Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sweet Mama Drama

Sometimes I struggle with my role as a mom that juggles multiple autoimmune disease states. Type 1 diabetes poses glucose a swings that can affect my mood, ability to drive safely, carry on a conversation and just function as a parent. My sweet, brilliant 6 year old is so bright he is able to pick up on the cues for both his mom and dad's "diabeebees" lows. He is able to notify the other parent to these changes, and is quite hip to diabetes lingo and can accurately describe how too much insulin in the blood means you must eat or drink sugar to bring the blood back up to feel better. How many 1st graders should have to explain the pathophysiology behind hypoglycemia? It breaks my little heart, but also makes it beam with pride. My 3 year old will jump right in and ask to have his glucose tested. He loves blood and guts and actually enjoys the ritual. I'm sure in some ways this should be worrisome, but for the time being, we will just let him be a little weirdo and partake in the activities.

My greatest fear is that my children will develop my disease. That I have passed this on to them. That they will grow up having to test, inject, worry about complications, feel the angst of a low glucose, the nagging fatigue and grossness of a high, the never ending Endo visits. When they ask for a drink of water or accidentally wet the bed, my pulse quickens and I immediately scream in my head "ITS HERE, LORD, ITS HERE...DIABETES..GET THE METER AND CALL THE ENDO"....which means screaming for my husband in the next room, and then he tells me I'm a psycho and that my kids are just thirsty because it's Texas and 170 degrees outside in August and they pissed the bed because I let them drink a quart of Gatorade before bed because I'm an excellent mother and they looked like they over exerted themselves at peewee flag football. This whole living with a pragmatic Dr thing sometimes is annoying and I often wonder if I should slap him around so that he knows that I'm actually the boss. No?

Dr. C and I actually consulted with a genetic counselor prior to conceiving the heathens to asses the risk of passing on our diabetes, and the risk was very low. We also have the boys enrolled in the Diabetes TrialNet (http://www.diabetestrialnet.org) and for the past 2 years their blood work has remained negative for antibodies. Does this mean they will never develop type 1? Maybe. Could they ever? Maybe. Who better to care for them, is the way we have always looked at it. But still, the fear is real. 

Being a parent with diabetes, a different type of "PWD", is difficult. Hats off to the d-moms and dads out there. I salute all of your hard work. I admire you more than you know. But we work hard too. There are days where I go hours without having looked at my CGM because I become so preoccupied with work, life, kids, who peed on the floor, who colored on the wall, who painted their nails, why are their transformers in the freezer and why is the dog locked in the closet...?
Life can runaway from you, but the diabetes is always there. It's hard to explain to a 3 year old why mommy can't share her juice with him right that moment, or why mommy has to pull the car over to test and eat a snack on the way to pick up Bubba. 

And hats off to those of us that created a life inside of us with diabetes. Glucose can fragment DNA from the moment of conception. The risk of birth defects is much higher amongst women with type 1 because of hyperglycemia, which is why it is recommended our A1c is <6% prior to conception. Yeah, ok doc. I'll get right no top of that! Super easy! Pfffffft!! Pregnancy is turning your body into one large walking hormone attached to a pump of hormones and all you want is to eat food and fuel the monster and don't get in my effing way. The end result is so majorly worth it, though. So bravo, Mommas with diabetes!

What's your take on being a parent with diabetes or pregnant with diabetes??