Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Can I Do to Help? Support?

Q:  My good friend asked, "What can I do to help you?  Support you?  Make this journey more bearable?  How can I share your burden?"

A:  I must admit, this is the HARDEST question to answer.  I'm not sure I honestly know HOW to answer this question.  I'm not sure I know how others CAN help me; share this burden.  Sometimes it feels like a VERY lonely road to travel.  The road of diabetes.  But... some simple things that come to mind...


Let me cry, vent, get angry, talk, cry some more.

Don't try to tell me 'it's ok', 'it'll get better, easier', 'it could be worse.'  Those sentiments - although I know they come from a good place, only make me feel bad about my grief. They make me feel I'm wrong for feeling what I feel.  Instead, acknowledge my state.  Let me express my sadness, my anger. Whatever stage in which I happen to be.

If you think you are capable, up to it, be willing to LEARN.  Learn what type 1 diabetes really is.  Learn to help care for our girls so if - no when - we need respite, we have a pool of people to call on.

Pray for me.  Often.  Ask for God's strength and wisdom as we traverse these waters.  Ask for God's hand of protection to be upon our girls.  Ask for courage to face the hard days head on.

Be willing to acknowledge that my grief is real.

Remind me of the enemies attacks.  Help me be strong.  To fight back.  To not blame myself.  To remember that their blood sugar numbers are not a reflection of my parenting, but a reflection of this disease.  Remind me of how unpredictable this disease is and no matter how diligent I am in monitoring their glucose levels, that they may still be WAY out of whack with nothing I could do to change them.

Call me.  Allow me to just talk.  Sometimes I will want to ONLY talk about diabetes.  Let me.  Other times I may not want to talk about IT at all.  Help me find other things to talk about.  Distract me.  I know that's asking a lot.  How will you know where I am?  I'm not sure I'll know myself.  Be willing to test the waters.

Sometimes I may need to be alone.  I may 'skip' events or activities so that I can have some 'quiet time' alone with my thoughts and feelings.  Time to pray and talk to God.  Time to 'not think' about all that caring for two T1D children entails.  Don't be overly alarmed when this happens, but at the same time, be watchful that I don't slip into depression and hide indefinitely.  Yes, a tall order, I know.

Please help me monitor our girls.  When we are in the public arena and you are around our children, let me know if they 'seem off'.  If they aren't acting themselves.  If they seem emotional and droopy, combative and rude, overly quiet or moody - any of these extremes could be indicative of swings in their blood sugars. We need to check and potentially treat them to correct the levels.

In time, I know my grief will be less raw, less extreme. When that time comes, help me rejoice over the girls' successes and victories.  Help me remember they are still my precious little girls with the potential to be and do whatever God intends for them.  Help me encourage them.  Help me accept encouragement myself.

In a nutshell?  Be the friend you've always been.

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