Sunday, May 06, 2007

Brave New World


Emma - "i am brave...right Daddy?"

Me - (holding back tears) "Yes Emma you are the Bravest girl I know".

Rewind about 8 months ago. After giving her one of her first needles on our own with out her crying. I mentioned to her that she was a very good girl. Mom had heard this and we discussed it if that was the right thing to say.

If we think about it we are not praising her for taking the needle with out crying or squirming. What is going to happen when she does squirm or cry and we don't tell her she is a good girl.

Being brave is what we have to do as her parents. She is the one showing us how to be brave. We are blessed to have such a brave girl.

This past Tuesday:

Emma - (stabbing her last piece of french toast) "Momma i have to eat all my carbs....these are carbs right Momma?"

Mom - "Yes Emma my little girl you need to eat your carbs because you need your energy for play group today"

I saw her say this with her shoulders back and head up high. Proud of her brave little girl.

This is hard. It is getting harder. Are we ready? Do we have a choice but to be ready? This is it. This is what i have been talking about the past 8 months. The inevidable. We thought it would never come. But knew it was just around the corner.

We were hoping for a little more time with our Miss Emma before this fuck of a disease overtakes her fully. Why couldn't it wait longer. Is this the school of hardnocks? She shouldnt know what a carb is. Why does she confirm at 2 years old that she is brave.

She is going to be in school before we know it. Walking to class with her friends. Getting braces. Her drivers liscence. Her first date. Graduating. Fuck it i can t write anymore. This sucks. Sorry.


Jamie said...

Just did some spring cleaning on my blog and thought I'd hop over here to see if Shannon left anymore silly comments on your blog ... then I read this.

*sigh* (((((((((((HUGS)))))))) to you and Denise. Isn't it the shits coming to this realization? That this disease really isn't going to let up? I mean, in our brains we know that - but our hearts see things differently.

I wish so much that we could take this away from our children. Who the hell wants this for our kids?? Where did I sign up for this? Where did any of us sign up for this? Worst of all - why "my" kid - or your kid, or Shannons kid, or Penny's kid or any of them???

Emma is a smart little girl - she is going to be fine, but I know how you're feeling. She shouldn't have to know what it's like to be brave at 2 yrs of age - or know what a fucking carb is.

Just know you guys aren't alone in this. Hang in there - you two are wonderful parents - Emma couldn't ask for more than that. With your encouragement she is going to be a very independent, strong-willed young woman who will make her mark in this world! Diabetes or not!

(see? I talk too much and I write too much ... just wanted you to know that "I know how you feel").

Major Bedhead said...

It's horrible when all that shit crashes down on you.

I don't know if it will help or not, but I had an interesting conversation with O the other day. We were talking about whether she'd rather have diabetes or have something visible that signals her out as being different. She immediate said she'd rather have diabetes. When I asked why, she said it was easy to live with diabetes, that she didn't need any special accommodations, that she could be like all the other kids.

And for the most part, she is. It doesn't make it any easier for ME to watch her deal with this disease, but I'm glad that SHE doesn't see it as a hardship or a burden.

You and your wife seem like you've got a grip on how to handle it with her and that is huge. I see so many parents who allow their guilt guide them in their treatment and that doesn't help the child at all. You don't seem to be operating from that place at all.

It still sucks ass, though. It's hard and it's not fair and it sucks, sucks, sucks.

Anonymous said...

I cannot even imagine having to take care of a child so young with diabetes. It's doubly, triply hard! Honestly, I doubt if I could do it without breaking down. I do find it amazing that your baby is comprehending and rationalizing what she needs to do to stay healthy "eat all her carbs." That she is struggling and succeeding to "be brave" when she takes her shots. I wonder if pumping is an option for her or is this too big a change? A lot of endos will not put a young child on a pump, but then again, most of them do now. You could use EMLA for the site changes to make them pain free and then no shots for her, still the finger pricks, though...... It may help a bit, especially with such a young child. You should be very proud of your little girl. Definitely an exceptional child.

Bernard said...


