Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life is Hard

I haven't blogged in such a long time because life has just been too hard.  The training of a Diabetic Alert Dog is very hard during this puppy stage.  We get glimpses of his greatness with the alerts he already does, but the in-between time is exhausting and frustrating.  Parents of D.A.D.s told us that for the initial 6-8 months we'd be doing more blood sugar checks and getting less sleep.  This was hard to imagine as it seemed we couldn't possibly exist on any less sleep or do anymore checks than we were already getting and doing, but those parents were right.  We are completely exhausted, beyond exhaustion actually, and, it's blood sugar checks galore.

When I get this exhausted my world seems to crumble in on me even more than usual.  During a cold, rainy, Sunday afternoon, 8-year old soccer game, I overheard a sweet mama whisper comfortingly to her little daughter, "After your brother's game, doesn't a hot chocolate at McDonald's sound good?  Let's have some hot chocolate."  These kind of whispered sweet-nothings to one's child are what put me under the table.  I know this is hard for anyone to imagine how I could feel so sorry for myself and my children with such a comment, but it does.  It does because, when I'm tired, these simple realizations slap me in the face with the fact of, "We can't do that.  We can't just go out and get a simple, little, hot chocolate because it'll throw our night time sugars out of whack, and Little Guy will throw up and have a raging, bad stomach ache because of the gluten in the hot chocolate."  This easy, simple pleasure, picked up at a drive-through window that everyone else does and barely even thinks about as a pleasure, is denied, denied, denied for my boys who would positively LOVE a hot chocolate at 6:30 p.m. after a freezing, cold, rainy soccer game.  That's why I hate these diseases.  Diabetes and Celiac Disease STINK!  They stink like rotten tomatoes, like week old garbage cans, like dog poop covered in flies, like chunky throw-up on the sidewalk.  I hate them.

A lot of people would say to me, "Well, at least your kids don't have cancer."  That's true, and when I'm not so terribly exhausted, I can look on the brighter side of things and be grateful for what we do have (like the ability to even be out on the soccer field, although even that is darkly overshadowed by the CONSTANT concern of blood sugars being out of whack and my son possibly collapsing out on the field because his sugar went too low, but still he's out there, one would say, right?).  Anyway, when I'm this tired, what I want to say is, "Well, at least you can go pick up a hot chocolate at McDonald's at the drive-through window and be comforted by its taste and warmth on a rainy, cold day when you have cancer."  I'm being ugly, I know.  A child with cancer wouldn't even be able to hold the hot chocolate down or enjoy it, so I'm not even being realistic, and certainly not sympathetic.  I'm sorry, so very sorry.  There is so much suffering out there, terrible, painful suffering in this world.  This is my heart of hearts, sometimes, the heart I have to go to Jesus with and confess the ugliness to.

There you have it, my deepest thoughts, my confession, my selfish, ugly thoughts and my need for Jesus to wipe it all away and renew my spirit.  Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Little Guy walking Rex with our trainer in Belk Department Store

Wow!  What a week it's been!  Rex arrived on April 1st as planned, no joke, and we've been working ever since.  He has so much to learn and so do we!  He is a wonderful dog and has alerted us of high and low blood sugars too numerous to count all the while.  We're in the midst of potty training, crate training, staying "under" while we eat at restaurants (that means, staying under the table without crying or whining), walking beside us in stores, restaurants and parking lots and doing all this while alerting us of highs and lows.  If your head is spinning thinking of all that in one week for us and a little puppy, then you're spinning just like us - it's been a whirlwind, to say the least.

Truth be told, I'm worn out, so I won't spend much time posting today, but suffice it to say that he is an amazing little diabetic alert dog and wonderful companion.  Here's a picture of him after a long day of "alerting" and learning to behave while in public.  We all sort of feel like that here.