Friday, May 20, 2011

Rebirth and Pride

Wow, my last post was 3 days before my car accident! It's been a while!!

We've now hit our 11 month mark since Alli's diagnosis. Quite an achievement, I'd say! We've definitely become stronger and the comfort level is there--but I still use that term loosely. This past February, I got a tattoo to commemorate this intense life change (as part of a girls night out with my awesome neighbor friends!). It was very symbolic and emotional for me. My girl is essentially marked for life, and I felt in some way, that this was my way of showing my support to her and what she goes through each day. It is a Celtic butterfly (the symbol of re-birth, which is what we've been forced to do as a family) with the diabetes ribbon as the body. A heart is etched in the ribbon as the blood drop so that I carry her heart with me everywhere I go. It was kind of a right of passage for me to endure some of the pain that she goes through...only my needle pricks were all at once and she will get them for the rest of her life until we find a cure. I'm optimistic about that. I have to be.

We are very much looking forward to what this Summer has to bring. Alli is becoming very aware of her illness and is so helpful with reminders to Mike and I. It's funny. In just a couple more years (maybe sooner), she'll be checking her own sugar, counting carbs and giving her own shots. Diabetes builds strong character, responsibility and good math skills, that's for sure! That's the only good I can find in this, but I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. So, we're making Lemonade. :)

One of the hardest things is the lack of awareness surrounding this disease. Since only 10% of Diabetics are Type 1, many people confuse her condition with the lifestyle of a Type 2 Diabetic and make it out to be 'not that bad', she just needs to watch what she eats and that she can grown out of it. NOT TRUE. What hurts the most is her restricted 'freedom' of choice of 'what' and more importantly 'when' to eat. Waking her up in mid-sleep to eat because she is running low (who likes to eat/drink immediately when they wake up?), not being able to have what the other kids have when they have it, and not to mention the mood swings that come with extreme sugar changes. When the ice cream man comes around, most get excited, but my stomach turns. My girl is a trooper, though. She accepts her limitations. She is amazing.

This year of 'rebirth' has produced more tears and as much laughter. The tears come from when she's down with sickness, and the laughter comes from her just being her. There's nothing better than her sense of humor. I hope she keeps it close to her, because that is what she will need to get through this life! Life is a comedy for those who 'think'. My girl is a thinker!

She asks me pretty regularly, "Mommy, what are you proud of me for?". My heart melts each time like it is the first time I've heard her ask this question. There are too many things to list, honestly. But, I am proud of her strength, her honesty (which is pretty amazing for her 4 year old self), her trust, her love of life, her sympathy for others and her independence. She always says, "What else?" Ha, ha... We all need affirmation that we are doing things right, don't we?

So, my 'new baby' is turning a year old on June 12. Much like that first year I brought her home, things are falling into place and we are rolling with the punches and finding the hi-lights of life. Every day is a gift. Thank you, God.