This morning was its usual blend of parenting chaos. As I made three entirely different breakfasts, and I called out my usual mantra of instructions, hints, and orders.
I reminded the kids to brush their teeth, grab their packed lunch, get a drink, and not to forget their coat.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as one child happily ignored me whilst munching through her breakfast absorbed in a book. I saw my older son disregard my words as he merrily checked his phone for the many messages that had come in overnight from his insomniac friends.
And I saw my twelve year old daughter, pay no heed, as she took a cannula out of her arm. Then I watched as she checked her glucose level with a blood test, then with a small shake of her head, she pulled out a needle, measured a dose of insulin and quietly injected her thigh.
She then continued to unwrap an insulin pump, calibrate it with her handheld device, inserted a second needle that morning into her body and then set off a sophisticated piece of kit which would play a part in keeping her alive for the next couple of days.
She then went to brush her teeth…
Sometimes as a diabetic mum, I forget how simply astounding my child is.
How all kids who are ‘different’ have to be.
It fills me with pride at how much this condition has matured her, how well she has dealt with it, how simply inspirational she is – without ever realising it.
And is scares the shit out of me.
Because currently I am exhausted with diabetes.
I feel so guilty writing it, but nights of late have been a real ball ache. Blood sugars rise and fall with hormone surges, no two days are the same. As a mum, I am getting 4-6 hours kip a night. I’m knackered and sick to death of being dominated by a blood glucose reading.
Christ, if I feel like this – how does she feel – carrying this unrelentless condition around with her 24/7.
A condition that realistically, she will carry for the rest of her life.
Currently I do the night shift, what about when she moves out, and I can only watch her numbers on my phone and hope she is awake.
What I would give for a night of normal sugars……
Tomorrow is Diabetes Awareness Day. Sometimes I write in this space just to have a moan.
I do love a decent moan.
But with my moaning comes meaning…
Am hoping in that meaning there will be understanding, an appreciation for what kids with diabetes live with – and they live with so well.
Every day with Type 1 diabetes is a battlefield, an obstacle course to navigate of food, exercise, and emotions. It is made harder by the confusion with Type 2 diabetes, and the lack of understanding from the rest of the world.
I have lost hours of my life trying to help schools become more aware and supportive in dealing with kids with Type 1. It is a losing battle trying to get equality for kids with medical conditions.
It is simply hard, bloody work.
Is an autoimmune disease.
It cannot be cured through diet.
It is as easy to get it ‘under control’ as it is to ride a bicycle through the depths of hell, on a tightrope, with someone throwing rotten tomatoes at you.
It never has a day off.
Its symptoms are tiredness, thirst, needing the toilet and becoming thinner – know these, it may save your child’s life.
It doesn’t sleep – my bags are testament to that.
It creates inspirational warriors.
My daughter is one of those, part of a gang she never wanted to join, but a member all the same.
She is astounding, not just as a diabetic, but that part of her never ceases to impress me.
And she went to school with her insulin intact, clean teeth, brushed hair, packed lunch in hand and a water bottle in her back.
So maybe as her mum – I ain’t doing too bad myself.