8 years of having Type 1 Diabetes. I remember only the date as a nagging place I repeat. 'January 9th, January 9th, January 9th, why does that ring a bell?' I mumble in my brain. It's not on the calendar as an important date. Can you believe that - IT'S NOT ON THE CALENDAR! I thought it would forever and ever amen be on the calendar when I walked out of the hospital eight years ago. I thought I would never forget the day, and the date. Here we are, eight years later, and I cannot recall why the date is important. Funny how time covers it all up.
We are in the teen Grace years now. In all it's glory. 9th grade in High School. Rocking the dance competition team, going out with friends, endlessly on the phone, doing homework by herself and getting invited to parties like it's her job. And we do the diabetes stuff. Every day. Sometimes mindlessly. Sometimes mindful. The 28 BG two nights ago, as Grace staggered into our bedroom at 11 PM, announcing that she would like something to eat right NOW, thank you very much. Yeah, that woke me right up. And I sit at her bedside, remind her to look at me, it will be alright. "I know" she says, as she eats granola bars and juice. "Thanks for sitting with me" as I turn out the light a half hour later. "Go to sleep, I will check you in the middle of the night." "Thanks Mom." You betcha, kid.
Grace talks with her endo about being a teen. She rolls her eyes and gives her opinion. And her endo, bless her heart, sees her through it all. She asks if she smokes and Grace responds "No, I don't and I don't do drugs either." making us both smile snarky smiles. That girl of mine. Her endo gets her. Asks her if she wants to look at her last couple weeks of BGs and Grace responds "Not really, I lived them, I know what they were." I smile on the inside. Damn right you did, girl.
And as we leave the endo office I remind her that one day she will do all of this herself. She looks at me and says that she knows, and most importantly, she responds with "I know what to do, Mom." I know you do honey, I know you do. Then she says "But you'll help me all the insurance crap, cause I WILL need help with those jerks." I laugh and promise that I will. The other things - bolus, basal, pump changes, temp basals - she knows.
There are many days when I don't ask her about diabetes at all, and I don't know a single BG. Can you even believe that? It's called independence, and trust. I scan through the PDM on the kitchen counter every few days and see what she did. Damn it, the girl was spot on. Increased this, decreased that, subtracted carbs cause she was on the low side, cut temp basals. I don't ask her about what she did. I ask her how her day was, if she has homework, what so-and-so said in class today, how she's making it through Geometry. When I do ask, I say "How were your numbers today?" and most often she says "I can't remember, so they must have been fine." Exactly, my dear, exactly. Let them fade away.
I tell her it's her Diaversary on Monday, as it just occurred to me a few days ago. She says "It is? Wow, that went fast!" Yes, it did sweetie, yes it did. Eight years of learning and living and becoming you - strong, resilient, funny and smart. Able to go about your life every day, giving diabetes it's due, but never letting it run your life.
Happy 8th Diaversary, Grace.
Keep on rocking in the free world (look up Neil Young, you will understand).