Thursday, February 22, 2007

I need worry beads

I'm going to have to switch to the new blogger. I don't want to. I hate change. I hate trying to figure out new stuff. Fuck you, blogger. Go away, leave me alone. I don't like you right now. Hmph.


On to other things.


It's late. I've had a couple of drinks so I'm feeling talkative (aren't you glad you don't live with me? Don't answer that. In my head, you all love me.) I'm listening to Nightswimming, by REM, a song guaranteed to make you introspective. I'm thinking about all kinds of crap, and you, lucky you, get to read it.

I didn't post about it when it came, but O's a1C went up to 8.2. She'd gone from a 9.4 down to a 7.7 and I was hopeful that she'd go lower again, but alas, no. I hate that I see that reading as a judgment of my care of her. (huh. Judgment doesn't have an E in there. Who knew? Spell check, that's who.) And you know what? I'm tired. I'm tired of thinking about it. In September, it will have been 10 years. Ten years of thinking about this shit. Ten years of blood sugar checks and constant, never-ending worry and I'm sick of it. And I know I'll never be free of that worry. It's not like she has a finite illness. That I can say "In six months" "In three years." I don't have that luxury. And I worry about what's going to happen to her down the road. I know people like Nicole and Kerri have it all together and have wonderful, wonderful men who care about them, who watch over them, but what if my O doesn't have that? How do I let her go? I don't think I can just let her walk away, find her own apartment, be on her own. I really don't.

O has some, to me, serious learning disabilities. She can't seem to retain things she's learned in school or at home. Her spelling is atrocious. And it's not for wont of trying. She works so hard at her lessons, spends so much time on her homework. I read it and I cringe. She's in the sixth grade and her spelling is maybe at a third grade level. And I worry. What does that mean for her in the long run? She wants to go to college and I have done nothing to discourage this, but how is she going to manage that when she can't spell? When she has trouble comprehending what she's reading? These are things that I haven't discussed with anyone except TCBIM. He's just as concerned as I am. We have seriously talked about adding a little apartment on to the house for her, once she's old enough to be on her own. We're both afraid for her.

Is this stupid? If you had a child that seemed to have so much trouble with book learning, what would you do? Street smarts, I'm not so concerned about. She's older than her years sometimes, in that regard, which will probably stand her in good stead.

I hate it when this stuff creeps up on me. I try so hard not to let it, to hold it at bay, to deny, deny, deny, put my head in the sand. But every so often, I get a long, dark, tea time of the soul and it just wrecks me. It's just that now, I get to share it with the blogosphere.

18 comments:

bethany said...

my brother was the worst student ever. i don't think i have ever seen anyone with worse spelling and hand writing ever. he worked his ass off but just couldn't ever get it right. i think my mom had the same feelings about him as you're having about o - minus the diabetes part ( i took care of that part for her ) but he just finished his first semester at college and came home with a 3.57 gpa ...

and the diabetes part ... well i moved away for 1 1/2 years to live at college ... i did fine - i made friends who helped me. i taught them what they needed to know. i put sites in them and i checked their sugars. they learned to check on me. my roommate used to wake me up in the middle of the night cause she'd get up to use the bathroom and see that i was sweating. i'd be out with my sorority at the bar and they'd make sure i'd check or get me juice if i needed it.

plain and simple it will be ok. it sucks now ... and most likely, parts of it always will, but O is a very smart girl who has a fabulous mother to help her learn how to overcome these things. because of you she's going to be ok.

Lara said...

hey... i am going to shoot you an email to talk more in depth, but know that i am totally supporting you. :)

Lara said...

nevermind... i realized i still don't have an address for you. it'd be great to talk a bit more - i have some experience from the kids i teach. so if you'd like, feel free to email me and i'll respond and tell you a bit more. *hugs*!

Allison said...

I think every person with diabetes comes up with their own ways of coping with the disease, and while having people around is nice, that's not always the way it's going to be. I'v ebeen living alone in a studio apartment for two months now, and I'm doing pretty well. I've had some middle of the night lows, but I wake up (I guess I'm a rarity) and everything is fine. I talk to my parents on a regular basis, although by no means everyday. My friends all know I have diabetes, and most have a pretty good understanding, but it's never perfect. I think it's hard at 12 years old to imagine that your daughter will be able to live on her own with this intensive kind of disease. But I think that's why it's important to start them early on understanding their disease. Don't abandon them, but train them. Consider it an extended driver's training course.

