How do you top an event that drew a big crowd and raised $20,000 in it's first year??
You do it again.
I'm proud to say that Miles of Hope to Cure Diabetes has raised over $40,000 in the past two years to donate to diabetes research. It's amazing to me that our little town of just 7,000 people has once again surpassed our expectations...with 100 runners for the 5k this year, and over 300 walkers registered, we managed to once again reach our goal and then some. The generosity and support we've gotten is truly overwhelming!
Of course, the best part is to see our kids happy faces as they enjoy a day to feel loved and supported by friends, family, and the community. I'm pretty sure Leah said "Thanks for doing this, mom!" at least 10 times that day.
Here's to HOPE, and to getting bigger and better! And to kicking some diabetes butt.
I've definitely neglected this blog over the past few months. Sometimes it's just too much.
Too much diabetes, too much nagging, too many ups and downs, too much thinking about, talking about, and having to deal with diabetes. Every. Day.
But I think that's ok. We didn't ask for this. Why would we always want to think about it? Why wouldn't writing about it seem like a chore when the very existence of diabetes itself makes me want to run away screaming from time to time? How could we NOT get burned out? I think maybe it's more normal to get fed up than to be always "happy" about something that can cause so much stress and despair.
The great thing is, times like those don't last forever. Sure, we're still not excited that Leah has diabetes. Of course, we still get stressed out and have to adapt to every crazy situation that it can cause. But I think letting yourself feel all of the emotions associated with it let's you finally step away and get back to a point where you can handle it again.
For me, it's been planning Miles of Hope 2012 that has brought me back. Our event last year blew us away. 250 people came out in our little town and walked with our kids....they gave their time and money.....and we were able to donate $20,000 to research that will hopefully cure our kids one day. THAT is amazing.
So when it came time to start planning again, in the middle of what I'd consider a pretty major burnout period, I will admit it was tough at first. Spending hours and hours planning something ABOUT diabetes when you'd really like it to all just go away is hard. But I'm lucky enough to have an amazing group of moms to do this with, and we keep each other sane. Our planning meetings tend to consist of a little planning, a lot of venting, and always coffee and treats. We get each other, and what it means to live with this, and it's so nice to be surrounded by people who just KNOW.
D-Moms at Miles of Hope 2011!
Then there's the response you see out of family, and friends, and the community. It's amazing when you see the people starting signing up, the money starting to be raised, and the sponsors that step up and donate time, and merchandise, and make the event possible.
And then there is of course our kids. Who cares if we are stressed out, or sick of diabetes, or have been busy planning for a few months. THEY are the ones dealing with so many physical and emotional ups and downs of diabetes every day. THEY are the reason we work so hard...to help them stay healthy and to make sure they know they are not alone in this. THEY keep us motivated and are really the strong ones in all of this.
Leah has literally been counting the days until Miles of Hope this year. She has said at least five times today "I can't wait until Saturday!" Hearing that, and seeing her face surrounded by those that love her this weekend, is all I need. We will keep fighting, and keep it all in perspective, and even when it seems like too much, it never will be. There will never be enough we can do, so we'll just keep doing our best.
"Mom, did you see how my writing in my assignment notebook was really light? That's because I was low and it's really hard to focus on the pencil when I'm low."
She was 52 that afternoon when she called.
It's hard to imagine what a low feels like, and I've often asked her to describe it.
Imagine going about your daily business, and all of a sudden not being able to see the page in front of you. Or hear what people are saying, but not really be able to hear it. Sort of a tired, fuzzy, "yucky" confusion is the best I can describe from what she says.
We've had way too many of these episodes since school has started. Of course, any change in schedule always results in craziness for blood sugars. Then factor in three recesses, PE a few times a week, 90 degree heat, a late summer cold, etc.....all of which lead to absolute chaos on blood sugars.
