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.
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.
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!!!