November is truly a month for giving thanks for so many things we are blessed with. It is also an awareness month for so many situations; Epilepsy, Adoption, Diabetes, Prematurity, and other causes.
However, November should not be the only time to be thankful or to be aware of circumstances tha we and those around us face. I will spotlight just two of these important issues today; diabetes and prematurity.
My mom’s friend, Rose Greve-Crystal, is aware every single day of her daughter Emily’s type 1 diabetes. Emily’s diagnosis came about four-and-a-half months ago when she went to the doctor because she just wasn’t feeling well.
Since then, life has changed a lot for the Crystals. Rose checks blood sugar levels around the clock, even at three in the morning, and insulin shots are becoming routine. But, Emily is a trouper and even did a presentation on diabetes in her elementary school classroom. Emily meets with her team of doctors every three months to keep her diabetes monitored. Now, after more than 500 injections and more than 1,000 finger pricks, no member of the Crystal family can stop being aware of diabetes.
For me and my family, and all the other one out of nine babies born early, prematurity is not something that we can only be aware of in November either.When our Emily was born, we didn’t know anyone with a premature baby and never thought we would be having a baby that weighed less than two pounds. But, we did.
Every day since then, we have been totally aware of prematurity issues and just how many premature babies there are. NEC, RSV, IUGR, SIUGR, eating, growing, meeting milestones, and keeping healthy, is all in a day’s work. Being a NICU parent was hard and when we brought Emily home it was even harder. Just because she was home didn’t mean she was okay and just another newborn. We still had and have some of the same issues now, at almost two, as we did when she was born. All of this is a part of our every day lives.
It is our life. Whether we are dealing with diabetes, prematurity, or another situation. It is our life. Everyday. We all have our ups and downs and we are stronger than we thought we could ever be. Our little ones are stronger than we could have imagined. We are like every other family, and yet different.
So, just because November is behind us, don’t stop being thankful or aware of what is around you and who is around you. Reach out and let them know that you care -- whether it is November, or some kind of awareness month or not.
A special thanks to my fellow preemie moms for sharing their stories in November on Preemie Blessings. Thank you, Rebecca, Nancy, Mary, and Jessica. We will always have a special bond.