Last night was difficult. Our lives with Type 1 have been relatively smooth for the past few months and then BAM, there it is. I feel like we are climbing that mountain all over again and yes, I know the track but it doesn’t get any easier.
After 18 months, my daughter Anna is still coming to terms with her diagnosis and having to manage all that comes with it. Changing her pump last night hurt and then there was an occlusion so she had to do it all over again. The second time around, it still hurt. I cannot help but feel sad that she has to deal with what the management of this condition en tales. Only those who live with Type 1 can truly understand the gravity, complexity and incessant nature of the condition. My only consolation was that she doesn’t manage her Type 1 alone and we are beside her every step of the way.
As Anna burst into tears and told me she felt like she had so much more to deal with than other children, I told her this was true. I also told her that because she has to manage her Type 1 as well as everything else an ‘almost 15 year old’ does, this makes her special. She is courageous and brave and that if she can manage her Type 1, she can do anything. I told my daughter she inspires me with her bravery and tenacity – I see her strength and I want to be just like her.
All of this is true.
Children have a way of being incredibly resilient though they are looking to us for guidance. They are looking to us for safety, security and love. It is important that I show just as much strength in these moments as my daughter.
So Type 1, I feel it is time for me to formally introduce myself. I am Tannya Stevens, mother of 2 beautiful girls (one of whom, you have already met) and wife to a wonderful husband. I am aware of your impact on Anna and the disruption you can cause. I will not put you on a pedestal nor pretend you don’t exist. I understand that you will appear out of nowhere in the middle of the night with your highs and lows and that you are here for the long term. However, I too am here for the long term and I am prepared to work with you.
In doing this, I am hoping to achieve a positive outcome for both you and my daughter leading to very happy and rewarding lives. Type 1, I look forward to a successful working partnership built on respect and understanding.