periphery type condition.
I'm sorry. ((HUGS)) and a small kick in the pants to get you back out there doing all your awesomeness knowing that you know in your gut that you're doing your best, that Joe is doing well and that you're all so loved. Keep it inspire me daily.
Enjoy today. Enjoy this moment.

Heidi / D-Tales said...

Just as our kids endure a roller coaster of numbers with ups and downs in their BG, we endure the roller coaster of emotions with its own set of highs and lows. Most days I'm in a good spot, but when I go to that dark, ugly, scary, depressing place, I have to work hard not to linger there. It's tough being a D mama. We love our kids so deeply and it's painful to think about the many ways in which D impacts their lives. For my own sanity, the majority of the time, I need see the glass as half full (to use another analogy).

Love and hugs to you!!!

Meri said...

I'm so happy to see those dang gingerbread friends again! Our family saying is, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit." Really tender and loving, I know. :)

It's ok to cry. We all need to go through our funks and get it all out! Damn if every Chirstmas song didn't make me cry on the radio today. I'm glad you feel a bit better. Love you Reyna! One day at a time is right. It isn't fair. It's ok to say it. Wah wah wah and then...suck it up. ;)

Unknown said...

RE: "I am becoming aware that Joe is going to have to work harder than most of his peers in his daily life."

That's an interesting perspective, and if I were the parent of a diabetic, I know I'd feel the same way. But as someone who's had the disease 26 years, I don't. And honestly, I don't think I ever have.

There are a few truisms to keep in mind:

1.) He will change, grow and adapt. I remember when we took our kids to Disney the first time and how exhausted they'd get after walking for a few hours. When we returned in a couple years, however, they could go all day. Disney didn't change - they did. They got bigger and stronger.

2.) Everyone's life has static. Some kids have emotional problems. Some kids have physical problems. Some kids just grow up in the ghetto.

Everyday, I see things that I wouldn't want to have in my life, but I'm comfortable with diabetes and accept it not as something holding me back, but just as something that helps describe me.

Great blog, btw. :)


Sysy said...

What your feeling is true...

Lately though I've realized that all my life I tried harder than peers and at some point that has kept on going and instead of feeling behind I've started feeling like I can get ahead. I often hear people say stuff like: "really you run 3 miles a day? I don't want to try that hard..." and "you cook dinner each night? I don't want to work that hard" and "you work on your blog every chance you get? I don't want to work so much..." Makes me be like much as this diabetes sucks, I hear a lot of people telling my sister and I we go above and beyond and how they wish they had the same motivation to do so. Joe already demonstrates "extra oomph", like so many others who get in the habit of always having to work harder. In the end it doesn't always work against us, I think. Reminds me of Beethoven...or the girl I went to school with who was always in a wheel chair but who managed to be valedictorian and develop quite an awesome personality, has an amazing career and is happy. I saw her work harder than everyone else, just getting by, and then...she stunned everyone else.