We’ll Walk With A Walk

posted by on 01/10/2012 | 3,136 comments (leave one of your own)

One year ago today, my best girl was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.

Over the course of one year, she has endured 1,825 finger sticks and 1,420 shots.

And with the strike of each needle piercing my daughter’s skin in order for her to live, I can feel part of me slowly fade; fade because I feel as though I have failed my only daughter. Day in and day out, I watch her check her numbers and draw up her dose and I sometimes ball my fists up tightly, so tight that my nails dig into my palm. I sit at our kitchen table across from her and I exhale, looking at my beautiful girl who is so graceful and perfect and so matter of fact about her piece of shit non-working pancreas, and I silently hope with all of my might that she never grows to fiercely hate this disease as much as I do, this goddamn ugly fucking disease that has made her dependent on vials of manufactured liquid and battery operated meters that determine her course.

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Last week as I was cleaning the garage, I came across a box, an unmarked box, but I still knew damn well what it contained.  The three days that Zoe was hospitalized upon her diabetes diagnosis, we were bombarded with literature and pamphlets and videos and the paperback bound holy grail of diabetes management. Most of the “educational videos” we were shown in the hospital featured carefree children passing out due to their low blood sugars in the middle of class or slumping over while sitting on bleachers having a fun loving time with their friends and they scared the ever loving shit out of me, I was convinced this was what would happen on a regular basis (Pro Tip: It most certainly does not).  Pretty much every thing I knew about diabetes up until January 10th of last year I learned from Steel Magnolias, which HELLO, is based upon the true story of the writer’s diabetic sister.  WHO DIED FROM TYPE ONE DIABETES.

When we arrived home from the hospital, the very first thing I turned to and read in the all-about-diabetes book?  Long Term Complications of Diabetes.  I threw that book across my kitchen so hard that it tore the cover when it slammed into the baseboard.  In a seething fit of rage fueled by the knowledge of what may or may not happen to my daughter’s kidneys, I gathered it up and with all the pamphlets and all the papers and all the videos and I taped them up into a box and dumped into my pantry where it sat behind closed doors for almost eight months until we moved.  Rational?  No.  Necessary for my heart?  Probably.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

I decided last week to go through the box of knowledge and I quickly peeled off the packing tape standing in my chilly garage.  I pulled out the books, the pamphlets, the videos and I noticed there was a scrap of paper on the bottom.  It was a drawing that Zoe did while she was in her hospital bed, hooked up to a machine patiently and courageously waiting for her frail, sickly body to right itself.  As I lifted the drawing out of the box, I remembered her handing it to me, telling me it was a unicorn and I had asked her why the unicorn’s horn was so small.

She just shrugged and told me, “We all gotta start somewhere“.


Today I framed that small horned unicorn as reminder, a reminder that my somewhere is now.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends. –Shel Silverstein

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