Today is challenged, I am running on about three to four hours sleep, I have a UTI, and a full day of work ahead. I have work to do, and taking time off for a lie down is not an option; I completely understand the need for self care, and as soon as I can I will indulge in it, but unfortunately Type 1 didn’t get my memo that last night wasn’t the best time to dick around.
I am the mum to a Type 1 child, who like all type 1 kids is incredible. On a day to day she counts carbs, administers insulin that keeps her alive, makes calculations based on exercise, heat and excitement to try and keep her blood in range. She is 15 and has been doing this with support since she was 6.
At 15, I used a calculator for basic maths – it simply doesn’t even compare to what my daughter does and will do for every day of her life.
I choose not to feel despair that this is her path, because it helps no-one, but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t felt despair many times over.
Parents to Type 1 kids are remarkable human beings, we quash the worries and fears and present to our children with a beaming smile every day and the mantra “that it will be ok” is our day to day slogan.
We research technologies for diabetic developments even though we may have failed IT at school; when you have a purpose surrounding your child, anything is possible; nothing is too complex to understand.
We smile with irony at meme’s that sleep is the single most important thing to keep healthy and balanced, because that is a life not afforded to us – and probably one of our single most anxious thoughts – when our child leaves home – who will do the night shift; who will keep her safe?
A day in our life, means hearing an alarm sound at least once, performing complex carbohydrate calculations several times over, checking the weather in a heatwave to see what adjustments need to be made, and saying “have you bolused” at least 347 times.
A day in our life, means working hard to live in the present, not reflecting back on the day when our world fell apart and living in that sadness. Because we all remember that heart stopping moment when someone looked us in the eye and said, your child has diabetes, and the guilt began.
A day in our life, means understanding that control is a dream that we strive to, but recognise that it can be impacted by matters outside of us.
A day in our life, means finding time for us, but for some reason, failing frequently at this.
I preach a happy life with Type 1, and I live it, most of the time, but on the day after a night of challenging blood sugars the desire to weep presents more than the call to smile.
As parents we raise warriors, who will face the world armed with insulin and artificial gadgets fixed to their body. We, despite no prior training, raise children to become adults capable of living with a chronic condition, as well as giving them everything else that they need in life.
We never stop worrying.
(But, does any parent?)
Do we credit ourselves?
It takes a warrior to raise one.
It takes incredible strength to spend all night battling a gremlin that often ignores the rules, its human instinct to protect our young, and we rise to that challenge beautifully.
As it is Diabetes Awareness week, I remind you, that yes, our children are amazing, but I hold a torch to the parents as well.
We didn’t ask nor want this in our lives or our children’s worlds.
But on we go, even when we are tired beyond belief.
We are warriors – and parents to children with Type 1.