I sit on the edge of her twin bed with an open juice box in one hand, the other holds a half eaten peanut butter cheese cracker. She chews, eyes closed, lays on her back, and opens her mouth when she’s ready for another bite, eyes still closed. I alternate juice and cracker because that’s the way I’d want to eat it, and I try to end with juice. Her lips feel what’s coming and she accommodates. I watch her eat. In the gut-wrenching reality of these moments is when I’m most apt to give in to tears. On this night, I don’t.
She’s just had a full meal, and exercise from hours ago has caught up to her, screwing around with her BG while her dinner and dessert are out on the roof on a smoke break. Crumbs fall down into her hair, around her shoulder, and onto the bed. One crumb lands near two blood drops that have blemished her happy fuscia sheets. As she chews, my mind wanders to a conversation I had with a friend who only uses navy blue sheets on her son’s bed because of those inevitable blood drops. I know I’ll never get those stains out. I know she’ll never want navy blue sheets. We live with it. It’s become no big deal. DNA, we say, trying to make it interesting.
Like most teenagers, she either sucks the blood off her finger after she tests her BG, or wipes it off on the inside of her test kit bag. Her DNA bag, we say, trying to make it interesting.
I brush off what crumbs I can into my now free hand and find the garbage can next to her bed – a little too far under her bed. Earlier tonight, she took off her old infusion set and grinned at me as she casually dropped it over the side of the bed, hoping to hit the can, but knowing she won’t. Surveying the carnage of tissues, cotton swabs, used test strips and infusion set on the floor reminds me of earlier days where such a scene would either make me mad and “ranty”, or incredibly sad that she has no choice but to deal with all this necessary refuse in her life. Now, I’m feeling more and more okay with it.
Messes on the floor, bed, and table are visible signs that she’s taking care of herself.
Messes have become okay.