Our sweetie pies

Our sweetie pies

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pharmacy

The computer generated message on the cash register at the pharmacy read "Have a nice day".
I was picking up four vials of insulin, alcohol wipes, and a sharpie container. "Have a nice day".


I wanted to tell everyone waiting in that long line that was watching me, "These are for a 3 year old little girl! My daughter has diabetes! juvenile diabetes! A disease! I'm not just picking up cold medicine! Stop silently telling me to hurry up! I waited for my turn! I need to rush home and make sure my daughter is okay again! It's snack time and I'm not there to check her. "

Entering the pharmacy, always brings back reality quickly. Sometimes, I can go shopping now and know that my daughter is safe under my husband's care. I can briefly forget the burden that we carry. I can be normal for just a few minutes.

But holding my insurance card and knowing that as soon as my daughter's prescription pops up on the computer screen, any chance at being normal, evaporates. The clerk doesn't state the obvious. She just asks me how many vials I would like? She asks me how many units does she take? She doesn't take a moment to offer grief counseling or show empathy or sympathy for me or my daughter. Maybe this is familiar to her. Maybe I am the fifth mom of a diabetic child she has seen today. But for me, I am only one. 100% of my world has changed. It follows me like a cloud that won't ever blow away. Just once in a while the sun shines through the cloud, so I can't see it.

When I was reading through another mom's blog about her diabetic child, I saw a banner on her blog that stated "If a diabetic child doesn't have insulin for a week, they will die." That's how serious this disease is. How fragile, their little bodies are. If we lived somewhere that diabetes wasn't diagnosed, our daughter would have died.

Someone asked a diabetic woman on facebook, why she is always mentioning death and needles? Because it is our reality. The person that dared ask such an insensitive question doesn't live with this reality and therefore doesn't have to think about death and needles just as we didn't prior to diagnosis. It's like asking a cancer patient why they are always talking about chemotherapy and operations for tumor removals. It's their reality. why should they go through this alone? why should we?

I found one more organization today on the computer called Starlight Foundation. They help families that have children with chronic illnesses. They state that "they help put normal childhood back into the child's childhood." I looked over at my little, petite, sweetie pie and said the words "juvenile diabetes" to my self. quietly, inside my head. The words melted on top of her and took shape becoming her identity. "How can this be possible? How can my daughter have juvenile diabetes?!"

It's been five weeks now. Five long years. fifty trillion, gazillion, long years. She was diagnosed on February 15. The day after we made valentine cookies for Valentine's day. Hours after she ate one of her decorated cookies. I told the nurse that her numbers could be high because she had just eaten a large sugar cookie. The nurse smiled a knowing smile and left the room.

Forever, I will look at valentine's day as a sad, bittersweet, holiday. It will always bring back the trauma and reality of me innocently taking her to a doctor's appointment. Thinking she was okay and that I was being overly cautious. She had said goodbye to her brothers and sisters and innocently trusted me to take her to an appointment and bring her back home again.

It's only been five weeks and in some ways have incorporated her routines into our routines. But by dealing with everything we have pushed our feelings aside and when I find myself back in line at the pharmacy that looks so much like the pharmacy in the hospital that made everything a reality, I find myself wanting to tell the stranger next to me and reach out for a hug and cry.


  1. I am so glad that you are writing about this. It is a process of grief, yes? And I know that there are other people out there that need the same kind of empathy you need and they will find it on the pages of this blog. God will do good things with your story, even though you don't necessarily like the story all that much now.

  2. Just wanted to say welcome! Some days are harder than others...when I was first diagnosed I remember crying in the waiting room at the thought of not being able to have milkshakes anymore. The initial shock and grief will wear off, but that does not mean it completely disappears either! I think the reason for this is because being type 1 is an every day thing--it's 24/7, so you're allowed to go back and forth with your feelings on everything. Glad you are blogging--the DOC is a great support system!

  3. you make me proud!!! I am so thankful for you

  4. Nice to "meet" you (through Lexi's FB blogging Dmoms thing). Glad you found the DOC and are blogging about your experiences. My T1 son is 6 years old and was diagnosed when he was 3 and a half. Things are tough in the beginning but it does get easier. The grief spreads out and while D is always on your mind, it is not always the sadness of it. One thing you will learn is that all our D kiddos are stronger than anyone would ever imagine. Looking forward to reading more about you and your sweet girl.