Today is Day 3 for Diabetes Blog Week. The topic for today is to write about our number 1 supporter. I'm really lucky that I have 2 people who are tied for number one supporter: my mom and Steve. I've written about what an incredible support my boyfriend, Steve is and how much I rely on him. The person who before Steve was always my number one supporter and continues to be my rock is my mom. In honor of Mother's Day here is a letter to my mom.
I can't think about diabetes and not think about you. I hate that you are associated with this disease like that but since the day of my diagnosis anything diabetes related you were there. What I remember most about the day I was diagnosed was not the first fingerstick to test my blood sugar or my first injection. What I remember is you. We were sitting in Dr. B's office and as he was talking I saw you tense up. I then remember being in the elevator going up to Dr. H's office and I could see in your eyes and in your mannerism that something was wrong and it had to do with me. Of course, it would be years until I had somewhat of an understanding of what you must of been feeling in that elevator ride. Of course, I'll never understand fully but I'm just now getting it. Those first few days I don't know how you did it. My baby brother was only 5 months old and you had to leave him home to be with me in the hospital. The strength that you showed me in those early days have stayed with me.
When did you start sleeping through the night again? Between a newborn and a 7 year old with diabetes you were up a lot during the night. All those nights when I would stick my finger out from underneath the covers so you could test me. How did you do it? Having a CGM back then would have been so much better and easier.
I was a difficult child. Stubborn as a bull. Wonder where I get that from? Unfortunately for you (and me) I was stubborn about being "normal" and pretending I didn't have diabetes. Those fights. Dear god, those fights we had about me not testing and not taking proper care of myself. You still loved me and was always right there if I ever needed you. When you and Dr. H decided that it was in my best interest to go on an insulin pump as an eleven year old I was not happy but you guys were doing what was in my best interest. I wish I could tell eleven year old me that going on the pump would change my life forever and be something I would feel lost without. In your motherly wisdom you know this, didn't you? You knew that it would be good for me.
We all have had our own way of handling my diagnosis of diabetes. Yours was to do whatever you could to get involved in JDRF; first in the local chapter then with research. You spent so much time traveling the world over reviewing grants and meeting the world's experts in diabetes. After every trip you would come home so excited about the research being done you could talk for hours about it and you did! At the time all that scientific stuff was so boring to me but I sat there listening and encouraging you. This was your outlet. This was your way of dealing.
I've now come to realize that while you were out there doing this for me you were also a champion to all the other people with diabetes. The hours you still spend reading grants and still traveling (although not as much as before, thank god) shows your amazing dedication.
A long time ago we made a promise to each other: you promised to work as hard as you could to find a cure and I promised to take good care of myself so that I would be healthy enough for that cure when it was found. You have not swayed from your promise and I have. I am working so hard now to keep my control tight. When I get frustrated and annoyed I think about you. I think about all that you have sacrificed so that I could have the best care possible and all the tools necessary at my disposal. I think about the strength you showed not only in those early days but in all the days since (7,862 days!) I think about the sleepless nights you were up worrying about me. I think about the hours you spent on airplanes traveling around the world reviewing different labs. I think about the phone call you received in Hong Kong from me crying into the phone saying I was in the hospital in DKA. I think about you and the love you have for me.
See, I can't think about diabetes and not think about you.
I love you, Mom, more than I could ever express.