Strong, but exhausted…

 

 

This last week has been a bit of a ride for us. Well, to be completely honest, it has been quite the ride since our son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015. But this week, he got his insulin pump, and we had to learn how to not kill him all over again. The learning consisted of us sitting in a classroom at the University of Alberta, with 8 other families, all with children there, while two nurses stood at the front of the class, and tried to cram as much insulin pump knowledge into our heads as we could handle before we all exploded.

To say this was stressful would be an understatement. I am not a fan of kids, and this classroom had kids of all ages (mine was one of the oldest) running amok for 3 days. Lucky for us, there was a small room in the back of the classroom (the old projector room) and it had a door. Score for me. I stuffed my kids in there for the training and let them go rampant on their iPads. Grade A parenting? Probably not, but I give zero shits. I wish I could say that solved all of the annoying kid problems, but that would be a lie.

That is not to say I didn’t feel bad for these kids. The little girl in front of us was less than 3 years old, and she had an insulin pump stuck to her tiny little chubby belly. I felt so bad for her, but laughed when she spilled her moms Perrier… we are all in this together. And the fact that she called it “rotten juice’ just made me snort laugh. She may have her insulin pumping into her from a thing on her hip, but she is still a funny little kid.

We learned a lot, one of the things I learned was that I could run on less than 2 hours of sleep and not murder the snotty bitch sitting in front of me. So, score for me. I also learned that the carpet in there is no longer stain resistant, and that you can smell spilled iced caramel macchiatos for hours after sopping them out of the rank ass carpet. I really think I did that aisle a favor – at least our area was aromatic in a good way.

For months leading up to this, I have been stressed and trying to remain calm; trying to convince myself that I can actually pull this shit off. But for months, all I have wanted was a shoulder to cry on. And while I did get that sometimes, I mostly heard “you are strong. You will be fine”. And while I appreciated the kudos and props, I didn’t believe it. And to me, that more or less just felt like placating so that people didn’t have to hear me talk about diabetes anymore.

I have lost so many people because of this disease. My life is no longer my own, and I lack new things to talk about most days. I am tired. I was up all night. Middle-little’s numbers are rubbish. Bla bla bla. But you know what? That IS my life right now. That is not to say I don’t miss my friends, or my sons functioning pancreas. But alas, not all things last forever…. and with his pancreas, so along went a lot of my friendships. C’est la vie.

LAH VEE!!

I know I can do this. I know I am strong. I know I am capable. I know I am smart. I know that my son is lucky to have me. But some days, I don’t fucking want to anymore. I want to crumble. I want to bawl. I want to have a total hissy fit and throw things. I want to spit at the heavens. I want to sleep through the night. I want to sit down and eat without doing math. I want to fucking fall apart. But I can’t. It hasn’t been allowed of me.

You know that old saying “you don’t know how strong you are until that is your only option” WELL! I fucking knew how strong I was and I didn’t need a lesson or reminder… and yet, here I am!

Some days I feel like it is totally unfair. Not for me, but for my son. He doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t deserve this future; this mortality hanging over his head for the rest of his life.

But it could be worse.

He has me. I am strong. I am smart. I am tenacious. I don’t give up. I am strong. I am strong. I am strong.

I am also fucking exhausted.

 

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Diabetic monster..

I read a very sad story tonight about a young and promising college athlete with type 1 diabetes who, like so many other people before him, quietly passed away in his sleep due to a low blood sugar. . It sneaks up, often without warning, those unpredictable nighttime lows. And without warning, if you’re not careful, they can sneak up and steal the most precious things on earth.. it doesn’t take long, and it comes without any noise or alarm. Just poof…….

My heart shattered into so many pieces while reading that story, the pieces could not ever possibly be counted… Because that is my main fear with my son. The highs and lows during the day we can handle; they are completely manageable.. While they are entirely infuriating and sometimes frustrating beyond belief, it is something that we can easily deal with. It’s the lows that sneak up at night.. that is where the terror lies.

