Monday, July 22, 2013

We did it!

Photo: We have an adult!  Happy 18th birthday, Tylie Olson!

Well, we did it- we got one of our offspring to adulthood! Whew- it's a lot harder then they make it out to be when you read the "What to Expect" books when you are 8 months pregnant.  I notice they quit writing those after "The Toddler Years."  Is that because it is basically a dice roll every single day?

For example, I remember at age 18 months, the first time Tylie got really sick and projectile vomited EVERYWHERE.  I could do nothing but surround us in towels and hope the volcano would stop.  I clearly remember thinking to myself while holding back the gags, "They do NOT tell you about this stuff in the books!"  Then there was the time she fell off the couch and into the coffee table.  No skin was broken but the swelling on her forehead looked like a Unicorn's horn!  As luck would have it, that same day she had some sort of allergic reaction to a bug or a plant and her right I swelled shut!  I took her into the clinic because I thought her brain was swelling from the fall!  Thank God for Benadryl!  Back then we could give that to a kid under age 4.  Thinking about this now, it is shocking that we chose to have three more of these little creatures!

Speaking of age 4...that was the year of the big D diagnosis.  When I held that newborn tiny baby swaddled in my arms I never imagined that a short 4.5 years later I would be watching as the nurses swaddled her again and struggled to get in an IV.  I can still see the procedure room.  It was blue, with fish decorating the walls and ceiling.  Relaxing, right?  It was designed to keep a child's mind off the procedure about to happen.  A side effect is that I hate fish...and aquariums...and IV's.  That room is the turning point; the moment "pancreas" was added to our list of parental roles.

Life moved on and we made it through the typical experiences- friendship troubles, middle school, driver's license,  high school, hormonal fluctuations, Algebra II, sibling rivalry (close calls there!), and fender benders. We have survived- or I should say SHE has- moments when I could have strung her up by her toes.  For example, she gives me parenting tips, directions on how to drive to the eye doctor's office, and questions my every movement while blatantly ignoring my suggestion to follow up on her college application.  Really? However, I am able to overlook some of that when she helps me make good choices by picking me up from the Ground Round after I have had a beer or two. Better safe than sorry, right?  We  have made it through a few more hospitalizations, an allergic reaction to Vancomyocin, and blood sugars so low I can't believe she was talking! I don't think I can say we have a full fledged grown up yet, but I think she is on the right path. Last night, she text for permission to sleep at a friends.  I told her she didn't need my permission anymore, but I appreciated knowing where she was in case I ever needed to send the cops looking for her. (I stole that line from my friend, Traci!)

As I write this, she is 18 years and 1 day old.  Thirteen and a half years ago, this point seemed so far in the future and faced with a new world of insulin, blood sugars, needles and keytones, I could literally not imagine what this day would look like. Ten years ago, we thought our life had become so much easier because there was a new long acting insulin called Lantus and we could use insulin pens instead of drawing up a shot cocktail.  Six years ago we introduced the freedom of the insulin pump to our lives.   Two and half weeks ago, we were at Capitol Hill, speaking to members of Congress and today, she is writing her own letter in support of the SDP.  Her next milestone birthday is age 21.  Maybe she will be given a cure for that one! Until then, we have 3 more kids to grow and many more battles to fight.  But, we will take a minute to pat ourselves on the back for how far we have come!

If you haven't yet...


  1. 18 is such a magical time for our kiddos as they are no longer minors but aren't quite fully legal. You can loosen restrictions (rules still applied if living in our house still, but they were loosened) and the taste of freedom becomes theirs. I've found it the hardest when you they are over 18 and they insist on going down a path that you know will turn out badly. As children it's easy to steer them, but not as an "adult" and you just have to cover your eyes, peek through your fingers and brace for the eventual impact. This is also one of the best times as you begin to move from adult-child relationship to adult-adult and that's lots of FUN. May you enjoy every minute of watching your daughter blossom from a child to an adult!

    1. Thank you- your comments allowed me some reflection and helped to inspire my latest post. You are so right- it's sometimes hard to cover our eyes and let them go!

  2. Found you through #dblogcheck, and I just wanted to say congratulations! I'm sure my parents breathed a sigh of relief when I made it to adulthood, but then had to turn right around and worry about the college years. I wasn't diagnosed until I was almost a teen and so I was always responsible for managing myself, but sometimes I really think that it's just as hard, if not harder, to be a D-parent! Can't imagine.

  3. Thank you- I love reading about people that have survived teen years, college and beyond. It's inspiring. I peaked at your blog and loved your Mr. Sandman verse! In fact, laughed out loud at the "error 5" reference. Gosh, to have a world where no one would know what that meant!