As for her A1C, I bounced between 8.3 and 7.7 my entire middle school and high school years. I didn't have consistent A1Cs until this past year. Mostly it's hormones and the whole "growing up" thing. I remember Dr. Hansen saying that most people didn't settle down into an A1C range until they were adults when their bodies and lives also settled down somewhat.

I hope this helps.

::Hug::

And I'll give both of you a real one in a month!

Lyrehca said...

damn, just left you a long great post and Blogger ate it.

In short, I went away to college and grad school, then lived in NYC for eight glorious years, mostly alone (without roommates, but had plenty of close friends), and never had a problem with the diabetes. My A1cs weren't great in my college years, but since it was 15 years ago, it's not like pumps and meters were so prevalent then. I loved living alone, and it's definitely possible to do so and be on top of the diabetes.

O is what, 11 or 12? By the time she wants to leave home, continuous glucose monitors will be more prevalent, likely covered by insurance, and fears about overnight lows should hopefully abate.

I hear you about O finding a decent guy to be with as well. Frankly, while I'm now happily married to the kind and fabulous Mister L, I dated plenty of men in my time, both short- and long-term, and only one ended up saying nasty things during a breakup (after three years of dating). He ended up dealing with health issues of his own, and while karma is a bitch, it taught me that while there are idiots out there, there are plenty of great men out there too, and fate often takes care of the idiots. Besides, in the OC, many people (Chrissie, Scott, etc.) have longterm diabetes and have been with partners for awhile. O will definitely find people to date.

And finally, two of the sharpest women I knew in (journalism, word-heavy) grad school had dyslexia. Maybe talk to O's teacher about your concerns over her spelling? Frankly, with Spell-check and her street smarts, she'll likely go a long way in life without having a problem.

Sorry for the novel, but I often have plenty to say. Feel free to email me. O will be fine.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

I understand your concern. It is the concern loving parents have for their kids. Human beings are strong, it is amazing but we do survive. We do get get over the stumbling blocks thrown in our way. However a parent isn't satisfied with our kids just getting over the blocks, managing. THAT is why parenting is both the most frustrating and rewarding thing out there. Just as important as any paying job out there. Worrying and helping is what parents do, so there is no point in my suggesting anything else.

Joke said...

Well, you didn't just sit there when you realized something was wrong with her diabetes-wise...so why should the possibility she may have a learning disability be any different?

-J.

Cat, Galloping said...

if she has street smarts, that *huge*. Book smarts seem really important for the first 18-22 years of life (that's a *really* long time), but there are LOTS of successful people in the world that didn't do well in school.

E said...

Spelling is no indication of intelligence. I'm almost 30 and I still can't spell. I have an audio processing disorder - yet made it through Mt. Holyoke, Harvard, and just finished my Masters in Economics. (Currently one of my biggest pet peeves is that blogger comments don't have spell check).

Also- on the d stuff - I made it through 8 years of boarding school and college with no roommate, and lived in my own studio for 4 years before meeting A. I am subbornly independant and did it on my own.

Email me if you want info on the learning disablity stuff.

Nicole P said...

Julia - Oi. I'm sorry for your worry.

I would agree with what many have written here - it must be very difficult to imagine now (with O being only 12) a time when you'll be ready to let go and when you'll feel she's ready to handle the D on her own - but I think that worry may subside as she gets older - and as diabetes technology continues to advance.

I lived on my own with no roommate for four years before I met Bob. I had plans in place to ensure that if I had an issue, someone would know. My mother called often, my brothers lived nearby, my friends knew about my diabetes. You set up safety nets - and usually, they work.

But, your fears are totally legitimate. My mother worries a lot - even now about what could happen to me.

Regarding spelling and comprehension - I'd again agree with what lots of people have written here. There are a ton of resources out there to help young people with learning disabilities to be successful with school. Also - your encouragement will mean the world and will help O to want to get the help she may need to meet the goals she's set for herself.

