Let me tell you how it feels.
It feels like you have done something wrong, like you are being punished for being a poor parent but someone is wrecking revenge on your child.
It feels like you want to cry your heart out but you know you need to be strong for your baby.
It feels like an explanation for all that has passed before but still it stabs like a knife.
It feels like you want to do anything in your power to change places and it feels like you are useless to help.
When my six year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes I went into an emotional state of shock, overpowered by guilt for not knowing the signs, horrified that I hadn’t noticed the weight loss, overwhelmed with fear of how she, and in turn I, would cope. For three days my world became a hospital ward, my searches on Google became repetitious, my life became filled with needles and carbohydrates. It passed in a daze, punctuated by ready meals, I remember hugging my eldest girl, I remember cuddling her to sleep whispering that it was all going to be alright.
Trying to be strong for my daughter almost broke me, when Molly was diagnosed it felt like the last straw, I tried so desperatly to not let her see my fear whilst I tried to learn all I could about this incurable condition.
We are now 1000 injections on.
I could not be any more proud of my daughter.
Since diagnosis we have learnt a new normal, she manages her own injections, she can cope with a hypo, she goes to friend’s houses for tea, she knows to climb out of a pool when she feels ‘wobbly’. She fights hard for inclusion, to not be different from her peers, but sometimes she is excluded purely because not all grown-ups understand.
Type 1 Diabetes is a lifelong condition – there is no cure. Without insulin my daughter will become seriously ill, there is a risk of premature death. Wherever she goes, whereever her footpath in life takes her, she will take insulin in her pocket and I will carry worry, silently, in my heart.
But I want to give her wings, I want her to see the world, I want to watch her fly.
But there is research…
There is hope….
Research has already changed the future for kids like Molly.
If she had been diagnosed in the fifties she would have had a one in three chance of dying within 25 years of diagnosis, that would have made her 31. Research has changed this fate. Now, according to the NHS, 7% of Type 1 diabetics die with 25 years of diagnosis – I am still not a fan of these figures.
I don’t want my daughter to be reliant on an injection for the rest of her life, I intend to spend my days campaigning, fundraising, and searching for a way to ensure her quality of life is no different to any other child her age.
We need more research, more understanding, more investment in a cure.
This week is Diabetes week, for more details look at Diabetes UK and see what you can do to raise awareness.
Remember the 4 T’s that are signs of diabetes…
Thirst – Drinking more than normal
Tiredness – Low energy, sleepier than usual, exhausted and moody
Thinner – Losing weight
Toilet – Going to the bathroom more than normal, bed wetting
If you can share this post to help me raise awareness I would be more than grateful.
If you wish to donate to Diabetes UK to help fund lifesaving research please visit www.diabetes.org.uk
Molly, aged 7, nine months after diagnosis, sitting on a beach in Portugal, living life not limiting it.