It’s a diaversary! Happy one year, diabetes baby.

Happy diabetes to you! It’s your diaversary! Here, have some cake! Umm….

Yesterday marked one whole year since Little L’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. While not exactly cause for celebration, it is a milestone, and in much the same way as a birthday it’s given me pause to reflect and think back on how far we’ve come. We’ve made a year. We feel in control. Most of the time.

Sushi, bai bai

The coincidence of this milestone occurring at the same time as Little L starting school tomorrow has made this quite a reflective week. I’ve been neglecting the bloggy world to soak up some time with my munchkin before she runs away to share her gappy-toothed grin with the big bad world.

Last week was also quite extremely sucky, and this whole starting school business, though we are both very excited about it, has been more nerve-jangling than I’d been hoping for. It’s going to involve a lot of my presence over the next couple of weeks while I support the teachers through finger-pricks and insulin pump button-pushing, and work to allay their understandable anxieties about looking after my special little girl. I dealt with some surprising crap that I don’t want to go into because I’m trying to be positive this week, and I’ve already chucked a different ranty post in my drafts folder, about dentists and abscessing 5-year old teeth, never to be retrieved.

All this reflective time has me focusing on the parent I am, the parent I’d like to be, and the parent I NEED to be.

Diabetes is making me be a teacher and a tiger mother, a fighter and a crusader, and none of those things come naturally to me. So often out of the house these days I’m totally out of my comfort zone, finding myself justifying, explaining, and arguing, when really I’d prefer to listen and agree. Training the school staff, when I’m terrified of public speaking.

There are two recent people problems that have driven me quite mental and have been hard to avoid. The first is the tendency that many have to compare diabetes to something else. The second is dismissing its seriousness. They say things like, ‘At least you can manage this once you’ve got it sorted. If it was asthma you’d never know when it was going to strike in the middle of the night and you’d find yourself off to hospital.’ It’s nothing like anaphylaxis, and it’s nothing like cancer. Do I feel better now or do you? It is what it is. And it IS life-threatening.

Sea food!! One classy chick.

I recently related the sad story of Lewis Marnell, an Australian X-games pro-skateboarder who passed away last month aged 30 from type 1 diabetes. He’d had it since the age of 10, but it still got him. He leaves a wife behind, and it’s so upsetting that young people die from this disease despite all the technology. It is definitely manageable, with extreme vigilance, every minute of your life. Sorry. Ranty pants off. I’m just tired of people dismissing it, and think if they understood it better it wouldn’t be the case.

BUT HEY!!!! We’ve come a long way baby. And we’ve got a longer way to go. But now it’s a diaversary!!! So let’s have some icecream and pump it up!!!

6 thoughts on “It’s a diaversary! Happy one year, diabetes baby.

  1. Dear Kim,
    I don’t think that people really understand how hard it is with a chronic illness. Unfortunately being a parent not only do you have to help your child in this instance, but YOU have to cope yourself. A double burden. I am now working in med science, and regularly read articles on the latest reseach. There are new things happening in Type 1 diabetes, and always new research. Something WILL happen.

    While you have to look after your child, it is also very important to look after yourself. Don’t lose sight of that, make sure that you get the support that YOU need. Find a support group if you feel the need, they can be a great source of assistance.

    Take care and look after yourselves.

    Greg.

    • Greg, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. It’s people like you that keep me hanging in there (as well as the promise of this artificial pancreas and all the stem cell research – bring it on!).

  2. Thank you, lovely people. She has indeed kicked it today, but still managed a pretty kick-arse hypo as well. However – a good way to train them on-the-spot in hypo management practical rather than just theory. One job done! Edumacation!!!!! And lovely support – and we will get by. Thanks again xxx

  3. Oh she’s a cutie. I was disavowed many years ago of any notion that it was not a serious disease, when a young woman I met with type 1 diabetes revealed she was almost blind, predicted she would need to get her feet amputated, and explained to me about the risk of death. I am sorry to focus on such awful things but obviously you are well aware of these. My 5 yo started school today and to think about sending her off with serious health issues as well… well, I just feel very very lucky. And my heart goes out to you and Little L. All the best for the start of school, and the rest of the journey. xxx
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted…The heavy responsibility of choosing the right schoolMy Profile

  4. What a bummer that you have to deal with something like this when starting school is stressful enough in itself. You might feel out of your comfort zone but you a doing a marvelous job. And your little girl is a trouper. I am sure she will kick the butt of school regardless.
    Mumabulous recently posted…Spider ManMy Profile

  5. Oh I always have this in the back of my mind. M’s two sisters and his mum all have type 1 diabetes. There’s some study going round at the moment that tests kids with family history to see if they have some antibody that they think might be related. We will get our two tested, I think they have to be 4. Good work tiger mummy. I would find this so hard too. Happy diaversary!
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