Since Grace was diagnosed, we've been trying to get her in to talk to somebody about her frustrations, sadness, and anger. Grace simply won't talk about her diabetes-not with me, Tom-anyone. I've tried so many different methods to get her to open up about it without any success. I know she's mad. That much is obvious. No one is allowed to tell anyone Grace has diabetes except Grace. If you cross that line, she flips out-crying, yelling, hitting. I know she has so much stuck inside of her. She just doesn't have the tools to let it out.
About two weeks ago I gave a bedtime insulin shot that went bad. I have no idea what happened but Grace started sobbing. This isn't unusual. The shots usually bring some tears. But this time it didn't stop. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. She screamed how much she hated diabetes. She screamed she wanted it to go away. She screamed it wasn't fair. For a half an hour she sobbed and screamed in my arms. I can fix a low a blood sugar. I can usually fix a high blood sugar. But this is something I can't fix. I tried to hold it in but then figured, what the hell, if there is sobbing to be had, I'm in. So we sobbed together.
We finally got an appointment to meet a therapist yesterday. I told Grace it was just a check up so she wouldn't be anxious. I really like our therapist. They have toys, crayons, games-you name it. She doesn't talk down to Grace but she's incredibly sympathetic. For the first hour Grace crawled into a ball in my lap, grunted responses, pushed on me when she was angry. The therapist picked up on this and noted kids react in so many different ways to stresses in their lives. What she was seeing was normal and expected. As we were wrapping up, Grace hopped out of my lap and began to color. Our therapist was thrilled-it showed Grace was getting comfortable. Our appointment was actually over but they decided to go over to give Grace the time to establish a comfort zone. Grace had a few short conversations about her pets, activities she likes, school--no talk of diabetes-and the therapist declared success.
We go back next Monday. She explained this is a very typical reaction to a new diagnosis. Her goal is help Grace express herself whether it be through art, sign language, or play. Grace got to hang her artwork in the therapist's office and I was blown away by how many pictures decorated her walls--pictures made by kids having a really rough time of things. She assured me Grace will be fine but let's all take a deep breath and remember the importance of patience. It's only been two months. As one kid's picture said, "Chillax."
Next Monday we meet again. We also have an endocrine appointment on Thursday. While we seem to have made some progress with therapy, we've had a string of "high" days that has left us confused and frustrated. Grace is annoyed she was sent home from school last week, missed some school yesterday, will miss some school Monday and Thursday afternoon. She ran high during her soccer game and was a miserable mess. The constant interruptions to her life leave her very frustrated. I'm hoping things calm down soon and we can get into a more regular routine that lets her lead a less chaotic life.