After he’s given us his hundred hugs and said his million “I love you’s” and tucked himself into bed, that’s the scary part. Because when so many other children go to bed and peacefully slumber, only afraid of the monsters under their beds and in their dreams, diabetics are constantly in a battle with their own kind of nighttime monsters. And it is the parents of these humans that fight their own variation of these monsters. My son is still too young to fully manage himself; one day, it will be in his hands (I will always remain in the background… whether he likes it or not!) So, for the time being, it is on my shoulders to keep him on this earth, and as healthy as possible, and for as long as possible.

I haven’t slept through the night in months. I get my son to check himself when he goes to bed, then I check him when I go to bed a couple hours later, then I get up every single night at 3 am and check him again. I should be exhausted, I should feel drained beyond measure. But when it comes right down to it, that is my baby’s life there, and I am not willing to sacrifice it for 15 extra minutes of sleep. I jump out of bed and happily/groggily check his tiny little finger, only lit by the hall light, and he sleeps right through it. He sleeps through a sharp object blowing a hole into his delicate finger skin, me squeezing a drop of blood out, wiping it off, and squeezing another, and the incessant beeping of his glucose monitor. Then, once I have his reading, I either tuck him in and slunk back to bed, or rip to the fridge to grab his emergency juice (also known as his big brothers regular juice boxes… ah, the simple life) He even sleeps through me ramming straws into his mouth and forcing him to drink enough juice to bring him out of his lows (of which require me to recheck his finger every 15 minutes until he is back to an acceptable reading.. which means, I have to keep blowing holes and squeezing blood until he is back to a good level)

I’ve read stories of mothers who haven’t slept through the night in 20 years because of their Type 1 children. And that is absolutely going to be me. If there was ever a question before that I was going to be an overbearing mother and one of the ones who are still a constant in their children’s lives when they’re older, I have no doubt in my mind that I’m going to be now. Sorry future girlfriends, after everything I’ve been through with him, you’re just going to have to put up with me!

He is 10. He has a lot of years left ahead of him. And if it means I lose sleep for the foreseeable future, so be it; it means he wakes up every morning. If it means my cell phone bill is more every month, just so he can text me his levels, so be it; it means I know he is safe, and I always get a ton of “i love you” texts, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If my grocery bill goes up so he can have the best possible foods for him, and always be prepared, so be it; it means he has the best shot at being completely healthy and happy.

My son  is a Type 1 Diabetic. But he is so much more than that. He is my son, and I intend on helping him figure out exactly what else he is going to be.
  

Sore, but not dead.. keep going!

So, on January 4th I went way out of my comfort zone. I weighed myself in front of someone else! Absurd, right? I frigging agree! But the local sporting goods store does this bad-ass contest every New Year… people go weigh in, their weight is marked down in the computer, and in 8 weeks, go weigh again! And for every pound you’ve lost, they issue you a $3 gift card for their store! For anyone without thyroid issues, this could pay big! Or men… pffft… it is just so unfair how quick dudes can dump weight! But as previously discussed, women get to sit to pee, so there has to be balance in the battle of the sexes somewhere. I sit to pee, and they can lose 5 pounds in one day without trying. Yup, totally fair. Anyway, I am getting off topic (slightly)

So I begrudgingly dragged my tubby butt into the store, and then proceeded to ramble the lady’s ear off as I was stepping on to the scale, explaining why I was as big as I was… like she cares, right? Yeah, probably not. But I still felt it necessary! Some days I want to wear a sandwich board explaining my weight situation, because the judging looks can get really hurtful and annoying. But anyway, I weighed myself, for the first time in many months, in front of a total stranger. And as a recap, the many months also included when my son was diagnosed with diabetes, the subsequent hospital stay, and my prolonged IDGAF attitude towards eating, snacking and gluten. Gluten, for anyone who isn’t aware, is a big no-no for people with my autoimmune disease, but at that point, I was focused on my sons newly diagnosed autoimmune disease (which gluten doesn’t affect, for anyone keeping track)

When I stepped on to that scale (it was on carpet, which I didn’t think was smart for weighing, but whatever…) I was pleasantly surprised. It was nowhere near where I thought it would be! It was much lower – still a grotesquely revolting number, but lower, nonetheless.