Again - I'm sorry you're worrying.

I hope you got some rest.

bubandpie said...

I teach a lot of students with learning disabilities. Once they have a diagnosis, they can register with the student centre and receive special accommodations (extra time to write exams, etc.). By and large, they are excellent students: creative, dedicated, insightful. Right now, my very best student has a disability that affects her spelling. Her spelling is absolutely atrocious, but her insight is exceptional, and her level of engagement is amazing. So learning disabilities and a college education don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Shannon said...

Have you spoken to O's guidance counselor about testing to see what her disability is. She could very well have dyslexia. There are different forms of it...it's not just seeing things jumbled up etc. Trouble retaining info is a symptom. Maybe she needs to take notes differently. I really urge you to look into getting some intervention for what she's going through.

Also, O is going through puberty and probably the most stressful time of her adoloscent life by just being in middle school. So A1C's will be what they are even if you are totally on top of things.

I totally understand your worries....you're a mom....a damned good one too.

SUEB0B said...

Everybody has a learning disability. Everybody. It is just that the ones we can measure in school - language and math - seem so much worse because they are constantly being measured.

What you are good at is more important than what you aren't good at. Emphasize the skills she has and let her know you love her to pieces and that you expect great things from her. She will be ok.

Kerri. said...

Have it all together? Pbbblllt. I have experienced so many highs and lows of so many different kinds that it makes my head spin. I've had a high schol boyfriend's mother tell him not to date me because I wouldn't be able to grow old with him. I've had my own mother cry because she feels like my adult life may be compromised in some way by complications. Shit, I've done some crying on my own about that very issue. Like the other comments said, I also lived alone and had some dodgy experiences but I'm still here.

And still fucking kicking.

Thing is, it may never go away. I hope it does, but reality tells me that I should live for today and do my best to create a life for myself that is healthy, with or without diabetes. Sounds like a PSA, but it's the truth. I know this feels different for you because you are The Mom instead of The Daughter, but if it helps, my mom went through some enormous worrying periods with me. And I'm sure she still does. It seems to be a part of the mother/daughter relationship, especially when diabetes is in the mix.

But the other thing is, O will never be alone. Not with you being such a good mother and friend to her. She'll be more than fine.

Rachel said...

*hugs* are about all I can offer.

And that O has you, a wonderful mother.

Oh, The Joys said...

SciFiDad from Tales from the Dad Side (link in my blogroll) is like the angel of free help for bloggers looking to switch... go e-mail him. He'll make it pain free. Super nice guy.

Angela said...

You know my oldest has an IEP and I constantly worry about him. He should be in 8th grade, is in 7th, and still on about a 3rd grade level for spelling and such. He says he is always going to live with me. lol

I worry more about his meds, and his not taking them.

He wants to work on cars. Painting, body work, engines. Fix them up. I support him in this. I know some people would probably think bad of me for not pushing him to something they think is greater than that. This is what his passion is, along with art. He is very creative. Pushing him to do something he is not interested in would make him very unhappy.

I know a quite a few people who never even went to high school and are doing well for themselves.

I would love for J to want to be president or a DR but thats not what he wants. If he did, then I would do everything I could to help him.

O is very bright. She seems very independant and knows how to stand up for herself. I know you will always worry about her. You both are very lucky to have each other.

Angela said...

You know my oldest has an IEP and I constantly worry about him. He should be in 8th grade, is in 7th, and still on about a 3rd grade level for spelling and such. He says he is always going to live with me. lol

I worry more about his meds, and his not taking them.

He wants to work on cars. Painting, body work, engines. Fix them up. I support him in this. I know some people would probably think bad of me for not pushing him to something they think is greater than that. This is what his passion is, along with art. He is very creative. Pushing him to do something he is not interested in would make him very unhappy.

I know a quite a few people who never even went to high school and are doing well for themselves.

I would love for J to want to be president or a DR but thats not what he wants. If he did, then I would do everything I could to help him.

O is very bright. She seems very independant and knows how to stand up for herself. I know you will always worry about her. You both are very lucky to have each other.