There are times when I have been known to completely lose it…and it’s not pretty. Like when my son is wriggling so much that I can’t fasten him into his car seat, and by the time he’s eventually in it and I have taken his BGL for the third time, the glucose monitor reads ERROR yet again.
It’s certainly not pretty when I see Marley, our almost five year old son, imitate ‘angry mummy’. “Oh dear, time to take stock”, I think to myself. After I have calmed down a bit, and had a moment to reflect and get things into perspective, I ask myself what have I learned from not just being a parent, but a parent of a T1D child.
I’ve learned to be very thankful, because there are so many things to be grateful for.
Firstly, my partner Richie and I are immensely lucky to have such a wonderful boy who is normal and healthy in every other way. We are now a family of three, which is a dream come true.
We’re thankful for Marley’s diagnosis when he was only 19 months being made in time; the alternative is unbearable to think about. He had been ill for months.
We’re thankful to all those brave people that have gone before: people with diabetes, researchers and inventors, and carers and medical staff who have helped to develop the treatments we now use. Thank goodness we now have glucose monitors, pens, insulin pumps, and all the technology that makes life easier, and information more accessible…such as the JDRF website!
We’re also lucky to be living in a developed country with medical resources and education readily available.
Over the last three years I have gained a renewed admiration for childcare workers and medical staff. Like my late mother, who was a registered nurse, some of them are incredibly dedicated. How often do I wish my mum was still with us and how amazed she would have been at Marley’s diabetes gadgets and gizmos!
While I consider one child a lot of work, my mother had four, two of which were twins, and it was the 60s, with no TV, washing machines, spin dryers or microwaves. Phew, doesn’t bear thinking about!
And yes to other T1D parents out there, I know three years is not long and Marley, Richie and I undoubtedly have more hurdles to overcome.
I like to think that if the saying “it takes a hero to deal with diabetes and diabetes only chooses heroes’’ is true, it doesn’t do any harm for us parents to occasionally think of ourselves as super-heroes!
This story was written by Helen Black, mother to Marley, 4 years old. Helen will be writing for Path to a Cure over the coming months, with case studies and first-person accounts of her own experiences as a mother to a young child with type 1 diabetes.