Monday, May 20, 2019

The Harsh Reality of a Type 1 Parent

For those of you who have been around for a while, you know my oldest son, Sawyer, has Type 1 Diabetes. He is going on 5 years living with this disease, with no end in sight. I feel like at this point in my life, my days (and nights) completely revolve around Sawyer's diabetes. I wake up, the first thing I do is check his Dexcom to see what his numbers are. I go to bed, and the last thing I do is check Dex to make sure his numbers are good and stable or leveling out. I wake up several times a night to make sure his numbers are good, that he is breathing, give gummies or tabs, give a correction, etc. I haven't consistently slept soundly in almost 5 years and it has begun to catch up to me. I am starting to get physically run down. I have been more sick in the last month than I have in the past 5 years. My metabolism has slowed. I am probably experiencing adrenal fatigue. I am tired, always. I have aged probably 10 years. I have severe anxiety that I try to treat through natural remedies. My digestion is always dealing with something, which is most likely due to increased cortisol (the stress hormone). My husband and I don't always agree on how to properly take care of our child with this life threatening autoimmune disease and it is affecting our marriage... which adds more stress to my body. There are so many things that have just added to the weight of having a child with diabetes and there are some days, like today, where I feel like I might break. Might. Probably won't. But might.

People look at me and see this very uptight and rigid woman. Someone who has to have things her way or the highway. Very Type A personality, if you will. I have been told countless times by people on the outside looking in, to just "relax." I don't have the luxury to relax. When I try to relax, bad things could happen. If I am not on my mental A-game 24/7, then it could be the difference between life or death for my son. So when people tell me to relax, I of course just smile and say, "I'll relax when I'm dead," because that's the truth. And even then, I don't think I will be able to. Because if I were to go, who would take care of my son? His Dad? He does a good job, yes, but he still doesn't understand a lot of things that are required of a primary caregiver of a child with t1d. He just doesn't. How could he? It's pretty much impossible for anyone to understand unless you are living it. Let me paint you a quick picture. I literally had to quit my 9-5 job because taking care of Sawyer became a full time job for me. So anytime someone comments on my being a "stay at home" mom saying, "Oh you're so lucky," I think to myself, "sure. I'm blessed. I wouldn't say lucky."  I would give ANYTHING to be able to get back into the work force. I don't hate being a content creator, but I feel like I am made for so much more than just blogging/content creation. But that is how I am able to make money while being a stay at home mom so I am able to take care of Sawyer 24/7.

I feel like most days are good. I have a solid head on my shoulders. I feel the support of people within my "village." I feel strong. I feel confident to take on the day. I feel brave. Then there are days like today, where I feel like the weight of my child's autoimmune disease is on my shoulders. So much so, that I feel like I just might break. Might. Probably won't. But might. But what worries me the most is when Sawyer grows up. That weight won't be on my shoulders anymore. It will be on his. And that is what hurts me more than anything is the thought of my baby having to carry this burden his entire life. Even though most days will be good because I have taught him well, there are going to be these debilitating days. The days where he feels so alone because no one understands what it's like to live with diabetes. This is what I pray for the most (besides a cure). For his strength, his wisdom, his courage, to get out of bed and fight every single day. Because it is a fight.

You see friends, I am not sharing this really raw and transparent post to get sympathy or anything like that. I don't want your sympathy. I want you to understand. Because right now, I feel completely alone in this battle. Truthfully, I don't even feel like my husband understands what I go through on a daily basis. It's crippling at times. Have you ever held your child's limp and helpless body in your arms while he is fighting back from a low blood sugar? I have. Have you ever had to tell your child he can't spend the night with a friend because we wouldn't be able to take care of him in the middle of the night if we needed to and we didn't want to chance it? I have. Lot's of times. Have you ever had to tell your child that he can't eat something because he accidentally left his diabetes supply bag in dad's car, so I can't give him insulin for that snack he is about to eat? I have. It's a lot and I think the only way for me to feel even a little bit better is to put it into words. I don't want you to read this and think I can't handle what cards I have been dealt. I've got this. Today is just a rough one. And I need your prayers.

Blessings and Health, 
Chauncey 

2 comments:

  1. Nobody knows the battle another person faces and very often, fathers just don’t understand what mothers go through. I hope that you can find some peace today.

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  2. Every struggle is unique, whether someone can understand what you are going through or not. You are strong and you will get through this day. Then, you will get through the next day. Then the next. Then the next. You are strong. And my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today 🖤

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