How I see the world has really changed since my son got Type 1. Initially, it was so all consuming that I could hardly voice how I felt without crying so I only spoke about it with a few close friends.
I let go of friendships that probably weren’t strong anyway and now almost 18 months later, I have less friends but I am so thankful for those I have. I am incredibly lucky.
Nowadays my son’s health doesn’t dominate my every thought and sometimes it fades into the background. The other day at work, an amazing friend, who I know quietly and gently looks out for me, asked how he was travelling.
I can be completely honest with her and told her our crazy breakfast story. My son had woken up, had his insulin but then waited too long for breakfast. The result was that he felt really weird in the middle of his breakfast and lay down on the floor. We passed him his meter and he tested at 1.9 mmol (scarily low).
A year ago this would have freaked me out but now, we gave him his popper of juice and he lay there as we continued to get ready for our day. He talked to us, we packed his lunch, got all his gear organised and when he felt ready, he got up off the floor and got dressed for school. His blood glucose levels were fine by the time he caught the bus with his brother. Although I was pleased that he had gone to school and his levels were good, I was slightly worried that I’d handled this the wrong way.
She looked at me in amazement and said, “Wow”.
Later that day, once I was home, my friend texted me, sending me her love and telling me how great she thinks I am to do what I do every day.
It meant so much to me that she realised this. I never judge others for not understanding, as two years ago I was the same. You have to be living this to fully understand, but to feel someone’s genuine empathy is really a special thing.