(Artwork provided by Ada Liner, 1/27/2016 before school)
I have been learning so much over the last 2 weeks. About type 1 diabetes. About food. About my daughter. About my family and friends. And about myself. I have already talked about how I feel strong and determined, but I have begun to feel more. I see that I have craved as much control over Ada as possible since her diagnosis. She has had a hard time returning to school since all of this began. We were told that it isn’t uncommon for kids to behaviorally regress a bit after diagnosis, and we are seeing it in her resistance to return to school, and I am seeing my control issues in my willingness to let her stay home. We are enabling each other. So today was difficult because I took her back to school to really start again. No more playing hooky; we both have to pull ourselves together, reach deep, and get it done.
I had a hard time last night because I realized that I had to send her back to school. I couldn’t keep her home; I had to let go of being within earshot of her 24/7. She has to be independent from me, and if she is struggling then I need to encourage rather than enable her. I was more upset about letting go of my “control” over Ada’s diabetes than I have been about most anything except the initial diagnosis. I was angry and sad. But I realized that I was angry because I was having to admit that I was wrong. She needs to return to school, and my plans to ease her in more slowly were not what she needed according to her doctor and other family members. I’m still at the school 3-4 times a day to give her her glucose checks and insulin. I’m there almost as much as not! That is bound to be enough of an easy transition for her given that before diagnosis she was great at school. I just had to let go. And I did. And I feel okay. She’s been gone for 3 hours; I’ve already been up there to give her her lunch routine, and, although she was a little sad when I left, she didn’t cry. She did pout a little though, but I handled it, and I left her in the hands of a caring friend.
I’m going to be okay. Ada is going to be okay. I’ve got friends and family around me; I’ve got my counselor and doctors. And I’ve got faith that this is all part of God’s plan for my life–and Ada’s. I have picked a bible verse to return to throughout 2016 that I thought I’d share: Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” I am choosing to believe that, although it seems like we have lost something wonderful (a completely healthy childhood) and gained something terrible (type 1 diabetes), there are greater things in store for my family as a result of this diagnosis. I pray that it brings us closer as a unit, gives us greater strength individually, and empowers others to fight. God is doing something new in my life, and despite the chaos I seem to have found myself in, I choose to believe that He will make our survival possible and even joyful. Stay strong, friends, and keep fighting your own battles.