Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Invisible Illness Week

Look at that beautiful girl!  She looks like every other kid on the first day of a new school year standing by the door, anxiously waiting to meet her new classmates and teacher.  There are some things that you don't know about this girl unless you really know her and that is how it should be. 

If you were to watch a group of children playing on the playground, you would probably never know which one checks her blood sugar 10+ times a day unless you look very closely at her freckled finger tips. As you watch the joy and laughter of these children playing, you would never guess that one of them has a life expectancy that is 15 years shorter than the rest. You might notice that cute little fanny pack or belt that one of them is wearing and though you might never give it a second thought, the reality is that with in that pouch lies her life line, her insulin pump that gives her a tiny drop of insulin every four minutes and that is what keeps her alive and well. As the children eat their lunch you see how carefree they are to eat what they feel like eating while one of them knows that all of her carbs must be eaten or she may get very sick. One of them, though you'd never know it by looking at her had to visit the nurse right before lunch to check her blood sugar and get her insulin so she could eat her lunch.

If you were to see her mom you might notice the bags under her eyes or the tired look she has and assume that her toddler is teething again or her four kids keep her very busy. While that is true, what you don't see is that she is up checking blood sugars around the clock and the constant worry is what is really wearing on her.

Do I want this illness to be seen and pitied? I don't want or need pity and while I would love for others to understand, I know if I am doing my job correctly that this illness will go unnoticed and be virtually invisible by the rest of the world. That as others look at my daughter playing and having fun that none would be the wiser to the battle that rages inside of her body as her immune system violently attacks and murders her insulin producing beta cells. I will do my best to keep the possible complications at bay and help her live as full a life as possible. Yes, if I am doing my job correctly you would never know unless told that my daughter has T1D.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Can't get them outta my head

It's Friday night and our family is about to sit down to a game of Cities and Knights.  My thoughts keep turning to Meri and her boys.  What is their favorite family game?  Will they be able to play it again with out Ryan around to play with them?  Would we be able to play strategy games like Cities and Knights if Jason weren't here to share in the fun?

Our families have a lot in common.  Meri and Ryan had a once in a lifetime kind of love.  They were married for 19 years.  Meri always posts a sappy anniversary post.  I love these posts because it reminds me of Jason and I who have been married 20 years.  I love the way Meri loves Ryan.  Its rare to find a marriage today with so much devotion and respect.  Three of Meri's boys are the same ages as three of my children. One of her children is obsessed with pie, my Bekah is obsessed with pie.  Their family has a deep faith, our family has a deep faith.  Ryan even looked a little like Jason. 

Saturday mornings they had a routine in their house where Ryan would make these amazing breakfasts.  Meri used to post pictures and I would always drool over them.  Tomorrow morning Ryan should be making breakfast.  His family should not be saying a final public goodbye.  Ugh!  My heart just aches for them.

Please continue to pray for this precious family! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Life is not fair...

My heart is broken for my friend Meri.  Meri has been my light when the darkness of diabetes has been thick.  Meri has always encouraged me and never judged or said that her way was the best way.  Meri is amazing!  Meri has 4 equally amazing boys, 3 of whom have type one diabetes.  The oldest of these was dx at 7 months of age.  Meri has pretty much seen it all when it comes to diabetes and her wisdom is worth its weight in gold.  Although she is the writer in the family (her blog is amazing) and the face for her family, its really her and her husband Ryan and their boys together that shine the light in to so many homes in those dark hours.  They are a team and a beautiful one at that. 

Six months ago Ryan was dx with cancer and he fought a gallant fight.  This morning (Sept 2, 2012) Meri and her boys held this man that they love so much and said goodbye as our Heavenly Father took Ryan's spirit and made him whole.  This team will still shine as their light is too bright to be extinguished but they will never be the same.  I am so glad that I got to know Ryan through Meri's writing.  He was an amazing dad and husband, terrific friend and champion to his family.  My guess is he only loved God more than the other 5 people that lived in his home.  

Meri, I wish I could hold some of the pain you must be feeling right now.  I love you to pieces and am so thankful that God has allowed you and your family to play a part in my life!  You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.