Broken

Sometimes we get broken

Last Saturday (nearly a week ago now) I was in the beginning stages of a nervous breakdown. Having been cleaning the house all day including steam cleaning the floor only for my dd to let my dogs in with wet feet to muddy up the once clean floor I was at my wits end. Thus when my dh sat down in the family room to much his favorite snack (sunflower seeds in the shell) I lost it. To him if must have appeared as if my head was rotating and I was projecting pea soup from my mouth while screaming at him to get the damn sun flower seeds out of the family room. (Those damn shells find their way into every crack in the couch and under every piece of furniture). The thing is I was sleep deprived.

Going to bed at midnight after checking the kids blood sugars, waking up at 2am and again at 4am to check blood sugars (this is new it used to only be 3am – but with my dd going back on shots I am not sure how the lantus will affect her so I get up more often), then waking up at 5:30 to make coffee, lunches and get the kids up for school takes a huge toll on the human body.

Doctors recommend 8-10 hours of sleep for adults. Who the heck are they kidding? Even parents without cwd don’t usually get that amount of sleep. Most my non D friends get around 6 hours.

Anyway – My body was broken. My hormones were completely out of whack. My left eye twitched uncontrollably and to most others I must have looked like a meth addict. Beginning Sat and continuing through most of Wednesday I would spontaneously cry. Yes I had a hard few days regardless of the sleep deprivation (bad endo visit, bad news for non-diabetic child, money woes) but without the sleep deprivation I might have handled the bad news differently. I still feel bad for the nurse practitioner that saw us that Monday when I just started crying when she told me the news about my non-diabetic boy.
(stopped and saved at this point nearly a month ago – read on)

Years ago when my ds was diagnosed I read about diabetes burnout and also attended a breakout session at the Children with Diabetes Friends of Life Conference by Dr. Richard Rubin called “Diabetes Overwhelmus”. I heard people share stories of how the constant vigilance can get to be too much and so breakdowns happen. I’ve never been one of those “it could never happen to me” kind of people, instead I’ve always been more of a “I totally have that – or – a meteor IS going to fall from the sky and kill me” kind of person, thus I took the advice seriously. I took breaks, asked for help when I could, accepted help if offered, read books, tried to meet other parents (although I was not privy to the huge DOC yet). I also didn’t try to hide my frustrations with D from my kids – I just made sure they knew it was D I was frustrated with – NOT them. I wanted them to understand that it is ok to get down, angry, frustrated, confused, etc. I feel like I had been doing a good job – up until the first week of Feb (which btw is when I started this post – I am just now – nearly a month later – getting back to it – and that is ok. If I allowed myself to get angry at Myself for not being a better blogger than the whole point of writing a blog to release stress (and share inspiration) would be lost). (Also – it is totally acceptable to have multiple parentheses inside other parenthesis – I know this because Kerri from www.sixuntilme.comsaid it was ok – or at least does it frequently and she is the blog queen.)

So here I am nearly an entire month later. Am I better? Yes. A bit. I am no longer so overwhelmed.

·       My hubby stepped in and took over the 3am blood sugar checks (yes it has been 5 years since our first was dxd so one might say “it is about freaking time” but in all fairness I never asked and often said no when he offered – I’m a bit of a control freak).

·       My daughters Lantus is leveling out – for now – that may change next week – and Lord help us when she gets all hormonal.

·       My dear husband’s brother (and his wife plus 2 boys) came and left and they did not mention the dust on the ceiling fans.

·       I finished up a number of projects I had been working on.

·       I had a garage sale that was over 2 years in the making (by making I mean that I was tossing things in my garage in hopes of having a garage sale one day for a little over two years – the pile of crud took up an entire side of the garage and was 3 feet deep).

·       My mom is here visiting. J

Life gets crazy and I can’t always keep up with it all. I am really good at faking it and find it interesting that other parents of cwd that are either local friends or FB friends will message me, or call me, or show up at my door asking me how I hold it all together. I usually laugh, invite them for coffee and spill the beans.