Her school has been great, and she's handled a new classroom really well. Its just constant, and I wish she didn't have to be interrupted so many times throughout her day. We'll keep at it in the hopes to make her day as smooth as possible. I think of how far we've come from her diagnosis in preschool, and she's handling the responsibility and new situations so well. A new school year is always stressful and a bit overwhelming, but eventually the new routine settles in and the worry starts to fade here and there.
Leah has a friend with type 1 in her class as well, and her teacher remarked today about "how well these kids handle this," as she watched them prick their fingers and bolus for their lunch. I always love the irony of that statement. They of course have no choice, and really know nothing different. And inside, you have no idea how they're "handling" it all. We have to make it look easy, and effortless, because there is no other option.
It's a little too quiet in this house this morning.
Last night was the first night Leah had been away from home without my husband or I since her diagnosis three and a half years ago. She's at Diabetes Camp for the week, hopefully having the time of her life!
All packed up and ready to go!
To say it was a bit hard for me to drop her off is a bit of an understatement...despite her excitement and countdown leading up to the big day, I'll admit I was apprehensive about not seeing her for 5 days and about handing over her care to someone else.
Nothing can really prepare you for the way type 1 diabetes changes your life with your child. Their disease becomes your primary concern, you always have to know where they are, what they're doing, and how all of that may affect their blood sugar and safety. There are no more easy drop-offs, and every situation has to have a "plan." Getting up a few times a night to check on your child becomes second nature, and you forget that most of the world around you sleeps through the night. All of these things are not done out of paranoia, or overprotectiveness, but necessity. Your child's health and life depend on the care you give them.
To walk into camp and relinquish that care to total strangers is not an easy thing to do. However, I will say that the staff at Camp Granada yesterday made it easier than anticipated. The counselors, nurses, and dietitians in Leah's cabin were awesome--young, friendly, detail-oriented, and they put most of my concerns to rest. I love that she'll not only be surrounded by other kids with type 1 all week, but by counselors and staff who are great role models for living with diabetes as well. Of course I knew going into it that camp HAS to be extremely organized, but to see it and go through the check-in process made it easier.
Leah had a few tears when we left, which I fully expected. I'm confident she's having a great time...but I'll admit I woke up a few times throughout the night hoping she was fast asleep and safe and sound. I think anyone with a child with type 1 diabetes would say they're not quite the same person they were before their child's diagnosis...our lives and our mindset are forced to change, and getting used to a week without it around is an adjustment.
I'm so proud of Leah for taking this huge step, and I can hardly wait until Friday to find out all about her experience! In the meantime, I'l try to enjoy the sleep and the freedom for a few days, and be confident that she's in great hands.
She goes through so much and deserves a week to be a carefree kid without us around!!
As a kid, you always remember the times you get to stay up past your bedtime. Whatever the reason--maybe a family party, maybe fireworks on the 4th of July-- there's plenty of times I can picture our whole family being in the car on the way home after dark, and being in that half-asleep, half-awake state. I could always tell we were almost home when the turns started to feel familiar....the path that led us into our driveway and the faint sound of the garage door going up. It was always so comforting to be sleepy and know you were about to be in your own bed at home.
We went to the drive-in tonight, a fun spur-of-the-moment event that made it really feel like summer. It was a beautiful night, with a wonderful breeze after the sun went down, and we sprawled out in the back of the minivan without a care in the world. The kids were thrilled with it all, especially staying up past their normal bedtime, and I was thrilled by the one-on-one conversations we had as we waited for the movie to start. The little things are the big things.
On our way home the kids were almost asleep as we got into town and started the familiar turns that led to our house. I wondered if they could tell we were almost home just by the feel of it, if that path now feels familiar and comforting to them. I hope our home and our family always give them the security they need.
Parenting may not alway be easy, as life can throw quite a few curveballs your way. There's plenty of days the lack of a working pancreas around here and the normal kid-drama seems overwhelming to say the least. But no matter what else life gives us, all is right with the world if our little family is okay. They are my home.