Monday, September 17, 2012

Earning our Money

Some weeks it is harder to be a parent than others.  As my husband said, "We earned our money this week!"

Well, on the non-D front, Tessa decided skating was not her thing anymore.  It wasn't an over night decision and she cried a lot of tears.  She had actually started talking about it this summer, but we talked her into continuing since she had tried out for the team and others did not make it.  I honestly thought once the program started going, she would be back on board.  However, once school started, she also wanted to play volleyball.  For the past few weeks she has been doing both, nearly every day of the week, plus school work.  In order to continue skating, she would need to miss 6 games to attend synchro practices.  This was the ultimate dilemma.  I agree that she committed to her synchro team, but skating has become a year round sport.  I think it is unfortunate that at age 12, she had to make such a choice- between games of the sport in season and practices of the winter sport.  She felt pressure from both sides- not wanting to let either down.  Had she not been able to say specifically why she wanted to quit, I think we would have made her stick it out.  However, there is a fine line between forcing your child to do something and causing them to dislike it even more and allowing them to make a change they have considered carefully and let them deal with the consequences.  The kicker was when I came home from a Synchro meeting.  At the meeting, many of the girls had come even though it wasn't required.  They were excited about everything the coach had to say- you could see it on their faces.  Tessa used to look like that.  When I got home and shared the information with her, she started to cry.  That is pretty telling considering how excited she used to get about skating and competitions.  After several hours of discussion between mom, dad, and Tessa, she felt pretty sure that quitting skating was what she wanted to do.  She wrote her coach a note expressing her feelings.  She originally planned to meet with her, but that didn't work out.  I was also disappointed in some aspects of how her coach handled it.  But, overall, there has been a definite change in mood for the better so it was probably a good decision.

Then there is the impact of technology.  This has affects our lives everyday, but this week seemed to have an even greater impact, particularly for Tylie.  First, I will just skim over an episode she had involving friends, former friends, text messages and Twitter.  The handiness of having technology readily at your fingertips leads to some impulsive actions that in the end, hurt more people than just yourself.  It is hard to explain to a child the art of patience in a fast paced world.  Which leads me to our other problem- the insulin pump.  The gift and the curse of technology according to Tylie.  She is currently using a loaner pump as hers malfunctioned this summer and the warranty had expired.  For insurance purposes, she needs to be checking her blood sugar consistently to demonstrate that she uses the pump and it is effective in her diabetes management in order for a new pump to be covered.  At our appointment with the diabetes educator, Tylie stated she wanted to go back to shots.  In her mind, she feels it will be easier.  My heart hurts thinking of her returning to shots.  I believe that she remembers them to be easier because it was her dad and I doing all the math, taking care of morning and bedtime, and much in between.  She did not drive, or spontaneously go out to eat, or babysit.  I don't believe she knows the impact and the time commitment required to be "good at" shots.  Her main complaint is that she hates to be hooked up all the time to something.  I really do get that as I can't imagine it myself.  No matter how you look at it,  diabetes is an inconvenience.  There is nothing fun about it- especially if you are a teenager.  I would give anything in the world to be able to give her and and her sister and brother even one day off from dealing with highs, lows, and set changes.  But, the idea of her going off of the pump after it has allowed her to have less night time lows and stable A1c's for the past five years makes me physically sick.  We had a good discussion during which I was impressed that she allowed me to say my peace and not snap at me.  I told her that I was very proud of where she was at and acknowledged that many teenagers are in a much worse place than she is- and they don't have diabetes.  I tried to express my fear without frightening her and to have her recognize the importance of the control being on the pump allowed her.  We reached a compromise that she would do what she needed to do to get a new pump.  If she wanted to take a "pump vacation" we would meet with the educator and set up a plan.  That way, she could make an educated decision without losing the option of the pump.  I know that it is her life and she is 17 years old.  She will need to start making decisions on her own and since she is the one that lives with this on a daily basis I will need to respect that decision.  There will come a time that we will just have to trust that we raised her with as much information as she could get, enough self-confidence that she can get through the tough teenage times, and enough strength to make the right choice, even though it isn't the easiest. I guess that last statement applies to more than just diabetes and more than just one child.  Sigh...

I have to end on a humorous note, however.  On Saturday, after this stressful week, I had lost my battle with the messy house which also resulted in me losing my temper.  As a result, the kids were asked to do some tasks they dislike which lead to much disgruntled arguing with each other and complaining to me.  This did nothing to ease my mood.  I was talking to Troy and said, "This morning it felt like they were sucking the life right out of me!"  He replied, "Fun suckers!"  to which TJ chimed in, "Suckers!  I want one!"   Nothing like a little kid's innocent comment to relieve tension!

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