I am not ashamed to say that I cried.
Two big fat tears rolled out of my eyes, slipped down my cheeks and landed with a splash on my Ham and Pineapple Pizza. Luckily we were at an all you can eat buffet, so I was able to discard the wet treat and get a fresh new, non soggy slice instead.
As soon as the tears had stopped falling.
Twelve months ago to the day, I told my daughter a lie. She asked me if she would have to inject before meals forever, and as there is no known cure for Type 1 Diabetes I looked her firm in the eye and told her yes. Today, I felt my chin wobble, my eyes fill and cheeks blush when I watched my little girl eat slice after slice of pizza, with some greenery on the side and she didn’t inject a drop.
No hard, shiny needle pierced her skin, she didn’t have to fanny around, removing lids, protecting sharps, making sure her insulin pen was secure. Her food was still hot when it reached her mouth. Her needle sat, abandoned, like an unwanted toy, shoved to the bottom of my handbag, quietly gathering dust.
Today, my type 1 warrior got an insulin pump.
We swapped six daily injections for a cannula insertion once every two days. We no longer have to count every carb in her entire meal at once, she can now tell her pump to put insulin inside her when she has her main course, then if she wants a pudding, she can do it again. It works on remote control, she puts the figures in a hand held meter, it talks to the pump by bluetooth and viola, the pump delivers her life saving insulin.
Pretty fecking amazing.
She paused for a moment, pizza held outside her mouth, cheese dripping onto the plate below, and looked at my wet cheeks and raised an eyebrow at me saying,
“Happy tears mummy?”
I nodded a yes, too overwhelmed to speak because of the fact she was needle free before a meal for the first time in twelve months.
She has had over 2200 injections, she is not yet 8. She has faced each one with a smile and together we have pointedly ignored the bruises that sit on her thighs and buttocks, we paid no heed to the lumps in her belly that have raised up in protest to the needle. She, and I alongside, have simply got on with it.
Today, I watched in awe as she allowed us to insert a cannula into her bottom without fuss or visible fear, I heard her say ‘my turn next,’ and I swelled with pride. I watched in amazement as a five year old girl, another type 1 kid, copied the process with maturity far beyond her years.
She ate her dinner, going back for more and pumping more insulin, just like the pro I knew she would be. Then once more she broke my heart,
“I’m almost normal now Mummy,” she said, causing the sobs to raise again in my throat.
Her Dad grabbed her hand, and squeezed it tight.
“You have always been normal Molly,” he said with a grin, “just special to us.”
With that we finished dinner, popped in the shop for a chocolate bar as a special treat, and went back to school.
Normality has its perks.