Day 21: One Minute . . . One Lifetime

This was my post from last year. I updated it, but many of the feelings and thoughts remain the same:

One minute I am teaching my 6th graders writing; the next minute the school secretary comes into my classroom to tell me my husband is on the phone.

One minute I am annoyed because a kid got sick and he can’t leave work to get them; the next minute I remember Wednesdays are his day off.

One minute the secretary says, “He tried texting you. Should I tell him you will call him back?”; the next minute I walk over to my desk to check my phone.

One minute the text doesn’t make sense at all; the next minute I am walking to the office to talk to him on the phone.

One minute he is telling me that her iron is fine, but her blood sugar is high; the next minute the room is spinning and I am asking him, “What does this mean for my girl?”

One minute he is saying, “She has diabetes. I am at the hospital. I need you to come here now.”; the next minute I am trying to keep it together to get to my room and grab my purse, coat, and car keys.

One Lifetime of checking her blood sugar before she eats (most days it through her monitor, but at times it is by poking her finger).

One lifetime of constantly checking the monitor.

One lifetime of hearing the alarm and wondering how can we bring her sugar levels to a normal range, or how much sugar/carbs can she have to raise her to a normal range so we aren’t combating a high right after we fought a low.

One lifetime of feeling “jittery” (low) or thirsty, angry, tired (high) because she has to think like a pancreas, instead of a 12 year-old.

One lifetime of sleepless nights.

One lifetime of checking blood sugar, before meals, after meals, before exercise, during exercise, after exercise, before a snack, and before getting on the bus.

One lifetime of insulin shots – one after each meal and one at bedtime.

One lifetime of constant worry. Why are you sleeping so much? Why are you so hungry? Do you feel warm? Have you checked your ketones? Are you feeling “weird”?

One lifetime of being brave and strong even when you are only 10 years and 9 days old.

Two years later . . .

I refuse to let March 21st be the worst day of her life forever, so last year I took a personal day and we did what my sweet girl wanted to do.

We spent the day getting our nails done, going out to eat, and shopping! This year, things are a little different. This year we are staying home, working on Greek School homework, and trying to stay healthy while keeping others safe.

I will celebrate how brave and strong she is by remembering when she lashes out that she is just as tired of this as I am. I will remember that when she rolls her eyes at my third request to check her number, that she is just trying to be a kid, but Type 1 Diabetes won’t allow it. When I ask her if she has given herself her shot and she says, “Not yet,” that I won’t insist she do it right now, that I can let her finish her game first.

I will remind her what a strong, brave, smart, beautiful girl she is, even though at times she has to be a pancreas!

10 thoughts on “Day 21: One Minute . . . One Lifetime

  1. Wow! The way you transitioned throughout this slice was magnificent and had me on the edge of my seat! You definitely build suspense well. Diabetes for a child does not sound easy but it seems like everyone is doing the best they can. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the structure of this piece, from one minute to a lifetime, which you capture so aptly in the title. My favorite line, “she has to think like a pancreas, instead of a 12 year-old,” you return to at the end. I will share this with my friend whose daughter had a kidney transplant two years ago and lives similar “lifetimes” and choose the state of mind of #livenow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So well written Jenny! I remember that day, and can’t imagine the feelings that you and your family went through. She is such a strong, amazing girl! It is an obstacle, but one that she will face head on and overcome! Hopefully she can dance her dance and celebrate how awesome she is!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you turn that day into a happy memory each year. And although this year will be delayed you’ll definitely have time to make some special plans for that day.
    Always thinking of Tessie ❤️
    I love the way you called it “thinking like a pancreas”. Great way to say that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you wrote this and I love that you are finding ways to celebrate March 21 in some way, so that the date is not always dreaded. I also love that you are trying to see things from her perspective, dealing with this is hard for you, I can’t even imagine dealing with it at her age. No doubt that Tessie has been nothing but strong, brave and strong during all of this because she has been raised by an amazing role model. Love and hugs to both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tessie gets her strength from the strong women in her life. You are the best model for her. I can’t imagine how hard it is, your determination to make sure nothing will hold her back is crystal clear!!

    Liked by 1 person

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