Sunday, April 6, 2008

She knows

Tonight at bedtime Maddison was 82. Perfect number for most people, and most times, but too low for a child at bedtime. I gave her some juice and she knew enough to question. "Mom are you sure I should just drink half?" Maddison is taking responsibility for her own care. She can recognize when she might need more carbs because she was so active before bed. She knows that half a Juicy Juice box is just 7 carbs. She knows that she may need some PB or fat and protein to stick with her and keep her blood sugar safe through the night. How many kids think about being "safe" to go to bed at night? Maddison does, every-single-night. She knows.

Maddison then heard me setting the alarm clock. "When are you getting up Momma?" I told her at midnight. "How do you know that is the right time?" she asked me. I walked to the bed and sat beside her. I told her that there are some things I do just because I know I have too. I told her that I know I have to check her and myself at midnight every night so I can make sure that we are staying healthy for sleep. I tell her that if we are a good number to sleep then we are healthier all night long and in the morning to start our day. I know that she understands this, but I also know that she knows the real reason I check her every-single night. All night. That usually means at least every 3 hours, around the clock. If you question the importance read about "dead in bed".

Maddison knows about her Grandpa. I never hid from her the cold truth about why my Dad was in such poor health. Little did I know that Maddison would be diagnosed with the same disease. If I had known, I would have withheld and sheltered the truth with every bit of the ability within me. It was too late by the time Maddison was diagnosed. She knew. She knows that Grandpa suffers complications from Diabetes. But does she know that this is NOT Diabetes, but its complications? My dad already suffered a stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure.Does Maddison feel the end result of Diabetes is this prognosis? Could any child understand that although you have this same disease this will not be what happens to you? Is she scared? What does her 7yr old mind really think about all this? How sick is it that she just can't think of the normal kid thoughts and dreams in life?

Maddison and I have been even closer since her diagnosis. I hear her say "right mom?" at least 100 times a day. I have become her reassurance in a world that she feels has no promises. We are stuck in a pattern of "Mom knows best". She is always questioning the carbs or insulin dosing from Hannah, Dad or the school nurse. She knows that I am the main care giver and the most diligent. No child should ever have to question how they are being cared for, but Maddison does. She knows. Maddison knows that she will slowly take over the Diabetes care. The carb counting, the dosing, the managing numbers. Highs, lows, adjustments, exercise, PE Days. She knows that one day soon this Diabetes is hers, and not mine to manage. I think that until she is at least a teenager I will always want to be the responsible person. I know many parents that have children diagnosed at age 3 or 4. Their kids do alot of self care by age 6 or 7. I am not sure I can give this disease to Maddison at that age. For now Maddison's Diabetes is my disease to manage. She doesn't need the responsibility of carb counting, remembering to bolus, remembering to check her blood sugar. She is 7. She will be responsible for this disease the rest of her life. She needs to know that no matter what, I have the control and there is nothing she should be worrying about. Mom is in control, and mom would never in this lifetime let Diabetes defeat you. Not at midnight. Not while I should be sleeping. Not while you are testing at school. Not while you are trying to just be a kid. Maddison knows that I am all over this disease, and she will know that she must be one day too. Now is not her time like so many parents tell me. Her time will come. She is just 7 for Gods sake! She will know in the years to come what she has to do. But for now, she knows Mom is always right here.

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