My daughter has been talking to me about how difficult it is to have Type 1 Diabetes. Last night, as I sat and listened to her speak through sobs and tears, it struck me that even though we are 40 weeks down this road, there is so much burden that she carries on her own and there is still so much I need to learn.
It is difficult being 14. It is even more difficult being 14 and having T1D. There are moments when she feels alone, there are moments that she feels no one understands and there are moments when she feels exhausted by it all.
She cannot leave the house on a whim like other children can, she cannot jump tirelessly on a trampoline like other children can and she cannot eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants for as long as she wants, like other children can.
At times, she has to stop playing and check her levels. During class, she has to check her levels. Before sport, she has to check her levels. It seems to her, that the number and direction they are moving in, determine her next move. She feels as though she is different.
All of this is true. Hearing her say these things and having this conversation was difficult. It was important to hear her perspective on the journey.
In responding, I told her she is different. She is utterly and beautifully unique.
I let her know that since the T1D diagnosis, she has shown her courage and her determination. I told her that having T1D will allow her to grow as a person, to be stronger and to appreciate all life has to offer. It won’t stop her from achieving her best and in fact, it will help to propel her forward. She just needs to believe this as much as I do.
Having this conversation gave me the chance to tell her, that in those moments when it all becomes too exhausting and too much to bear, let me know and I will help to carry this invisible weight.