I re-started the 21 Day Fix on January 4th. I love that program. When it first came out in 2014, I did it religiously and lost 10 pounds in a month and a half. Then my doctor fucked around with my meds, and I gained upwards of 35 pounds, and haven’t lost it yet (thanks Doc!) But it is a great program. Most people don’t really realize how much their portions are just waaaaay wrong. It super helped. And I found the workouts to be really fun! I had to modify lots to begin with, but got better and stronger. Then I had to quit, at to the request of the aforementioned doctor. But I happily threw my dvds in and started all gung-ho. But I quickly became insanely bored (hello, doing this for almost 2 years.. it is bound to get boring as hell) So I popped in my 21 Day Fix Extreme and…. HOLY SHITBALLS! There is nothing easy about this program! The very first workout, I wanted to die. Plyo with weights? Screw you! Cardio with weights? Screw you more! Everything with weights? Kill me now. I am so sore. So so sore.

SO SORE! But you know what? I am not dead. And, I have lost almost 6 pounds now. Sure, in the span of a month, that is not super awesome. But, I am not eating super good (too little, if anything.. for real, I hate food) and I am still modifying a lot (I have the knees of a 70 year old man) But every morning, I get up, make my Amino Energy, pop in my dvd, pull out my weights, and sweat my balls off (I have sweat a lot, so I no longer have balls.. hahaha)

At the very least, I imagine I will get about $15.00 in gift cards. My husband weighed in, too. So I am sure he will let me use his gift cards, too. I am hoping to get enough to get a new sports bra. Ooooh, dreaming big!!

Like a well planned game of dominos..

Being sick sucks, you know? Illness, any form, is just a giant asshole third wheel that follows you around and haunts your daily routine, until one day it develops a huge case of jealousy and demands that it becomes your significant other. WELL! Let me tell you, it is not significant nor is it welcome! Then the illness is all “me me me! Focus on me!” and your life becomes focused around fevers and chills, monster headaches and sore muscles, and spending more time inspecting the interior of your toilet bowl than a cleaning lady ever has or will.

You get my point. Being sick sucks. I wouldn’t say I am necessarily sick right now, but I can feel the selfish asshole third wheel just following me around, waiting for a crack in my armor so it can sneak in and engulf my very existence. It is like a well planned game of dominoes. At the moment, I have my dominoes all nicely lined up, and falling in a very specific and beautiful manner. But my third wheel is hell-bent on knocking them down out of order and creating chaos in my world. Well, that is just rude! Do you have any idea how time consuming it is to line those bastard dominoes up!?

At the moment (well, the last few days worth of moments) I have felt “off”. You know the feeling, nothing is particularly wrong, but at the same time, you just feel like something is about to be wrong. I have been weak and a bit dizzy, my head hasn’t been hurting, but it doesn’t feel right, my eyes feel like they are moving a bit slower than normal, my reaction time is off, and I feel just completely worn out.

My son (the cream center in my children oreo, also known as the diabetic one) has been sick all week, and sickness creates all sorts of hell and havoc for diabetics. Their blood sugar is basically an acutely orchestrated dance on a high wire, and even the slightest breeze can knock that bitch over. Well, any type of sickness basically acts like a fucking monsoon, and it throws the whole dance off. Way off. Sugar is released by their liver to help the body to give itself energy to combat any sickness. And then they are more prone to dehydration, because their body is fighting, and there is an excess of sugar in them because of their overprotective liver (stupid douchebag liver screws everything up) And if they tip into dehydration, their kidneys secrete even more sugar. It is a frigging crapshoot, and it screws him all up.

