Our sweetie pies

Our sweetie pies

Friday, March 11, 2011

the underground network

we're all friends but we don't want to be. we are all part of the secret underground club of diabetes. none of asked to be part of this club but we were elected. we may not like the way each other dresses or the music we listen to or our after hours hobbies, but we all know what its like to worry about our children. we all know about giving endless shots and checking a child at midnight and having to rush off from somewhere to get home to your child. we all have our own scary stories of when our lives changed. the defining moment from when our lives went from normal to diabetic. when we walked into the doctor's office with a sick child and then crossed over to an ambulance ride and rush to the hospital. we all know sickness that isn't really sickness. it can be a deadly sickness but it won't go away without insulin. with insulin our dehydrated, lifeless child can transform back into a bouncy happy well hydrated child.

the moms have an underground network that alerts each other to new diagnoses in the area. names are passed from one person to another until they are contacted and added to the group. they watch out for each other. It's like a vampire community living amongst the living. Our blood is different. It has to be checked throughout the day. Our blood sugar levels can go up and down from dangerously low to dangerously high. it can fluctuate due to fatigue, food we eat, illness, the clothes we are wearing. who knows. you can't let your guard down. just when everything is going well and you think you can go on a walk and leave your child with your eldest for half an hour, you discover her to have dropped to 50. one innocent neglectful almost jaunt could have ended up a bad situation.

one mom had to leave early due to her child having lows at home and she needed to check on her. We were the group to leave. we all understood. we have all been there. I was the newbie. just a 3 week old baby. feels like twenty years. but only 3 weeks. crash course in medical school. I have the responsibility of a doctor but get paid far less. about the same amount of sleep.

all previous passions and hobbies set aside. diabetes takes the stage. another mom was also a special ed teacher like myself. wow. that's right. I used to teach. I had forgotten. my whole life of advocacy up until now was learning disabilities. my oldest daughter struggled in school for years and therefore I advocated for her for years. that was my battle. my educational tool. my passion. to get her what she deserved and never give up the fight. and now she is being accepted by colleges. so there. to the teacher that told me I was being to easy on her, letting her slack off on homework. when the teacher didn't know it took her hours to finish one math page that she could tell me the answers to in five minutes. she knew the material. she just couldn't stay focused to write it out. she was why I ended up credentialed to teach special education. she wasn't in special education. but she learned differently. she had great potential that didn't fit into a normal classroom. she needed an advocate. her own personal attorney or cheering squad. not firing squad. sometimes it felt that way with some uninformed teachers about how students can actually be different than the normal mold.

one mom commented that I seemed to be handling the diagnosis of diabetes pretty well for three weeks. she said she was crying a lot at her first diagnosis. I do cry too. I can't retell some stories from the first week without crying. but I've also been calloused already. we've been through things that most people don't deal with. and we have been through several in the last few years. my twins lived in a NICU for four weeks. I dropped my 3 year old off at school one morning and picked her up at the hospital wearing a body cast. we took care of her in a body cast on our living room couch for 2 months. I already watched my Dad slowly die of pulmonary fibrosis. We are seasoned. diabetes is yet, another challenge.

In some ways, we are so old. we have been through so much. because diabetes is a life long commitment, there is an underground network. people with eyes in the walls watching and waiting for new members to add to the support group. to comfort them but also comfort themselves. the more of a majority diabetes is in our circle the more normal we are. people that don't understand our daily struggles are fewer and farther between. validating what we do and live through and live with. the more normal it is, the more we can face another day.

because who would sign up for this all alone?


  1. I just wanted to say that when I see a mom like me, it's like seeing a curious new creature. I am so intrigued that there are others like me. It's such a strange world that I live in now. Even when I see the other moms that I have met with all year long. They are all so amazing to me. Diabetes moms juggle more than anyone could know and have such a high calling to be stewards of their children's bodies until they can take care of themselves. All I know is God sees all that we do, even when others do not.

  2. just one more reason to be in this world, not of this world and our eyes on God!