My mind is full of thoughts but they are scattered, confused and I'm just tired. Some days it just feels like I'm being pounded with rocks. Some days I want to throw them back. Some days I want to duck and run for cover. Some days I just don't care if I get pounded away at by them indefinitely. And then I feel overwhelming guilt for having any feelings whatsoever that would warrant attention or pity. I mean, I'm not the one with diabetes. This isn't supposed to be about me.
We went to an event to learn about diabetes camp last week. They advertised gluten free pizza and drinks free with the event. Even so, I just didn't want to partake in it. I'd have to calculate carbs and draw insulin and give Alex a shot in front of a crowd. And you would think it's a diabetes event so who cares? But I look around and my own insecurities are that someone is going to watch us and what if Alex screams alot and/or bleeds or what if I screw it up somehow. So, we ate ahead of time which in and of itself was a nice time as my parent's offered to cook us dinner at their place which was near the event location. But I feel overwhelming guilt at this choice because again, I've made it so that I am not allowing her to be and do like most everyone else there and just eat some damn pizza. And if I can't handle that at a diabetes event, what kind of loser am I?
So we get to the event and make our way to a table marked by age groups at camp. Everyone is eating pizza. Alex is already pouting about wanting pizza too. I've left her insulin in the car in a cooler because I really didn't want to deal with it and she just ate dinner anyway. I look around and see a myriad of parents pushing mysterious numbers into insulin pump screens while there kids munch away. And even at a diabetes event I feel different because I don't even understand that whole pump thing. And I can't even get Alex to agree to try a insulin pen so how the hell am I ever going to get to a point where we might try a pump. And truthfully, while intelligently I know those pumps will make life so much easier and food events a little less overwhelming, I'm scared to death of having to learn something knew because I already feel like I'm on diabetes brain overload. I guess that's why they don't let new people get pumps immediately. But even here I just don't feel like I'm ready to belong here. Or maybe the better way to put it is I don't want to belong here.
But I have to smile and pretend I'm just fine because that's what I do and I'll just put on a good face for Alex and my mom and my son who's tagged along. Alex is immediately bored sitting at the table watching the kids eat pizza around her and before I even realize it, her brother has grabbed 2 slices of pizza and is eating at the table. And I want to throttle him for doing it because now Alex is really ticked off. And I'm the big loser who doesn't want to deal with it all.
My mom offers to take Alex to the playroom set up for kids while they do the camp presentation. So they go there and I'm left to bite my tongue so as not to make my son feel bad for being an almost 12 year old who just wants some pizza. It's not his fault I am a wimp. He's had to sacrifice a lot in the past 8 weeks.
I don't have much to say about the presentation. It was great. I am excited and hope Alex gets to go to camp. I know it will be good for her and good for all of us. I am so happy they have something like this available and she is old enough to go. My mom returns to retrieve Ben and take him to the playroom. She makes sure to tell him and the counselors that he does not have diabetes - don't poke him with a blood glucose meter in there! Alex is having a blast in there getting her face painted and running around with kids just like her...except they have that pump which she wants nothing to do with.
After the presentation I walk around the tables set up with displays. At one of them, the representative (a mom with a diabetic son) asks me how long my daughter has been diagnosed. I told her Christmas. She asks how I am doing. I want to cry and that lump comes up in my throat. I push it back and say we're just taking it day by day. I want to get out of here. I don't want to belong here.
It sounds completely insane but I keep thinking Alex doesn't have diabetes like the rest of these kids. She just has it a little bit, right? People tell me scary stories of lows. We haven't had that ...yet. She isn't like all these kids I keep meeting. They have these pumps. They all test themselves. Some little kid who couldn't have been more than 5 years old practically stabbed himself with his little poker in that playroom and didn't bat an eye as he guided his blood to his test strip. I've got this kid I have to chase around the house or play a verbal game with her while she delays and stalls getting her blood tested. Many kids we meet so far have had diabetes since they probably can remember (I can't believe how many kids out there are getting diagnosed as babies and toddlers - that's crazy!) I don't think that's better by any means. There is no better in any of this. I should be grateful I had 9 happy carefree years with her without all this diabetes crap. But in some ways I feel like I'm mourning the death of what was so easy just 2 months ago. I could grab a bag of snacks to take in the car on the way to one event or another. I could tell her to buy her lunch at school or throw anything together in her lunch sack for school. If we wanted to stop at a restaurant and eat, we just did it. If she asked for more fish crackers, I just gave them to her. If she got a damn piece of Valentine's candy, she just ate it. If she wanted to go outside and play with a friend, she just went. I'm not ready for this but here it is. Alex is angry all the time about how much diabetes has altered her everyday life. I'm angry all the time. I have to be ready for all of this. I can't expect Alex to accept this if I can't. But the simple truth is I don't want to belong here.