One month ago today was the start of my new life. We were at the Cleveland Clinic with my little boy. We had seen so many doctors and nurses by the end of the day, that we barely remembered anyone's name. My baby had Diabetes.

Even a month later, I still feel like I am just going through the motions. Wake up, check blood sugar, give insulin, eat breakfast, old-normal time, time for lunch, check blood sugar, give insulin, eat, old-normal time, time for dinner, check blood sugar, give long and short term isulin, eat, old-normal time, check blood sugar, if low have a snack, go to bed. Worry all day!
It is much better than it was when we came home a month ago, but I still feel like I haven't been able to deal with all of my emotions and come to grip with the fact that this is the new Rivera Family lifestyle. Sometimes the reality just seems to hit me at the strangest times, and when it does, it hits hard. For instance, I work in surgery, and the other day we were really busy. The nurse in the room with me asked if I was looking to stay late that day or if I needed to go home on time. It just so happened that my husband already had something going on after work that day, so my parents were going to watch the boys for about an hour and a half before I would be home from work. My parents really don't know how to take care of Brennen now other than possibly taking a blood sugar reading and calling my husband or myself with the results to find out what to do next. So, I explained the situation to her and told her I needed to be out on time. She called my boss to see if someone was going to be able to get me out of work on time. My boss talked to the surgeon and he said he would be able to get the surgery done in time. That was great news for me! The nurse then told the surgeon that my son had recently been diagnosed with Diabetes and I needed to get home to take care of him. She said, "He is Diabetic." I have no problem with the term of being "Diabetic", but for some reason this really hit me hard. I felt like I just wanted to break down and cry right then and there. Not a good idea when you are helping preform surgery on someone. It is not the nurses fault and I am not upset with her. I think that just hearing those words made me realize that he does have Diabetes, there is nothing I can do to change that, and he will have it forever....until they find a cure.

We are going to attend a JDRF support group this weekend. I hope this will help me to deal a little bit better with my emotions. We are going to try and get paired up with a local family who has a child around our son's age who also has Diabetes. I think this will not only be helpful for us as parents, but also for our boys. I am very excited!

Views: 22

Comment by Katz on March 18, 2011 at 12:35pm
Hang in there hon, you have come such a long way already. Hopefully I will learn how to care for Brennen soon so you can get a break. I am willing to learn. You can educate me over the summer if not before. Maybe over spring break. You can teach me just as well as they can. Love you!
Comment by Doris D on March 18, 2011 at 12:57pm
Oh Honey it's still all new to you bless your heart! Belive it or not after awhile you will get used to it. Sad story but true. I've been a Type 1 for 37 years and when my oldest was 11 (she's 22 now) she got the same diagnoses as her mom. It helped that I knew what to do but it hurt even harder that my daughter was just like me. Now she has given me 3 g-kids and is really doing well. HOLD ON YOUR STRONGER ENOUGH TO DO THIS!
Comment by karebear1966 on March 18, 2011 at 2:47pm
I truely believe we choose who our parents are. I believe Brennan chose wisely!
Comment by latvianchick on March 19, 2011 at 2:25am
I am not surprised that your emotions are all over the place! You are only four weeks in to a very long haul! You do not say how old your son is, but hopefully soon he will be able to do his own testing/injecting, though of course he will need supervision all the while.

You need to sit your parents down and take them lots of leaflets about diabetes and read them through together. And perhaps write out a care plan and tell them what to do in an emergency. When they have him over send him with some snacks that he can have and instructions on when to give them and in what circumstances. I find little plastic boxes helpful. I can measure them out and put them in my rucksack.

Give him a mobile phone if he is old enough and teach him that it is to be used when he needs to ask or tell you something in an emergency.

