January 29, 2018
Another freelance unedited blog here, so forgive any typos. Throwing this one out quickly before I have to head to a Leadership retreat.
Yesterday, I again had the pleasure to volunteer for JDRF to help at the North Texas Type One Nation Summit. As I'm sure everyone knows, I do what I can to help this organization as they are the primary organization working to make life better for my boys. If I can't fix it myself, I'm helping those who can. So, we Walk; I coach other family teams (Family Team Coach and Family Team Chair for two years); I am an Outreach Volunteer (mentor); and, now I serve on the Board of Directors. And, when I can, I just volunteer to help out. I'm rambling now.
Anyway, yesterday, I helped out at the Summit at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Hotel Convention Center. TONS of Pokestops there, by the way, but I digress! My station was to work the JDRF Events table. So, basically, in the vendor hall, I helped man (wo-man) the table and talk to anyone interested about upcoming JDRF Events...Gala, Walk, Ride, Kids Walk.
To my point... A little family came up with a Dad, who did a lot of talking, very passionate, and a beautiful tall thin 13-year-old girl who was newly diagnosed. I saw a quiet figure, presumably mom, standing next to Dad. Dad was asking questions and somehow, we branched into a conversation about Continuous Glucose Monitors. I pulled up my Dexcom Follow to show him how it worked and how you can get real-time information. Shockingly, I got this reading....
As I always do, I try to speak directly to the new T1D kids, too, to help them reduce their fears, answer their questions, talk to them on their level and meet them where they are, because ultimately, it's their disease and they have to learn to live with it. I talked to Dad. I talked to this beautiful girl. I explained how some basic stuff worked, how it could fit into her dancing routine, and I encouraged her to live her life.
All of a sudden, I thought to look up at the quiet mom figure standing next to Dad. I looked up into a slightly older version of this beautiful girl's face and saw bloodshot and red-rimmed eyes. I nearly burst into tears myself. Right there, in that moment, making eye contact with this woman, I was sprung back to 2012. I recognized immediately in her my 2012 self. A desperate, scared, mourning Mommy. Makes me tear up just writing it. I wanted to jump over the table and hug her, which is huge for me because I'm not a big hugger. Suddenly, what I was talking about with Dad and Daughter didn't matter anymore. I needed to reach this Mommy.
I asked her if she was ok. I looked her in the eyes and told her, "It's going to be ok". Trust me, that's worthwhile to hear but hard to believe when your child is newly diagnosed. Now, I am never at these events to sell or promote my book, but this time I wish I had one to hand to her. So, instead, I looked her in the eyes and said, "I know where you are. This sucks and it's hard. Let me help you. There are tons of books that teach you how to take care of Diabetes, but there's not much out there to tell you that what you're feeling right now is normal, and ok. I was where you are in 2012. It will get better!". I gave her this blog web address. I gave her the title of my book to look up on Amazon. Mommy Can't Fix It
I encouraged the family to explore their devices and resources at the vendor tables. When they walked away, I had to catch my breath. My heart ached for that Mommy. In my haste to reach her, I never got their names, and I regret that.
So, my hope is that she will read this blog and maybe reach out to me. I want to help her; I want the help I didn't have when my boys were diagnosed and all this CRAP was brand new. I want her to know it's ok to mourn. I want her to know it's going to be ok, and her daughter can still follow her dreams. I want to give her a hug.
My sweet T1D fellow Mommy, if you read this, message me. If not, I hope that I helped her, even in some tiny way. If I did, my day was a success.
Off to fix my hair before it sticks this way....