Watching my 15 year old child manage her Type 1 diagnosis is heartbreaking at times. It’s hard to ask her to fingerprick when I know it hurts. I don’t like to nag but I know I need to. Constantly keeping an eye on her and what she is or isn’t eating. Having to plan for swim trials, sport and exams – crossing my fingers and hoping that her levels stay in range for just long enough to let her get through what she needs to.
What some people take for granted and enjoy, I don’t anymore. It is the small things that people may not realise but I get stressed when it is time for dessert. Obviously, the last thing I want is for Anna to feel different or to feel like her Type 1 restricts her in any way, so she has dessert despite me knowing she will go high in the middle of the night. She always does.
Sleepovers have been almost non existent for two years since diagnosis. When she leaves to spend time with her friends, in that split second when I tell her I love her, I am also hoping she can manage without me – she can and she does. I am working on trying to find the balance between being hands on with my help and letting her make the decisions – this is a tricky one for me but I think I am getting better. Being a mum to a child with Type 1, I think letting go is something I will always struggle with. I don’t have the luxury of allowing her to live a life without medical intervention. Yet.
Type 1 dictates so many things in her life it is hard to comprehend myself let alone try and explain this to someone who hasn’t had to deal with the cards we hold. I am sure you understand because you walk in my shoes.
When I think of what the future holds for not only Anna but also my younger daughter, I try not to let myself get too far ahead because I don’t want to miss out on any of the now’s. Anna, like her sister, is extraordinary. They are wondrously resilient and surprise me of just how capable they are, if I let them.
So from one parent to another, I want you to know that I get it and you aren’t alone.
I get the exhaustion from sleepless nights and relentless management, Dexcom alarms, pump and CGM changes, highs, lows, carb counting, jellybeans, glycogen, alcohol wipes, remove wipes, food preparation, worry, constant Plan B’s, school camps and excursions, health care plans etc etc. I get that sometimes you just don’t want to do it anymore because it is non stop with no breaks.
Managing Type 1 well, is hard. It takes grit and determination. It takes guts and never giving in. Managing Type 1 to the best of your ability will be challenging and it will result in some pretty stressful times. We will need guts, grit, determination, persistence and at times, just abit of luck on our side.
But hey, this isn’t anything new for us. It’s just the way Type 1 parents roll.