Back TO Life, Back TO Reality

ALL DAY my brain’s been providing me with a playlist that I wish I could turn off. I keep looping back to Back to Life, Back to Reality. However do you want me? However do you need me?

Today did not play out like I thought it would. Exciting pickup at camp, lunch with friends, dump stuff at mom’s AND go TO dad’s and repeat everything you just told mom, with added fart story embellishments. Pulling into my driveway, however, brought that plan to a crashing halt.

This is a moment that I both dread, and welcome. Total breakdown. We’ve been here before.

However DO you need me?

I dread it because I feel her pain AND know I have TO let her experience it. I welcome it because I know it’s healthy to let the stress flow out in tears, and in words that might be hard for me to hear. My mom rescue switch engaged, I calmly get out of the car, open her door and pull her in. “It’s going to be okay. Let’s just go inside AND settle in. You’re not going anywhere for now.”

Smart kids who push themselves are little pressure cookers IN times of CHANGE AND stress. Toss IN Diabetes AND it’s a total shit-storm. Since She is pretty much my mini-me I understand all too well that this is something that will follow her through life. Now, I’m NOT saying I’m as smart as She is, but what I lack in intelligence, I make up for in sheer determination and skills that have grown with each new experience that make up those books on my brain’s bookshelf.

We’ve gone through this kind of stress from time to time and her dad has learned to be flexible with what She needs out of both of us at the moment, often sacrificing his time with her so that I can offer her the kind of comfort and positive decision-making that only this like-minded, psych-minded mom can. No offense dad. (There’s a bigger, deeper story TO tell here that will have TO wait FOR another post. Tonight she’s staying with me.)

Diabetes camp fell on the same week as her high school marching band’s pre-camp. My marimba girl was missing SOME crucial SHOW prep. Monday begins a FULL WEEK of ALL DAY band camp. 8am – 9pm WITH extracurricular activities FOR the kids afterward. Most don’t get to bed until 1am, and are up again to make it back to school by 7:45am.

So, she’s behind. AND TO make matters worse, orchestra camp falls ON the same week. Luckily, I had a nice chat WITH our NEW orchestra department director. AS chance would have it, he was an OLD counselor AT the camp she just got homeFROM! This little blessing helps WHEN we ultimately decided TO bail ON his camp.

Stress? Pinpoint what’s important and cut out what can be cut out. Accept it, and move on. In the back of her mind is the fear of the unknown for the start of school. (Did I tell ya high school? Woowee. She’s a fresh little Frosh.) How will I fit IN a visit TO the nurse? Will I get my iPhone BEFORE school STARTS IN 10 days so I can have those applications that will HELP me better manage my diabetes ON my own? What’s my schedule? How will I manage in a building without air conditioning? How low will I go? How long will it take to figure out new carb ratios and basal rates? Will I remain the only T1D in my grade? How will I maintain Honor Roll status with three Honors classes, one AP class, marching band, and orchestra?

CWD (Children with Diabetes) have all of the same fears that other kids have when faced with a new normal, but they’re amplified WHEN diabetes IS ON board. THEN, there are the added questions LIKE those I listed above. AND let’s not get started on friends and the typical social concerns of a 14yo girl. Good God, give me strength.

These little alterations in schedules are necessary for survival. Positive self-talk a useful tool. Telling your brain to STFU when it is reminding you like a broken record that you should be scared shitless because of what’s coming, IS healthy. Telling her quite loudly TO tell her brain TO, “Just STFU already!” AND the look ON her face? Priceless. Healing even. Knowing what TO say, AND WHEN TO say it? Let’s just say I’m grateful I was able TO pull a book off the shelf AND USE it.

Sharon K. Chrisman Written by:

Sharon Kabbes Chrisman