A weekend with Type 1 Diabetes

A weekend with Type 1 Diabetes

We headed north this weekend, the five of us battled poorly against the mighty M6 and found ourselves near Manchester, where people still say bath as bath and the grass is pronounced perfectly so it doesn’t rhyme with arse.  We were not just on a lesson of linguistics, but also a road of discovery.  Our weekend was hosted by Diabetes UK, a charity who have been a bit of a lifeline for us since Molly was diagnosed, a charity I will be running 26.2 miles for in April.

The weekend was for families, people just like us, people who had a child living with type one diabetes.

Before we even met the other parents, we knew we would be amongst friends.

The weekend passed in a blur, we learnt more than we imagined, and left feeling more confident in our care, and most importantly I finally recongnised that whatever I do, how hard I fight, this will never be my battle.  I don’t have diabetes, but I love someone very much who does. However, it is her diabetes, not mine and now I know that, I think we will all cope that little bit better.

Within each set of parents I spoke to, I found similarities, we all knew the exhaustion of a nighttime hypo, we all shared the same fears for our childrens’ teenage years.  We all wanted to see our children fly, but felt the urge to ground them with our own worries for the future.

We met adults who were diagnosed as children, who have led lives enriched by their diabetes, we saw our own warrior kids surrounded by a tribe.  We recongnised very quickly that all children with Type 1 were simply, flipping amazing.

And the siblings, the ones that quietly watch for signs of hypoglycemia, the one’s who can carb count without needing to inject, the ones that feel over shadowed by the disease.  I saw them more clearly, I saw my son fighting to be heard in a family where the girls seem determined to keep visiting the Hotel de la NHS.  I saw a need to readdress my parenting, to make sure I am fair and all three of my kids know how much I adore them.

We learnt that we are not the only parents of diabetic kids who enjoy a large glass of wine in the evening…..

I sat in a room of inspirational mothers and listened as they spoke of their nightmares, as they asked the question ‘am I to blame?’, as we all admitted in turn that coping with diabetes can be all consuming and at times it can feel too much.  We cried, and we walked away a tiny bit stronger for telling the truth.

I still hate diabetes, I still wish my child didn’t have it.  I still see the gremlin laughing at me on her skin and I want to destroy it.  I believe now, even more than before, that Molly must make friends with her diabetes, and perhaps it is time that I lost the hate and start to offer that hand of friendship myself.  Molly can then follow in my example.

It was a weekend like none before, of new friends, of outstanding children, of incredible volunteers who gave up their weekend to make our lives better.

I can only say thank you, from me, Molly and her diabetes.


Other posts about Type 1 and us

Four days after diagnosis

From the mother of a diabetic: how it feels 

The monster that lies within

All time low

Diabetes: This time it is personal






  1. Kerry
    September 29, 2013 / 7:36 pm

    Sounds like a good weekend for you all. I decided early on that I wouldn’t hate diabetes , it is something that happened to my daughter and we work with it, fighting it seemed like such a waste of energy which was already in short supply. Similary when people refer to 2013 as being a bad year because of Libby’s diagnosis I disagree, 2013 was the year that we found answers to the questions that existed around Libby’s health , we are the lucky ones, we got a diagnosis , we have medication and support and we can move Forward. Sure there is anger and frustration, tears, and tantrums but they are mostly mine, Libby for the most part is able to simply get on with it.

  2. @PookyH
    September 29, 2013 / 10:48 pm

    It sounds like a fantastic weekend. There’s something about meeting others fighting the same battle that is uniquely comforting. We find the same when we attend Adoption UK events.

    I’m interested to hear more about your journey from hatred of diabetes to acceptance and what inspired that…


  3. September 30, 2013 / 8:49 am

    Great post Northern Mum. I’ve had diabetes since I was 16 months old and I’m over 40 now. I wouldn’t say that I’ve extended the hand of friendship to diabetes. it’s a bit more like a relationship-sometimes diabetes is an annoying flatmate, always there but benign, other times it feels like a psychostalking abuser 🙂 In any case you can never turn your back on it.

  4. September 30, 2013 / 10:10 am

    It sounds like a brilliantly inspiring weekend. Glad you had a good time and made some new friends. Molly is flipping amazing – as is her mum. xxxx

  5. September 30, 2013 / 11:16 am

    Sounds like a really important weekend for all of you. Thanks for continuing to share your family journey with diabetes here.

  6. September 30, 2013 / 12:43 pm

    Sounds like a brilliant weekend which was very important for you all. Glad you got so much from it!

  7. September 30, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    Such an incredibly important weekend for you all. A lot of my extended family have diabetes and understand how tough it can be. Well done Molly and Mum x

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