Luke starts kindergarten and while I'm thrilled to see him make this transition, I'm going to miss his company. The idea of coming home to an empty house, while appealing, is also making me very, very sad. Of course there is Shelby who will be more than excited to have some serious walk time but it's not quite the same.
And then there's the obvious. Grace will be starting second grade as a diabetic. I still have a hard time saying "Grace has diabetes." More often than not, when I explain to people what's been going on with us, I start with the phrase, "Grace has type one. . . " and then hope I can spit out the rest of the sentence. I'm anxious for her to start school, to get somewhat of a break from all this but that's tempered by the anxiety of having someone else manage Grace. It's hard to let go of that role.
Grace has had a lot of anxiety about starting the new year. She doesn't want anyone to know she has diabetes except her closest friends. She was already increasingly self aware of her peanut allergy and this new diagnosis is complicating things (obviously). She'll have to test her sugar throughout the day and receive insulin from the nurse. She seems really annoyed that this will interfere with her day.
We met with school yesterday to set up her plan. We met with the school nurse, the guidance counselor, Grace's teacher, and the principal. Grace seemed really overwhelmed and very reluctant to talk. I can't express in words how painful it is to see your child struggle to communicate their thoughts on something as huge as this. Grace went back forth holding my hand and pushing it away. If I took one more deep breadth in that meeting I think I would have hyperventilated.
In short, school has their stuff together. The school nurse rocks diabetes management. There is no doubt in my mind that they know how to manage this. The first 6 months, she explained, are going to be hectic. She's going to call with Grace's blood sugar numbers constantly. She said expect 3-4 calls a day letting me know how Grace is doing and seeing if any adjustments need to be made.
She also asked if I was "going to be around" over the next 6 months. I'm teaching one class at night on Mondays so I will be local. The nurse was glad to hear it and explained that it's not unusual for kids to want their mom if they're having a bad day, an insulin didn't go well, they got freaked out because they went low in gym class, or are uncomfortable because they went high. They also won't hesitate to send kids home if their stomach hurts or they have a fever--vomiting will set off a string of events that requires close supervision by the Diabetes Clinic. Fevers make sugars do wonky, unpredictable things.
Well-intentioned folks tell us this will get easier. I know that we will get better at managing this but I don't see easier in the future. In fact, our ped said to me the other day at the kids' checkups, "Don't ever let anyone tell you this will get easier. There is nothing easy about diabetes or watching your child go through this. You will become more efficient and more knowledgeable but this will never, ever be easy." Amen to that.