The Ebbs & Flows - Adjusting to Diabetes

...the highs and lows.

We are now at the beach, but for days before we left we lived in the hospital. A tide in our life changed. Our dear 2nd son became sick, noticing some symptoms around the weekend of his 14th birthday.

When we received the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, while it was a low, it was not hard to notice too that in a children's hospital there are so many suffering families.

Our son can be treated.

Our son came home.

Here, as I watch the familiar ebb and flow of the tides at the beach, I am reminded that life has it's highs and lows as well. And Diabetes too, is about highs and lows. Over a drop of blood we plan, we worry, we sigh with relief. We try to apply science, when it really is more an art.

Like life.

We're working towards a new normal....for every day of the rest of his life. It stinks. But God has placed us here. And there is much still to be grateful for. Our son makes us so proud as he resiliently goes forward.

My son's cross to carry may make him sad or angry at times but from it will also "flow" character. For this I pray and trust. I pray that Our Lady, who watched her Son in agony will grace us with her tender intercession as we live through a modicum of discomfort. As parents we are getting by. We are sad. We worry. The emotions crash like the waves and we feel tossed and disoriented. We try to find the familiar here in our favorite place, this yearly beach vacation but it is altered.

Like a rip current keeping us from the shore....

Loving family surround us, they are our life jacket holding us up. I know we'll all adjust. But so soon in to this it's hard not to feel like it the tide will swallow us when your feet just keep sinking as the waves pull over them...

Lord, help me say the right words to my son when he needs them. Help me be present to my other children. Help me add numbers correctly. Lord, thank you for all those who are helping us....the medical staff and the friends who have lived this tide of blood sugar highs and lows. Your supportive words are life blood to us.


Therese said...

How beautifully written, Allison! My nephew (and godson)was diagnosed when he was 8. He is now 15. In the early years, I helped learn how to dose, how to count carbs. He spent a lot of time here. Not the same as a mother's worry and a mother's heart, but close. I will pray for all of you as you walk this journey. God bless!

Lisa said...

Oh, Allison, know that you and your son continue to be in my prayers! Your strong faith in the face of adversity is an inspiration to me, it truly is! :-)

We, too, are here at the beach, and I would love to get together and finally meet face to face. If you need a few minutes away or just want someone to listen, I'm here. Of course, your kiddos are welcome, as well. There is an nice pool here and my kids would love the company. Just say the word!

Much love and prayers, my friend!

Julia said...

Sorry for your son's diagnosis. My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 29. I think it would be much worse to have a child diagnosed. I don't think about it much but I suppose there is always the chance that one of mine will develop it.

I think you are right about it being more and art than a science. There are so many variables that affect blood sugar. I will say a prayer for you.

Jen @ Forever, For Always... said...

Many prayers for you and your family as you adjust and deal with this new normal. God Bless you and enjoy your time together at the beach!

Nadja said...

Oh, Allison...I am so sorry. I think that our children have an easier time dealing with these setbacks than do their poor mothers. All we want for our children is for them to be well in mind, body and spirit, and it is an agony for us to not have that in our power.

I will pray for your family as you go through this period of adjustment. God bless you all.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Prayers for your family and your dear son, Allison. It is hard to see a bright side of such a diagnosis, but at least he is home with you and you don't have to worry about him handling it on his own for now.

I am sending my 15-year-old son to school tomorrow for the first time since kindergarten. He has life-threatening food allergies and I have never had to worry before about him being out on his own. I know allergies are not at all the same as the daily maintenance of diabetes, but it's the same being cautious all the time.

God will be with you during this time of trial and you will know that all is in his plan.

Jamie Jo said...

I was 10 when I got type 1 Diabetes. It's interesting to hear a parents point of view, instead of my own.

Completely different.

Yet, if one of my kiddos gets it, I will be feeling like you do now.
I, of course think about it often. I just hope if they get it, they are old enough to understand, like your son, and like I was.

