Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Monday, November 06, 2006

We've Come A Long Way Baby....

This month marks the 4th anniversary of Brendon's diagnosis. I can't believe it's been 4 years already. He was 2 1/2 years old. Now he's a strapping 6 year old.

Thinking of how quickly 4 years has arrived, I am reminded of barely being able to get through the first week of his diagnosis when he was still in the hospital. I couldn't see past each day let alone what his life would turn into.

I can now say out loud "My son has diabetes". Back then when I'd begin to tell people what happened to my son, the word "diabetes" didn't have a fighting chance of leaving my mouth. I'd start crying before I could get the word out. About a year later, I said to someone, "Brendon has diabetes". I thought to myself, "I was able to say diabetes. Am I finally healing from the shock of his diagnosis?"

While in the hospital, I remember being shown the glucose meter we'd be using and how I saw it as a mass of meaningless parts that I was sure I'd have a hell of a time putting together. Now the code has been long cracked and I can put it together in my sleep....literally.

Forget about giving shots! I thought we'd have to take him to the doctor every time he needed a shot once we got home. When we were told that we'd be doing it ourselves, and how often we'd have to do it, my first thought was "Hey, I'm not a doctor, I'm not equipped to do this...are we even ALLOWED to give him shots?

And then I remember thinking of how big those shots would be because I pictured the type of needle used to take blood. "My poor baby will have to get shots with those big needles?" The nurse showed me what they looked like and I was relieved....those aren't so big, but damn, I don't know if I can handle poking him with it anyway.

I remember bringing him home and thinking "Oh shit, being a parent who changes diapers and feeds him and nurtures him is one thing....but being the person keeping him ALIVE AND PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS IS A WHOLE OTHER BALLGAME...I'M SCARED!"

Knowing my nature, I knew that the level of discomfort of learning a new way of life would fade as what I was learning would become second nature. I just couldn't wait for second nature to come and take over.

Then: He screamed his head off when he got his first injection and everytime for days after.
Now: "Mom, you did a great job. I didn't even feel that infusion set go in. You're getting better and better. Keep it up.", he says to me encouragingly.

Then: He held my face in his hands and said "Mommy I don't want you to get hurt" after I said I'd like to see what a finger prick felt like.
Now: "Mom, I'm an 86", he says after he tests himself. We'll even make up games to see who guesses the closest number. The only prize is to gloat over who came the closest...and that's good enough for him if he's the one who wins bragging rights.

Then: He'd sneak food and not tell me.
Now: "Mom, this apple weighs 5 oz.", he says after he plucks it off the scale.

Just as I was ecstatic over his first steps, or his first words, I was just as much so when he recognized a low on his own and informed me of it. Diabetes has been incorporated in our lives and in Brendon's as though it were the most natural thing in the world. It's become interchangeable with all the other development milestones in his life.

I give thanks every. single. day. that diabetes has not slowed Brendon down or held him back from all he pursues. Diabetes is a hard hard thing for him to live with, but the key is that he live with it.


  • Shannon,
    I am so happy you wrote this. Moreimportantly i am extremely happy for you of how far you have come in four years. As for brendon i see him as a fast forward of emma as you tell your stories.

    That first week i was so depressed. It honestly felt like we lost our daughter. But during that time it was "cliche-ville" for us. With people saying to us "take it day by day, one day at a time, this is a life sentence-not a death sentence...things like that."

    For about a week or so after she was diagnosed i felt compelled to have to tell everyone that she has diabetes. Even strangers that just mentioned how cute her jacket was or something. Im like "yes it is nice...were just here to pick up some low carb crackers because she is diabetic you know?" What a dork i am . But i guess we all deal differently.

    As for the equipment and education we were given, i felt empowered in a sense. I read every manual for every meter there is. I got a few just to see what ones we like the best. I felt at that point the more i know the better because i want the upper hand on this disease from day 1.

