Monday, May 16, 2016

She's Amazing

Just about a week ago, I took a pile of needles off my counter and headed downstairs to the laundry room where I keep our sharps container (an empty laundry detergent jug).  
I could only fit a few more inside before it was crammed full, and the others had to go into a new container.

I snapped this photo, looking down from the opening at the top.

And here's the thing.  
When I went to come back upstairs with the full one, ready to throw it in the trash, I ended up turning back around and leaving it in the laundry room next to the new one.
Funny as it may sound, I couldn't throw it away, though I will eventually.
It seemed flippant to just throw it out, cuz it represents so much more than what it physically is.

Almost seven months ago, I spent two days at the hospital with my gal.
She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  

The only time I saw her waver, at all, in this whole journey that has brought significant changes to her life, was that first night at the hospital.
Because the acidic levels in her body were high and dangerous, they put her on an IV to stabilize her more quickly.  And because of that process, she couldn't eat or drink until the following morning.  I watched her, lying there, trying not to cry, not complaining, and hungry.
I thought about what lay ahead of her: not being able to just eat whenever (or whatever) she wanted, not being able to just grab a cupcake at a birthday party, or eat candy with a friend.  I thought about the fact that she would never be able to put another thing in her mouth without thinking about it.  
And she was only 6.  
It made me so sad, and I worried that she didn't even realize the full implications of what was happening, of what this meant.
I wished that it was happening to me and not her.
When she was finally somewhat comfortable that first night (about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning), I lay there on the couch-made-into-a-bed in her room, and allowed myself to quietly cry for a moment, allowed myself release to the fear and exhaustion I felt, a way of giving voice to the sadness and overwhelmingness of it all.  I didn't want her to hear me or see me.  
(in the hospital, eating ice cream and watching Mary Poppins)

And then, amazingly, 
miracles started to happen.

I thought we wouldn't get insurance---but we did, and the coverage is incredible.
I was worried about counting carbs and figuring out her doses, since I cook a lot without following a recipe.  Having to input everything for nutritional information seemed overwhelming.
But today?  I don't even really think about it, and I hardly ever input anything anymore.

But the really incredible thing?  

(Uncle Martin distracting her from being hungry and sad that first night)

I still marvel that she has not complained, EVER.
She has never cried about it, even though it would be totally understandable if she did.
She has never told me that it isn't fair or it isn't fun.
Not one time.
She's the girl that never sneaks a treat, always comes and asks me, makes sure she's dosed before she eats anything -- even candy.
She is patient and has to wait on me a lot to get her set up to eat, and she never complains.
Instead, you know what she said?  
I blogged about it here, but when we talked about what we learned at New Year's, she said this:

"This year, I learned to be brave.  And I learned about having faith that God will lead you out of the mess, whatever it is."

She has handled it with grace and I think I take it for granted just how much it has impacted her life because she makes it look so easy.

When I look at her I see strength and faith, grit and gratitude.
She is a rock, and I love her.
Her example inspires me to try harder, to be better, to not complain.
(so much love on this table from friends and family)

And so, to me, that container is...
A journey.
All of those shots represent accepting--and living with--hard things.
Dealing with big changes, and moving on anyway, with happiness.
And being brave.
She has been so brave.
And she's kinda one of my heroes.
And the other thing is?  
Sometimes I wonder why I still struggle to trust God when things aren't looking exactly how I'd like. In this experience, as in so many others in my life, 
pieces fell into place at exactly the right time.
That's something I have to keep remembering.

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