Almost a month later – living with a child with Type 1 diabetes…
November came and went, what started on Halloween over ran into firework night and it is only now as the Christmas lights start to twinkle in the stores that I finally feel like me again.
For the last month I have eaten, dreamt and thought about diabetes from dusk till dawn, I have fretted over my daughter in a way I didn’t even know existed, I have tantrumed like a toddler and cried like a baby. I confess I am tired of learning about illnesses and conditions I have never had time for before.
My mind is a confusing mess of guilt and chaos, I know when well-meaning people tell me it could be worse they are right, I know kids facing cancer, children with desperately ill parents and this makes me question my almost grieving nature. I know it will be ok because I will make it that way, but still I wish it would just pack up and go away.
Coping when your child has a lifelong non curable illness is a curious sensation, it won’t kill her and I can’t fix it which is problematic for a control freak like myself. I can try to manage the beast that is Type 1 diabetes but so far it has out foxed me almost daily.
It doesn’t change anything, but still it affects everything, spontaneity seems lost for now as we are governed by insulin, needles, and times. Independence has all but abandoned my clever little girl; I am her new best friend, she gets a party invite and we both go, she goes to dance and sees me smiling sadly through the window. I was the mother who celebrated with gin at the first drop off party for my children, who ran through the door itching for two hours of childfree moments. It is a cruel twist of fate that now pins me to her with a condition that means I can’t leave her unless you are trained to care for a diabetic child.
I try not to think of the future, the dreaded teenage years, but at night when sleep should be cradling me I close my eyes and see hormones dancing like crazy, the lure of a secret glass of wine, the insulin pen forgotten on the table.
And I pray, in my own way, to someone I am not convinced I believe in or like very much. I pray for a cure so I don’t have to count carbs manically when dinner arrives on a rare night out, I pray for a reason to not watch my child inject four times a day, I pray because I want to see a way out of this disease.
How are we coping?
We are coping.
How do we feel?
A little enraged, a lot fecked off. I used to worry that twin girl never got a mention on this blog, sandwiched between her brothers antics and her sisters hospital trips. Irony can be a bitch at times.
And the guilt, the guilt that burns with the knowledge that maybe we should be happy it is not something worse, the guilt that tells us many face worse and do it with a better nature and a bigger smile.
How is Molly?
She is the sunlight amongst this, she is still the same girl she was before but more balanced now her sugars are under control. Untreated diabetes causes mood swings, bed wetting, high emotions and for a while I thought I had lost the carefree child I loved so well. She is back, no different, still six and occasionally stroppy, still silly and daft, still beautiful and caring, my first-born child.
I will learn much from her.