Wednesday, I got a call from the nurse’s office, and before anyone could speak, I could hear him in the background yelling, “No!…go away!”. I braced myself. My heart sank a little. My jaw tensed up. I haven’t heard him yell like that before.
I had just hopped on the treadmill in hopes to relieve some stress. I jumped off to the sides, hesitant to turn it off for fear that I wouldn’t turn it back on, half listening to the humming of the belt going ’round and ’round. All I could do was stare straight ahead, eyes filling up with tears, reminding myself to stay grounded.
I knew whatever this was, it would work out, but in that moment I just wanted to yell “Uncle”.
I’m not positive, but its starting to feel like he is rebelling against his T1D. He’s searching for control. I don’t blame him one bit. He doesn’t want to be different, he doesn’t want to leave class early to get his blood sugar checked, he doesn’t want to leave a discussion early, all kinds of things. All very typical things.
Unfortunately they are starting to cause some problems, and looking at the big picture, I’m just glad that he’s not hiding food or resisting his shots. (…and please don’t suggest the pump. I have a niece on the pump and it is wonderful for her and I’m happy that we have options, but for our son, he has no desire to have one and we aren’t going to push it, thanks for understanding.)
On this particular day he was feeling rushed, if you knew him, you’d know that he’s not a hurry-up kind of a kid, the more you hurry him the more flustered he gets, which leads to moments like these. He was late to arrive in the health room, which made the aide late to something else, she was asking him to hurry and it just had a ripple affect. It’s a busy time of the day, a lot of moving parts which can easily overwhelm him.
His need for order and sometimes rigid thought patterns can be a challenge in these situations. Life moves quickly and though we do our best to prepare him for the unexpected it is impossible to cover every scenario. We are constantly working with him about being flexible, explaining that life changes in an instant, things come up and you have to work through them, not against them. He works very hard at this, and some days I imagine him just being so exhausted from it all.
When I got the call, he was ‘hiding’ in the bathroom in the health room. He had closed the door and didn’t want anyone to talk to him. He was yelling because he didn’t want them to call me because he didn’t want to get in trouble. Luckily, he did yell for his kit. I then heard him yell his BG number to the health room aide, which was a great relief to me. He calmed down, came out and let her give him a shot. He still wouldn’t talk to me, but in the end all that mattered was that he calmed down, checked his BG and was dosed for lunch.
I hung up the phone. I had 5 miles on my workout schedule. I felt deflated, not empowered. I just wanted to get off of the treadmill. I stood there for a few more minutes, talking myself into just stepping on and going from there. No pressure. Just go.
The things that I really wanted to do, were things that were completely out of my hands. I couldn’t give him a cure, I couldn’t give him a hug, I couldn’t guarantee him that there wouldn’t be hard days.
So I started walking, talking to myself, and crying my way through the first half mile. Then I started to run because I glanced at the clock, panicked, knowing that there would most likely be another call and I wanted to get some miles in and a shower without interruptions.
I had already decided that I wouldn’t go the 5 miles and I was okay with that. I could have, probably should have, but the 2-1/2 miles that I did run were some of the hardest miles I have ever done. All I could think about was my son, this moment, the future and how much I did not want to run. I just wanted to get off of the treadmill. But then what? What would I do that would make this moment better? Nothing that was as good for me as being on that treadmill, I knew that for sure.
I hated every step. I had a hard time shifting my thoughts, getting them out of a quagmire of worry. I checked the treadmill dashboard every second. I felt like I was running through mud. I finally just convinced myself that what I was doing would affect him. So for the remainder of my miles, instead of worrying and feeling frustrated, I cleared my head and repeated this mantra “I send you love, I send you strength.”
When all was said and done, I was glad that I kept going. You would have thought I climbed Mt. Everest by the relief that I was feeling. For as hard as the miles were, they were some of the most helpful miles I have ever run.
This week set me up for interruptions but I wasn’t paying attention. I kept resisting its agenda and getting my miles in have been a challenge. I am typically a go-with-the-flow kinda gal, but this week, when my time to run seemed to be the target I was easily frustrated. Ironically, running is one of the things that helps me handle life’s interruptions.
On Tuesday I was all ready to run, I was putting on my shoes when I got the call. It was my son, I could tell that he was trying not to cry. I asked him if he was okay and he said “Mom, I just want to come home.” I talked with him for a little bit and asked if he could just do his best and try to get through the rest of the day. I told him that I was proud of him and that I knew he could do it. I reminded him that we all have bad days, they weren’t fun, but everything will work out. I talked with the health room aide to make sure everything was okay and she agreed, that after he took a break he would feel better and could get through the rest of the day, and he did.
Then today I get a call from a very lovely Spec. Ed teacher that supports him in different classes. She was explaining that he was upset, apparently he was in a group discussion, it was his time to share and it was also time for him to leave to get his BG checked and he wouldn’t go.
I would have asked that he be given a few minutes to share but it was lunch time and he was already late to check his BG and we couldn’t risk waiting any longer. I was grateful that they called and that I was able to talk with him. He got on the phone and said, “Mom, I really thought today would be better than yesterday, but it is worse.” We chatted for a few minutes and he agreed to go right down to the office to get his BG checked.
Before he hung up he asked, “Mom, have you ever had two bad days in a row?“, it just broke my heart, he was trying so hard to have a good day. I tried to lighten his mood and said “Holy cow, two days would be a piece of cake, sometimes I have three or four!“. Not sure that it helped him, but I could hear his smile over the phone and with a quick “I love you Mom” he was off. That right there is the gift, it doesn’t matter what the conversation is about he never hangs up without saying “I love you Mom” first.
The teacher got back on the line and said, “I don’t want you to worry, you should know that everything was going really good in class, he was on task, and in a good mood, I don’t want you to think that he has had an entirely horrible day, though he feels like he has, he’s just feeling a little frustrated.”
Once again my miles were interrupted. I know some will think, ‘they are just miles’, but they are more than ‘just miles’ to me. It is my well-being, my teeny-tiny bit of the day that is my own where I do something good for my health, that also bears gifts for my family. Staying active gives me strength to face the challenging times, it clears my head. It makes me feel in control of something when life feels out of control.
I’ve spent most of my life not taking care of my health, it hasn’t been an easy shift to make it a priority, it challenges me everyday. So as you can imagine, I don’t want to give up my miles if I don’t have to. It’s a slippery slope for me.
I probably could have squeezed in a quick walk before I picked up both of my kiddo’s today, but I just want to be. I wanted to sit in the quiet of my very messy home, ignoring my laundry and dirty dishes and just be. I admit, it took every bit of will power to not dive into a bag of chips and bowl of dip today. So I made myself a deal, I would have a cup of coffee in my favorite “Trust the Process” mug, and just chill for a bit. No pressure. No guilt. No nothing.
So I’ve cried and felt frustrated a few times this week, and I wasn’t going to write about it because sometimes weeks like this I just want them to be done. I don’t want to give them any more attention or energy than I have already given them. When these moments happen, I feel best if I just get through them and move forward.
But then I thought about all of the amazing Moms in our growing Heart Strides community and I knew they would get it, that you would get it, without judgement. I also wanted to remind them that we are in this together. I know how challenging it can be to find the time for yourself, much less keep yourself healthy when you have days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years that are filled with life happenings that are overwhelming.
Some days you just have to show up.
Some days are for moving forward. Some are for being still.
Some days you’ll lead, some days I’ll lead, but we’ll always been in it together and we will never give up.