If you know me, you know that I am not the weepy-type as my kids grow up. I am excited for their new accomplishments in their little journey of life. When they roll over, crawl, cut teeth, climb, walk, run, etc. I am just as excited as they are to make new discoveries and accomplish new tasks. So many of my mom friends cry as their babies turn into toddlers and their toddlers turn into crazy kids. There is nothing wrong with being like that, but it is not who I am.
Today, I had to sit down with Faith and have a heart to heart about life. Real Life. I had to do my best to explain diabetes again. I had to explain why I might get weird, or angry, or be “checked out.” I had to ask my baby to look out for me and be prepared to take care of me in a diabetic attack.
I had to explain as best I could about what happens to me when my blood sugar is too low. All I know is what I have been told about the “other Joanna” that takes over when I am low. I seem fairly on top of things, but the things I say or do are kind of off. And, I lie. And, I fight the person who tries to administer some sort of sugar to me. I told her she has to pay attention to me. If I say/do something weird, or I don’t respond to them, or I yell at them over nothing (something else I have done when low *smh*), or I don’t simply take care of them, I told her I need her to ask me if I am okay. I told her if I say Yes, or if I don’t answer, or if I keep doing something that is wrong, that I need her to bring me juice or a graham cracker or both. And, I had to ask her to make sure that the other kids are okay while I start to “feel better” to make sure I didn’t do something weird or scary to hurt them. I have never hurt them while in a diabetic attack, but who knows what the “other Joanna” is capable of???
She asked some questions. Way too grown up for a 7 year old to even have to ask. Questions about what to do, how to do it, etc. I told her if I didn’t wake up, she needs to use my phone to call Lowell or my family. I told her she might have to run to the neighbor’s house, but that I only want her to do it if nobody answers the phone because I don’t want the other kids alone.
And, I cried. I cried the whole time I had to ask my first born to be alert. On stand by. I mean, we have had talks about this kind of thing before, but I have had a few attacks recently that I somehow managed to pull myself out of, but what if I don’t do it next time?
Lord, have mercy!
As I talked to her about it, all I could think about was how the “other Joanna” fights. I don’t want to fight her if she is trying to help me! I couldn’t even begin to tell her I might fight her. And, I looked into her young, naïve little face and was so upset I even had to ask to be taken care of. To impose such a task of helping Mom and watching four younger siblings. And, the tears just flowed. She asked why I was crying and I lied. I told her I was crying because diabetes is a tough cross to bear. But, the truth is bearing diabetes well and keeping my kids innocent from the danger of encountering me, or finding me passed out. The true cross is asking my 7 year old to be mature beyond her years and step up to the plate in an emergency. It’s true that even the tightest control can be set off with the slightest change in hormones, extra bits of activity, or even insufficient sleep. There is so much to be on top of! An attack can spring up when we least expect it. And, I lie! I lied my way through an attack a few weeks ago, some how pulled through it, and Lowell had no idea. If I can convince my husband I am okay, things have reached an all new level of “yikes!”
Motherhood is a beautiful blessing. A diabetic motherhood is also a beautiful blessing, but one that scares me more than words in a blog post could ever describe. I wouldn’t trade any of it, though. I know God has blessed us with 5 babies for a reason, even with being a “sick” woman. I trust He is looking out for us and that as long as we do our part, (as long as I do my part!) faithfully, He will continue to graciously do the rest.
Blessed Mother, guard and protect me. Protect us. St Josemarie Escriva, pray for us!