That is really something to be thankful for. I just can't imagine trying to help a baby with diabetes, or even any age up to 7 or 8! Yet, people do it.

It is a livable disease. It becomes 2nd nature, really it does. Maybe not for you, but it will for him. Really, you just need to know how to catch those lows and always be prepared for those. And that diet will always be there. The insulin is really not as big a deal to work with as the diet is.

Count those carbs!!

I will be praying for you and your family, and if you want to email or call me, please do, I've been diabetic for 31 1/2 years and gone through almost 6 whole pregnancies, which are monitored very, very closely.

I always feel sorry for women who are pregnant and get that gestational diabetes (which is more like type 2) because it's thrown on them for a short time and mind boggling to try to figure it out.

Like I said, it's 2nd nature now, I don't really think about it.

I went through those teen years and young adult years though with it, so, again, if you have any questions, please call or email.

I'll be praying for all of you!

Jamie Jo said...

OK, I have to leave another comment, I just read Michelle Q's article, and I love it, but have no way of leaving a comment?

Anyway, I have seen my diabetes become an embarrassment for me, now that I'm older and heavier, from having babies (which the over abundant amount of insulin needed during pregnancy causes)I feel people think like they do of type 2 diabetics, that I eat awful, when the contrary is true, I probably eat healthier than any of my friends.

I always try to tell people that the two types of diabetes are completely different.

Another interesting thing is my mom became type 1 diabetic when she was 24. So I was raised around her and knew what to do in a sense, and it probably made it easier for her to handle when I became one. Although rare for type 1 close relatives to get it, it does happen.

Christine said...

Sending you my thoughts and prayers. It is so scary when a child gets sick.

My now 13yr old Jonah has Epilepsy. He also came home and we were able to control seizures with meds.

Praying today for all the mamas and dadas with very very very sick children.

Mom2Seven said...

Heartfelt prayers. I have a friend whose little boy was diagnosed when he was three. He is seven now, and despite its seriousness, it has become more routine, more "normal" for them. I will add your son to my prayer list. God bless you all as you go through this life adjustment together.

carmelitemom said...

Intentions are enclosed in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

LOOK UP! You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens ALL of you!

Beautiful, honest, faith-filled post.~Theresa

Patty said...

Prayers and encouragement during this time.

Tina Marie said...

Prayers for you from our family. That was a beautiful post.

None of my kids have Typ 1 diabetes, but they all are gluten sensitive. I can sypathise with your feelings. While looking for informtation on how to deal with their diet I came across an interesting article that I would like to share with you.

I don't if it will help, but it is definitely interesting and can shed some light on how to help your son.

God Bless and warmest wishes.

Jen said...

Allison, I have been praying for your son and your family since reading your post on FB. My mother is an insulin dependent diabetic, and has been for quite sometime. I had a few friends with type I diabetes growing up,and I only remember a small bit what it was like for them. Our four year old has a very limited diet as he has strong reactions to certain foods, and our 7 year old has the tree nut/peanut allergy (which I believe your daughter does as well). I can only imagine keeping track of blood sugar levels as well. God never gives us more than we can handle, and I know that while that may not give you or your son any comfort right now, I hope that one day this will all become just an ordinary part of life. God Bless you so much.

Gardenia said...

Allison, this is a beautiful -- poetic really -- post. your view of the challenge is are a humble and accepting servant of our Lord. God bless.

Karla in MN said...


Praying for you and your family as you adjust to your new "normal"...Our children are so precious, it is difficult to see them have such trials. We have gone through the fire with our adopted children with Thalassemia Major...I will ask Sanjay's intercession for your son as well.
God bless.

Allison said...

Wanted to thank you all for your kind words, support and prayers. We are doing well, just riding the emotions as sometimes the "lifetimeness" of it all depresses.

Karla, so touched that you would ask your suffering saint to intercede! Hugs.

God bless you all!

Tiffany said...

Lifting you up as you ebb and tide right now. God love you and hold you close.

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