I put my son on the plane back home the other night. He had been visiting over Christmas and it was time for him to head back to school.
When he first arrived and we sat down to our first meal together, it struck me how much I had forgotten. Well, not exactly forgotten but as I stared at his plate and mentally counted the carbs, it was not done as quickly as it had been before. The numbers that were once computed in a fraction of a second, took time to ponder, add and re-add to ensure that I had them correct.
It was still habit to compare carb totals. I still reminded him to check his blood glucose readings and suggested pre-bolusing for meals. Some habits don’t die but still I was shaken to realize how out of practice I had become while he had to be as sharp as ever.
I worked to step back a bit more. This is his disease. I can make suggestions but he has to take the actions….and he is. A first night with the DexCom showed me that my fears were not exactly warranted. Yes, there were trouble areas, but my son had a far greater handle on things than I realized. He had paid attention to at least some of those years of training. He was slowly coming into his own and developing his own style of care.
He made mistakes. We all do. We bounced ideas off of each other. No changes were made to his regimen without his input. I was proud of his questions and his answers to my questions.
On the final day, just before we left for the airport, we took out the trial DexCom sensor that he had been wearing. Its accuracy was becoming near perfect. It hurt us both to take it off (him more than me because it was caught on a few belly hairs).
Before he went through security, we stopped at Tim Horton’s for one more chat before he left. He had to test before he ate. He could only guess if he was rising or falling. His life was going back to his normal and so was mine.
As I drove away from the airport, I felt terribly sad and guilty. I got to drive away. I didn’t have to think about carbohydrates until the spring. I didn’t have to stab myself with another infusion set needle until Easter. I didn’t have to be up all night again chasing highs and a questionable site. I was going home without diabetes–he wasn’t so lucky. Diabetes wouldn’t let him go it alone.
I know that its foolish to feel that way. There is nothing that I can do. I couldn’t protect his two-year-old little body from attacking itself all of those years ago. I can’t fix him today. I can offer access to information. I can be there to help when I can. I can advocate on his behalf but I can’t carry his burden. It’s a job that is his alone. He does it quietly and without fanfare. That’s just his way…but I am his momma and I still wish I could make it go away.