I don’t always have it together. I cry, I yell, I want to punch things and sometimes do punch things. I ask WHY often. Then I pick up the pieces and go on.

As far as “why” – there doesn’t have to be a “why” – it can just be as it is. OR maybe there is a WHY and it is because me and my kids needed to come before the next family that will be confused, angry, sad, etc and who will need to know they are not alone.

Maybe it is because although I may not be great at writing and I seriously suck at math and I am embarrassed to admit that when my dh told me he was from Lebanon when we met I didn’t know where Lebanon was – I can still teach. I can speak in front of any number of people without breaking a sweat and I want to make a difference. I want to leave this world a better place.

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2 Responses to Broken

  1. Wendy says:

    My 4 year old daughter was just dx 2 months ago. Thank you. Thank you for writing, for sharing and for helping me to feel less alone. Its okay to cry, to get mad and to be tired. You have given me a place to come to laugh…..and cry.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Wendy.
      I’m sorry about your 4 year old’s diagnosis.
      It is a scary, emotional, exhausting time right now for sure.
      You certainly don’t need permission to cry, be angry or be tired.
      It is exhausting but I can assure you that while it doesn’t really get easier it will feel easier because you will get better. She will get better (I mean with self care, acceptance, etc).
      You are certainly never need to be alone. There are many of us out here in the cyber world and likely a number of parents right near you.
      The post you commented on was very old. A few years at least. I had to go back to read it.
      Gosh I seemed like a mess back then.
      I no longer get up multiple times a night. Most nights I check at midnight which is usually when I go to bed anyway and that’s it.
      Many of my friends both in my computer and in real life rarely have to stay up late or set alarms. They like you have 1 child with diabetes. There will be nights your daughter is high at bedtime and you will need to bolus to correct her blood sugar and then perhaps stay up a bit later to check that the correction is working. There may be a night that she is low at bedtime (hers or yours) and you will need to give carbs and stay up to check again that she is safe. Eventually you will find a rhythm and you will get sleep.
      It is harder with 3 kids with D because even if two kids are spot on there is normally 1 that isn’t and they rotate. So I get more diabetes nights than most. But I am not the norm. My kids are not the norm.

      If I could impart some advice it would be:
      – treat and move on without focusing too much on your daughters numbers. Highs happen, lows happen it is diabetes fault not hers and not yours.
      always recognize diabetes second third or fourth but never first.
      – The words “good morning, good afternoon, how was school, how are you, I love you, etc” should always be the first words when you see your daughter in the morning, after school, when she or you have been apart. This will serve her and you well as she grows – knowing diabetes is something she has – not who she is.
      – take time for yourself. It is as good for her as it is you.
      – try not to get too angry when friends and family don’t understand. when they offer sugar free treats or suggest your child can’t have a treat. They just don’t understand and neither did you likely until after you started living it. when strangers hear your daughter has diabetes some will tell you stories of a grandpa that lost a leg or a great aunt that went blind, etc. They don’t mean to be insensitive – they are actually trying to make a connection – they just don’t understand.
      – Lastly – there is always some new parent(s) that get very upset about their child being confused with Type 2 diabetes and some have even petitioned to change the name of type 1 to something else to try to create a separation from the stigma that goes with type 2. Yes the types of diabetes differ greatly but those with diabetes regardless of type all want the same thing – a cure, and all want to avoid the same complications. There are more T2s than T1s and we all need to work together to end the madness. IMHO

      Anyway – thanks for commenting and reaching out.
      There is an entire community of people who have diabetes or have a child with diabetes in your computer.
      Also – if at all possible try to attend a Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference. The conference is every year in July in Orlando. It is costly but there are scholarships available to help with costs.
      We went the first 3 years after my youngest was diagnosed (he was 2 at diagnosis and 3 the first time we went)
      Some of my best friends came out of that conference. Of course there are classes, discussions, vendors, etc at the conference but the most priceless resource there is the community.

      I hope you will read further on in my blog. You can also find me on twitter @momof3t1s and the Stick With It Sugar Facebook page.
      You will be fine. your daughter will thrive and be awesome.
      Hugs to you.

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