Sunday, April 11, 2010

The little things get to me

No doubt about it, Diabetes changes a family's life dramatically.  We all talk about a new "normal", and in a lot of ways a sense of normalcy does return.  We're coming up on 9 months now, and I know most people said it would take about a year, but things seem to be fairly "normal".

We try to have a clear definition between D-time and "normal"-time.  Obviously there are times that focus strictly on monitoring, management and treatment, but there is also a great deal of time that is about being a 4 1/2 year old kid, a son, a brother, and a friend.  I think I've come to terms with what we have on our plate even though from time to time it does drag me right down.

Something unexpected though really bothered me today.  We've been used to, for years now, the kids' plates being arranged slightly differently then ours.  Until recently, they liked their hot dogs to be bun-less whereas we like them in buns.  They prefer pizza cut into little pieces and we pick up the slice.  They have an aversion to the meat, veggies and rice of a stir-fry touching and we dump in into one bowl.  So, slightly different is already normal.  What stung me tonight while we were sitting down to an occasional favourite - chicken nachos - was that Jonathan has recently started expressing an interest in having his nachos piled up like ours as opposed to the chips, cheese, chicken and tomatoes all segregated.  Our little man wants nachos off the big tray.

I might have been able to count carbs by number of chips, but this is highly inaccurate, so I devised a little routine where I made a separate plate for him, with the chips pre-weighed, along side the main dish.  While this appeased him, it troubled me.  Something as simple as a family dinner just turned into a reminder of how far this disease has wedged it's way into his life.  It made me think of the discrimination and segregation that he'll likely face for years to come.  It reminded me of the emotional toll that this will take on him.

I know I can't dwell on such things lest my fragile sanity dissolve, but how cruel to go as far as stopping an innocent child from sharing in the family plate.  Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion, maybe I'm just blindsided by something I took for granted, maybe both, I don't know, it just really irked me today.  He's a happy little guy, and I'm thankful for that.  I don't want to burden him any further with my frustrations.  Hopefully I'm right in believing that being diagnosed at such a young age he'll never really know how much his life change because for him, it will have always been this way.


  1. It is always something small like that. A little something that throws you off. When that happens to me, I always turn to my kid. If he is ok, I am ok. And it sounds like your son was good with the compromise. :)

  2. YEPPERS...I totally get this post. Little things seep into our days now and again reminding me that our life is "different". I am glad you posted about it, it will help you purge it and move on. I wish I had started blogging as soon as you did...I spent many years feeling alone and carrying these feelings with me.

    We GET you friend. Have a great day.

  3. You're not blowing it out of proportion. It sucks, plain and simple. I think we're finally getting to a place where most of it is so normal now... but still - it gets me. When I least expect it. SOmething like that jumps up and bites me in the butt. Or I'm going along fine and all of a sudden I feel like the wind is just sucked out of me as it hits me - AGAIN - that this is real, this is our life, this is not going away. I think it's good to let it our and acknowledge how you feel. Then I try to just keep on swimming!

    Don't know if I introduced myself - I'm Hallie. My daughter, Avery, just turned 4 & was dx'd almost one year ago - April 27, 2009. We're at BitterSweet -

  4. I remember Caleb's doctor at diagnosis saying that - that getting diagnosed at his age (just before he turned four) had an advantage - that he would never know life otherwise. I have a hard time seeing being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at any time as advantageous, but I understand what he meant. Caleb and the rest of the family right along with him, has a normal that is different than many others. It's something we all get used to, but when I stop and think about it every once in a while, it irks me too.

    Nice to meet you!

    Lorraine and Caleb :)