He has been fighting this sinus thing for a week. Beauty part? He had no sinus symptoms at first, so we had no effing idea what the hell was wrong with his numbers. One day perfect, next day total shit! Glorious. And not the least bit frustrating! NO! I didn’t shed one single tear out of pure unadulterated frustration and exacerbation. Not one. (that is a lie, I had a meltdown. shut it…) But we got a handle on it, and I showed that sinus issue who is boss. Don’t mess with me! I have western medicine on my side! BWAHAHA! (I may be slightly off my rocker, due to the level of exhaustion I am currently rocking, and the fact that I don’t feel very good…) So while he was sick, the insulin floweth like a river. Needles, needles and more needles. Best part of diabetics getting sick? Other than the aforementioned hell on earth? Insulin resistance! WOOO! Turns out, when they are sick (or the wind blows a certain way, it seems…) their bodies develop a slight resistance to insulin, which makes it even more difficult to lower their already sky-high blood sugar. Oh the joys this disease has brought us all (for real though, we are doing amazingly well, considering how effing new this is to all of us) So while I was cranking my middle-little full of that foul smelling shit, I was then forced (gladly) into checking his level even more than normal, for fear that his resistance may have lowered it’s shield and may have driven him into a horrendous low. So, up almost every single hour during the night, testing his blood, listening to his breathing, making sure he was still breathing, nudging him to make sure he was okay.. sleepless nights are something that all mothers are familiar with, but when you have the added terror of your diabetic child sliding into a low in his sleep, then into a coma, and never waking up… yeah, your ass is out of bed like your sheets are on fire.

So while I was taking care of him, I may have slightly ignored myself. Not fully. I still remembered to exercise and shower, but I am seriously lacking sleep, and may have forgotten to eat every now and then (not may have, I absolutely did). All of this probably added up to enough to get my immune system lowered enough for that asshole third wheel to rock his asshole way in, and knock my dominoes over. Like an asshole. I may not be full-blown sick yet, but I can feel that one domino just weebling there, like a fucking weeble-wobble.. and it could go either way. My sweet and selfless husband has let me sleep until 9:00 all weekend, in an attempt to help me “sleep it off” which is helping a bit. But he is in the middle of 2 weeks worth of 13 hour night shifts, and has been sleeping all day, and gone all night, so even with the extra hour of sleep in the morning, I am still exhausted, because I am left alone to take care of all 3 boys. I don’t mind, they’re not horrible. But it is still tiring to do when you don’t feel good, and one of them requires so much extra attention, and one of them is four. The oldest is okay, but he is almost 13 and is swimming in a sea of extra testosterone and attitude, which is a whole new adventure for us.

Either way, being sick sucks. It sucks for me, it sucks for my oreo.. it just plain sucks. Just leave my dominoes alone, k? It has taken me a long time to line them up, and I am not too keen on anything making a mess of them. dominoes-game-graphic-3d-wallpaper-colorful

Almost a new year..

  

Well, it happened. Another year has come and gone. 2015 started out like a lamb and bombarded through us like a starving lion on the hunt for bloody carcass. It was pleasant in some points, but for the most part, it was trying in every way, shape and form. But I have this to announce: WE MADE IT! I am quite proud of my little family and everything we were able to accomplish this year! It wasn’t easy, but we all landed on our feet and I think we are better and stronger because of it.

A few curveballs were thrown at us. But like I always say, when life throws your curve balls, get a bigger bat. And if that doesn’t work, use it to hit the pitcher! And that’s exactly what we did. We beat the shit out of the pitcher, and we are all doing just fine with our new rolls as bat-swinging-bad-asses.

You know how they say that you never know how strong you are until that is the only option you have? I believe that to be true, to an extent. I always knew I was strong (I have lived through my fair share of shitstorms and difficulties, and came out on top every time.. bruised and battered maybe, but still on top) Well, this year, my family was tested, and hot-damn, are we ever a bunch of strong people! SO PROUD!

We had a very exciting, and sometimes stressful, 12 months. But we handled it like champs. The most challenging thing that we had thrown at us was our 10 year old was slammed with diabetes. It was not expected, came out of left field and took us all by surprise. BUT! My little unit has pulled together, became stronger, and are now a bunch of carb counting, needle giving, blood sugar measuring, snack organizing, 3am alarm setting, crazy people!!! And I am so proud of how we all pulled together, and so proud of how we are all supporting not just our middle-little, but eachother. I have watched my 3 boys get closer than ever this year, watched my husband become even more of an amazing father, and figured out how bad-ass and strong-as-hell I can be. It is humbling and awesome!

I am excited to see what we can do next year. I do know that whatever is thrown at us, we are gonna rock it!

Bring it on, 2016!!!!!!

Grateful + turmoiled = some sort of weird ass emotion…

I am feeling pensive, grateful and turmoiled all at the same time. This post is the product of that mish-mash of emotions.