    I am with you on "Forget about even giving shots!..." Like as if dude!... I work for UPS(that answers your parcologist question) i handle boxes allday, IM not qualified to administer needles. Moreso i could never have thought i couild ever wrap my head around figuring out doses of insulin to keep my daughter alive! Take a hike.

    I want to go on but that will leave me with nothing to post on my blog;) But this was easily the best and most promising, motivating post i have read since this journey has started for us.

    Thank you

    By Blogger rubbing, at 11/06/2006 9:04 PM  

  • Great post Shannon!

    You both have come a long way, and you both are doing it wonderfully!

    He will live with it - but one of the most important tools he will carry with him is all of the things you two figured out together.

    You guys are a living example that it is often times no more than something to figure out - and that life goes on.

    Way to go - both of you.

    By Blogger Scott K. Johnson, at 11/06/2006 9:24 PM  

  • You guys have come a long way. I never know what to say on d-versaries. Congratultions? Sounds weird.

    Anyway. You know what I mean. It's a bittersweet marker.

    By Blogger julia, at 11/06/2006 9:40 PM  

  • Wow!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/06/2006 10:16 PM  

  • That was really lovely. It was the perfect thing for me to read tonight before I put my head on the pillow.
    Thank you.

    By Blogger Minnesota Nice, at 11/06/2006 10:22 PM  

  • Amen, Shannon. Nicely put.

    By Blogger Lyrehca, at 11/06/2006 10:43 PM  

  • That is so great!

    You have come a long way and you will continue down this path for a long time too!

    Brendon said it best, "Mom you did a great job!"

    Bravo Shannon!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/07/2006 2:57 AM  

  • Chris, your last paragraph is why I blog and read the other's blogs. I wouldn't have made it this far if it weren't for the PWD's of the OC :)

    Thanks Scott, you're one of the PWD who, through your blog, that Brendon will be just fine :)

    Julia, I see his anniversary as just that...a marker. And it's amazing to see how long it's been when it only feels like a year instead of 4.

    Thanks Colleen :)

    Kathy, that was the sweetest thing to say :) I hope you had a good night's sleep.

    Lyrehca, Thank you :)

    George, Like I said to Julia, I can't believe it's been 4's a tiny blip in time compared to the years ahead, but I can only imagine he'll deal with his diabetes seamlessly and I'll be there to help...even when he's an adult and I'll be seen as the pesky mom :)

    By Blogger Shannon, at 11/07/2006 7:34 AM  

  • That was a great post, Shannon.

    Yes, you have come a long way, baby!!

    By Blogger Penny, at 11/07/2006 11:17 AM  

  • Great post!

    I never know what to call it either ... anniversary?? We don't celebrate the fact that our kid has D, but I guess we celebrate the fact that we have managed to live another year with this stupid disease.

    I think you and Brendon are doing a great job with the management of things. That's adorable how he encourages you from time to time :) What a kid!

    By Blogger Jamie, at 11/07/2006 11:29 AM  

  • LOL...thanks Penny :)

    By Blogger Shannon, at 11/07/2006 11:29 AM  

  • Jamie, he's so funny about encouraging people especially adults. My mom was playing catch with him and he was throwing pretty lousy so she couldn't catch the ball. Well she finally caught it and he said "There you go grandma, that's the way to catch the ball. Keep practicing, you'll get better."

    She did all she could to keep from laughing and take him seriously.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 11/07/2006 11:49 AM  

  • Shannon,

    (I've tried to comment about three times but blogger keeps devouring my attempts. Grrr...)

    SuperMan is an inspiration. He is a tough little guy and he will not be stopped by diabetes. He's too fierce to be stopped by anything. And you are just as tough. This doesn't get any easier (my mother can vouch for that, I'm sure) but it doesn't get any more inspiring than a mother and her child, battling this disease as a team.

    Keep up all of your tremendous work and give SuperMan a hug. Don't tell him it's from me, though, because he might think that's weird. :)

    By Blogger Kerri., at 11/08/2006 10:18 AM  

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