Unfortunately there will be a lot of ups and downs but you will get there. It is good that you are a medically minded person as you can perhaps understand more than many. But you are human and you are a mother. Of course you are in shock. I do not have children but it must be awful to have to stick things in them several times a day and keep your eyes and ears open all the time for any changes of behaviour and any bugs going around. I hope that the support group will prove helpful and that this weekend you will come away with something positive and that someone will give you a really big hug. I have a feeling that that is what you need! Sending you hugs from across the waters.
Bless you and keep in touch!
Comment by Mitchell Boeshart on March 19, 2011 at 4:08am
I empathize with you greatly and feel the burden your heart bears. Keep in mind that diabetes is a life changing event and not a life ending event. You are going to have many wonderful years of holding, hugging, and laughing with your son. My son was dx and the weight of the world collapsed on my shoulders. All the education and learning that was required to understand how to manage the disease. Basal rates, carb ratios, counting carbs, sick day doses, etc.... Just seemed like a lot of information. You feel like your on an island and it's your burden to bare. You pray that you could take this disease from them so they could live a normal life, but in the end you can't. 6 months after my son was discovered I went into DKA and also became a T1. I think the Lord answered my prayers in a way that may seems strange but now I empathize with my son condition. Through all the training we went through I was finally able to understand how to manage my sons condition better by learning from my own mistakes and trials. I am fortunate that both my son and I respond similar to insulin and almost have the same patterns but different insulin requirements. After being discovered and living with this condition I realized that it is an adjustment but I am exactly who I was before. My son is still the same goofy kid he was before. I have watched my son become responsible and a leader because of being a diabetic. My son is now 18 and I think being diabetic has kept him focused in life. What appears to have been a curse many years ago in a way has turned into a blessing.

Stay strong and push forward. It will get better. It will get easier. Your son will grow and do all the things a normal kid does. Technology has improved so much over the past 10 years and I look forward to see what they will be doing in the next 10 years.

Good luck
Comment by Kathyann on March 20, 2011 at 10:21am
It's very hard when your life suddenly changes. My daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer and although our lives are different now, it's not a bad different. All that test, calculate, inject, eat stuff will become automatic in a few months. I wish you the best.
Comment by brandi on March 20, 2011 at 10:56am
I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was 9 years old (I'm 17 now). It was a few months after moving to a new place. I didn't have my friends and most of my family to help me out, because I had left them all behind. They were 8 or 9 hours away.
I know how hard this can be, but you'll get the hang of it. When I was diagnosed, both me and my mom were struggling to deal with all the new emotions we were feeling. My dad and brother weren't quite as open with how they felt.
Honestly, sometimes when I hear someone telling someone else "hey, she's diabetic" I have the same feelings you have. To me, it's just a reminder that I'm not like everyone else. It's definitely not as bad, and I think I'm finally coming to accept that yes, I am different, but that doesn't make me any better or lesser than the next kid. I've also learned what an impact I can have on the newly diagnosed. One day you might meet another mother whose child has just been diagnosed, and you'll be one of the few people that can truly relate to them and help them.
Hang in there, you'll get through this :)
Comment by Laura on March 20, 2011 at 2:19pm
I know exactly how you feel. It's been over 3 years since my daughter was DXed (at age 2 1/2) but I can remember feeling the same way so clearly. I would burst into tears at the strangest times and in inappropriate places just thinking about it. But it gets easier. There will come a time when you stop thinking about how odd all the checks and shots are and it will begin to feel as normal as brushing your teeth in the morning. And after a while you'll start to worry a little less.

My daughter never really got to know any other diabetic children. She may want to when she's older, but for right now she enjoys bringing up her diabetes in conversation when she meets new friends. She shows them her medical ID bracelet and tells them she gets shots every day. And they'll ooh and ahh over it, and then they go play like any other group of kids. So if you don't make a friend for your son at the support group don't worry too much about it. Your son is going to make friends just fine :)
Comment by elaine peterson on March 20, 2011 at 4:02pm
I cannot imagine what you are going through. Your son is fortunate to have you...It sounds as though you are doing a wonderful job. I hope you find a support group partner...what a great idea! Good luck to you and your precious family.
Comment by Landon and Brennen's Mom on March 20, 2011 at 7:16pm
Monica or anyone else who can answer this: My son is going to be 3 in a couple of months and was diagnosed a month ago as I said. I am just wondering if he is old enough that he will remember his life before diabetes or he is young enough that this will be all he remembers. If you have a child who was diagnosed around this age and is now older, do they remember being in the hospital and finding out they had diabetes? Just curious.

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