My kids. What to say… I think they are amazing. And I know, I am biased because I cooked them and birthed them and raised them… but, I still think they are amazing. All three of them – they are individually these awesome little tiny humans. They are smart and funny, so creative and come up with the most awesome stuff. Sure, they can be annoying little craps, but they’re kids! That’s their job. But, I am noticing that there are people who choose not to incorporate them into their lives.. people who know them and have the opportunity to be around them, watch them grow, and be part of who they become. And they are choosing not to. They are choosing to not just watch from the sidelines, but to not participate at all. What do I have to say to these people? Your loss! My kids are great! And it makes me sad to watch these bystanders see them, and comment on how they are growing/learning/talking/sleeping/etc when they had the opportunity to know them and participate in their lives, and decided they didn’t want to. Who missed their football games; sure, they weren’t edge-of-your-seat exciting, but they are trying! Who missed their swimming and parkour and school events. Who weren’t around during their short obsession with rainbow loom, and missed out on getting one of their cute little bears or flowers. Who missed out on them learning to walk and talk. Who missed out on how cute they can be with one another. Who missed out on all of the big moments. Who miss out on their crazy stories, or hearing about their crushes at school. Who will never know what it is like to walk past a lingerie store with my toddler and hear him yell “look mommy! Boobs!” They aren’t perfect, but they are still amazing.

My husband. What to say… He is my heart, the protector of my soul, my second chance at a happy ending, the man who picks me up and holds me up, dries my tears, makes me laugh, keeps me safe and is everything I never knew I always wanted. He may not be the biological father of all of my children, but he is their dad, through and through. He wasn’t something I had planned.. I had given up on that part of my life, and I was fine with that. In fact, I didn’t want a relationship again. He was the one who pursued me, was persistent, sat by waiting patiently while I allowed him into my heart, and still, to this day, patiently and lovingly handles my freak-outs, my moments of pure panic, my moments of total and complete untrust, and all of my insane commitment crap. Yes, I am the commitment-phobe in our world. And he is okay with that. Would he prefer if I was mellow and totally trusting and calm? Oh, I am sure he would! But that is just not what he signed up for 😉 He is my absolute everything, and it pains me to know that there are people who aren’t accepting of our relationship because of our past lives. He is my happiness and my forever.. so, accept that or piss off.. cuz no amount of judging or criticism or rumor spreading is going to change what we have, or the fact that this is our life now.

My current house situation. What to say.. it sucks.. HAHAHA! But it could be worse! It could be MUCH worse! Sure, the carpet is old (read: original, and should have been replaced 7 years ago) and has been lit on fire in some spots, the paint is horrid (it is that really awful pinkish taupe color that was popular in the late 90’s early 2000’s), the old tenants had a dog that literally destroyed the basement (read: let them go to the bathroom on the concrete.. imagine the smell… I am down there once every few weeks pouring Mr Clean on it..), the deck was lit on fire by a past tenant and is not safe for my son to play on (thus rendering the yard pretty unuseable for us), the appliances are old and rubbish (the food freezes in the back of the fridge, so you have to keep things pulled forward, cuz if you changed the temp, the stuff in the door goes rotten.. it is quite the dance to keep food fresh!), the garage wasn’t properly insulated and is literally a sauna and is affecting the food in our deep freeze in there, the neighbors told us the house has been forcibly entered by the police due to the previous tenant and the landlord never fixed it (you could hipcheck my garage man door and come into my house, even if it was locked), the dryer has ruined my sheets and a pile of our clothes… I could go on. But when I lay down at night, I am home. This is where my kids and husband are.. this is where we are making memories for the time being. This is not a forever home.. this is merely a landing pad on the way to our next adventure. And, like I said, it could be worse 😉 Still, I wish the carpets didn’t still smell like dog… ick.