It's so hard to watch our children grow up, and grow old/mature. While I love to see them become themselves as people, I miss the little kids they once were. Our 11-year old who's up to my shoulder now and was once so small I could put her head in the crook of my elbow and her feet on the palm of my hand.

I'm sorry that your have to watch Emma grow so fast about her diabetes. That really stinks, especially when it makes you fast forward so many years to her graduation.

I hope this all gets easier before too long.

Shannon said...

Wow wow wow.....I love Emma....

I'm trying really hard to hold back the tears. This post really ripped me up.

But you know what? Emma is such a strong and intelligent little girl, that diabetes will NOT take over by any means. Yeah, her blood sugars will be all willy nilly and you and Denise will be running like crazy trying to keep up and there will be times when she's very tired from a low or feeling like crap when she's too high, but hell if it will stop Emma from being Emma.

Don't let diabetes win by letting it take the spotlight. If Emma knows what a carb is, or knows how to add numbers before her friends do or knows about organs that most kids have never heard of (i.e. pancreas), then damnit, she'll just be smarter than the rest of the kids and she'll show them what it's like to handle adversity with grace......

You and Denise are doing an incredible job and are so insightful. You both impress the hell out of me.

Sandra Miller said...


The disease never feels more cruel than when it affects children as young as Emma.

I wish I had something comforting or profound, but all I can say is-- you're right, this sucks.

And now, I can't really write any thing else because I'm losin' it just thinking about your brave little girl.

And her brave parents.

Carey said...

This makes me want to cry. Stirs up emotions of Charlie with diabetes at Emma's age.

She IS so brave! Man, these kids of ours are inspiring. One image I will never forget during our weeklong stay in the hospital after Charlie's diagnosis was him running up and down the halls and going up and down the elevator.

He was having a lot of fun. He was running and laughing though past very sick children who couldn't run nor laugh. Don't get me wrong, this disease is a motherfucker and I despise it. But, if everyone threw their problems up in the air for the taking, we might just in fact grab diabetes.

Penny said...


I'm so sorry. I know where you are coming from.

I hate when things like that pop up and slap you in the face.

Our children shouldn't know what carbs are. They shouldn't know what a needle is except for from getting their baby shots. They shouldn't even freaking know what insulin is.

But, on another note, I feel blessed that Riley understands what a carb is and takes his needles with a very brave face. He is the bravest little four year old I've ever known.

I'm so blessed to have him at all.That's what keeps me going most of the time.

He's happy. I'm the one that's a mess.

Penny said...

OK, I know I just commented, but I went back and read everyone else's comments and now I'm crying (at work).

Screw this disease! Screw it for what it does to Riley and what it does to Emma and Danielle and Olivia and Brendan and Joseph and Charlie. Just screw it!

Minnesota Nice said...

Oh man. This leaves me with my lip trembling.
Emma is already wise beyond her years, and, despite the ugliness of diabetes, I am so glad that you have these other wonderful parents to talk and share with.
May you have good days ahead.

Chris said...

Thank you everyone. Your thoughts and emotions are very encouraging to us.
Transistion is always hard no matter what. Let alone Higher (not dangerous) numbers, inevidable day care change, and others just to mention a couple.
She is still our little girl and possibly a very enhanced one at that.
All of you always know just what to say. Thank you so much for that. And your support.
We all rock dont we?!!!!!

Jamie said...

Chris - you know what you need to do? Move to Brandon. Yeah - I'll look after Emma while you guys work. How about that?? :)

There's nothing wrong with Brandon - you'd like it here ... as long as you don't get a mouse in your house *sigh*.

Jamie said...

Oh, and we don't have the crime here or the gangs issue as bad as winnipeg ... the shopping is ok ...

Did I mention you'd like it here? Oh - and that I'd babysit Emma for ya??

Hee hee.

Shannon said...


You'll be going through a lot of emotional stuff while Emma's body makes big changes into full blown diabetes.

We're here to blow sunshine up your ass when you need it most ;) (just make sure you haven't eaten celery soup while we do so).

Jenn said...

Chris, I dont know what to say. It just sucks. I cant wait to come out in June and give Emma a big Auntie hug!!