Have you grieved yet ?
These were words said to me by our diabetic nurse, about 3 weeks after diagnosis when we sat in my bungalow having a cup of tea with the smell of insulin in the air.
In 3 weeks I had bitten nails, not washed hair, eaten only medical books, read every potential cure for an incurable condition
I’d taken a sabbatical from work, convinced myself I would never go out again for a meal, or have a weekend away.
Fretted over my other two children, looked into trials to see if they were potential Type 1 kids.
I’d managed a day trip with a rucksack packed with insulin, sharps bin (full size), needles, testing strips, apple juice, and had a picnic with hand written carb signs on it.
I’d also dedicated a huge amount of time to standing over my daughter whilst she slept, waiting for hypos to happen without having any technology to tell me they had.
No I hadn’t scheduled in time to grieve. I barely scheduled in time to breathe.
Turns out those were the best words anyone could have said to me.
Because later when I drove to the supermarket for more carb free snacks, I let myself think.
I let myself breathe.
I let myself cry.
And I mean cry – huge wracking snot infested sobs. In the car park of Aldi.
I cried for the life I thought I was going to have and then I cried about the life my beautiful little girl had been given. I went to a dark place, I cried about how the hell was I supposed to be a medical pro. Up until 4 weeks ago diabetes was just something we joked about getting from eating regular McDonalds and now I was an acting pancreas in charge.
I cried until I felt better.
Until I could wipe my eyes and walk into Aldi looking like a woman on the edge.
I walked in, bought all the cheese and sugary sweets and eyeballed the cashier daring her to question my food choices.
She didn’t – but I told her anyway.
“My daughter is diabetic – these are her snacks and these will help keep her alive.
We have only recently been diagnosed and it’s really hard. But I think we are going to be ok.”
And I flounced out the shop.
That was almost a decade ago.
And the first day where I really recognised I was important too. The condition is secondary to mine and my daughters life.
We have lived that way ever since.
If you have not grieved yet – make time – that cry could be the start of something new.
I help parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes cope with the pain of diagnosis and live a happy life.
If you would like to discuss coaching please get in touch.