My job. What to say..  I love it! I get to hang out with some of the nicest, funnest and most interesting people every day. It is a gym, and everyone is always in a good mood. I get to talk and learn all day. How is that a bad thing? I have gone to college twice. I have two college diplomas. Do I use either of them? No. Could I? Yes. Would I make a very comfortable living if I did? Sure. But I don’t want to. Because I know if I did, I would be miserable. And life is just too short. My husband makes a verrrrry good living, and I don’t “have” to work. But I do, because a few extra bucks never hurts.. plus, it gets me out of the house and around other people, which is never a bad thing 😉 Still, I have people judging me on my position.. You know what that is gonna get you? Very detailed directions on where to go and how to get there. Trust me, I am a travel agent by trade, so I am qualified to give out such directions! Ha ha….

My past.. What to say.. Fuck off. We all have them. And if you are judging me based on my past, then you don’t deserve to be in my future! Moving on.

My ex. What to say… Oh.. I am not sure we have time to get into this. So, let me just say this. He is manipulative and two-faced. He is a pathological liar, and he is screwing with my kids so bad, they are frequently in tears and have to see a counsellor. It is a constant battle to have him uphold his end of our divorce, and I am frequently on the phone with my lawyer to see what my rights are in different situations (after 6 years, you would think it would have mellowed by now) So when I have people tell me he is a nice guy, or he’s not that bad, or he’s trying… bla bla bla… just stop! Stop. I do not make shit up. I do not want this kind of attention. Trust me, life would be simpler if he wasn’t a flaming douche. But alas, those were not the cards I was dealt. I am here to keep my kids safe and raise them to be wonderful GOOD and HONEST men. And if you have anyone’s back but mine after learning this? Well, then I guess he is going to “get you” in the divorce.

My health. What to say.. it’s brutal, but it could be so much worse. I am beyond grateful that all that is wrong with me is hypothyroidism, hashimotos (an autoimmune disease), some stressed adrenals and the occasional cold. Would I prefer to be normal and healthy? Sure!!!! But, this is my journey. And I am grateful mine isn’t a much harder one.

My friends. What to say.. Though my list of friends has drastically changed over the last few years, I still maintain the closest ones, and that is just fine with me. It is a constant ebb and flow, and the dynamics with lots of them have changed. But I know that if I need anything, I have a handful of people who would drop their shit to come help me with mine. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

It is my life. As dysfunctional and messy, seemingly broken (to others) and chaotic, maybe sad and pathetic to some… but it is mine… 100% unapologetically and unabashedly MINE. And while there are points I would like to change, that may never be possible. So I am happy of what I have been given, accepting of what has been dealt, and excited to see what comes next.

Grateful + turmoiled = some sort of weird ass emotion….

What to do, what to do!?

I am finding myself in the midst of a real conundrum.. and it has totally stumped me as to what my next step should be.

See, I have been seeing this specialist in Edmonton (4 hours away) for over a year. And although I live in Canada (land of free health care) I pay a very pretty penny to see him. It was something I decided to do after many many years of not getting the proper treatment to fix my thyroid and autoimmune disease. So off we went, in hopes that this would be my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I have been through the ringer when it comes to my thyroid, and I am pretty much completely sick of fighting and trying and searching for someone to fix me. I have seen numerous doctors, naturopaths, specialists… tried different thyroid meds, supplements, vitamins, juices, food restrictions, diets, exercise… and to no avail.

So, back to the current situation. The expensive specialist. It has been a year. I have done everything he has told me to, and all that has happened is I am now downing upwards of 15 pills a day, and gained 25 pounds. SOOOOO not the goal I was hoping to achieve. Sufficed to say, I am pretty pissed. What a waste of money! I have one more appointment to see him in August, so we will see what comes of this.

I am not holding my breath, basically because I have an aversion to dying.. but, I am still trying to maintain a level of hope that this appointment will be the turning point for me. I suppose, at this point, all I can do is hope. But I guess time will tell.

However, what do I do if nothing comes of this appointment? There is my problem. What do I do?! I feel like I have exhausted every avenue available to me, and I am still completely symptomatic and a lot chunkier than I would like to be. Cuz if nothing good comes from this appointment, then I think I am back to seeing my regular doctor, who really did nothing for me, and had to use google to diagnose me (weirdest moment in a doctors office, I swear!) But at least it is free.

I just want to be myself, and feel like myself again, you know? I guess if you don’t have any diseases like this, you won’t fully understand. But know this… it’s miserable feeling this way.

One day. Some how. Some way. Just keep going……