Last week, I wrote about how I picture my son’s Type 1 Diabetes as an egg.
My boy’s egg nearly smashed today and I’ve never been so scared in my life.
There’s no point in rehashing the smaller details but those in charge of a school excursion did not follow protocols: management plans were not followed, phone calls were not made, all of which resulted in one sick little man. My heart is sore for him tonight!
He is home, he is fine and the mother hen in me has ‘sorted out’ (think female Billy Connolly in a seething rage) the school, and it should never happen again. Education will be put in place very soon, people will learn from this. I have to see that as a positive.
Sport is important in the House of Testosterone. 1 man, 3 boys : 3 boys playing rugby union, dad coaching and the littlest man and dad playing football in the winter. Summer sees cricket come in (beam me up now!), Touch football (several times a week for all) and swimming for the littlest man.
Many loads of stinky washing, and a whole new language which I still struggle with. The offside rule is officially beyond me. The cricket dads stopped trying to explain the rules after the fourth week. The kids were all so far away that I couldn’t tell which child was mine and I start to lose the will to live at the start of the third hour of a cricket game. The availability of a glass of wine at Friday night rugby is admittedly an attractive prospect.
Throwing Type 1 diabetes into the mix has been a challenge which my son has met head on. He does amazingly well but there is no predicting those Blood Glucose Levels after sport. It’s like the lotto, you just don’t know what number’s going to come next. Adrenalin, short bursts of effort versus long sustained effort, hormones, cold, heat. Who knows what number is going to appear on that little screen?
At the moment the dance classes for sport at school are having the exact same effect as the intense Friday night rugby games. Who could have anticipated that? Is it the prospect of a spot of public dancing, the horrid idea of having to ask a girl to dance or has my boy found his groove?
We are so lucky to have a top team backing us up! The Diabetes Educator is constantly in touch, trying to help us figure out the conundrum. Sport is fantastic and I hope all my sons play these sports into adulthood but from the sidelines I can see it’s certainly not an easy option when trying to keep your BGLs in range if you have Type 1 diabetes.
There is no denying that having a child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes throws your world into a spin.
I know it’s my son who has Type 1, not me. I am completely clear about that. I also know that he does not spend his day worried about his diabetes. He lives the life of every other 14 year old boy: it just takes more organisation for him.
I wrote this poem a few weeks after my son was diagnosed. I’d never written any poetry before this but it felt so good to write it down. The feelings I had were so raw and intense. Looking back, I can see that, as a family, we’ve all come a long way since then. That’s such a good feeling!
A friend asked what it was like for my son to live his life with Type 1 diabetes.
I always struggle to give an idea of life for my son. There are metaphors about taming tigers and dragons but that’s such a strong and scary image. I like the image of the egg better. Eggs are small, fragile and complex, quite like a pancreas in some ways.
I told my friend that, from my perpective, having Type 1 diabetes is like the Primary School project where students are given a raw egg. They must carry it with them at all times and take care of it. It can seem manageable at the start but generally by a day or so into this experiment, it’s not so much fun any more.
My son has been told that he can live a full life and do everything that any other person can. Sure, he can and he does but he has to carry this egg and not let it smash.
He is so clever that he can play rugby whilst holding this egg. What skill!
At school he does assessments and makes sure the egg does not roll off the desk and smash. The grades he achieves may not always be the highest but he’s there and that egg has never once fallen off the edge of that desk.
He hangs out with friends, manages to look cool yet still he arrives home with that egg intact. He’s the ultimate multi-tasker!
He can let me carry his egg for a while but I have to give it back because ultimately he needs to know that it’s his egg.
There are times when I think he’d like to throw that egg right at my face as I want to check now and then that there are no cracks in it.
The biggest difference between my boy and the Primary project: he will have to keep that egg forever.
The wood is chopped and the fire is lit. The conversation flows so easily around the warm glow. Rosy cheeks as our bones heat up. Pumpkin soup and crusty sourdough bread. Saturday night. No talk of diabetes. Laughter and silly stories. That perfect moment in the middle of the weekend.
Can I just say how inspired I am every time I read Frank’s blog- Type 1 writes – it is honest, entertaining and above all it fills me with hope and positivity. I hope I’m not embarrassing you Frank!
I live in a house ‘with’ diabetes as my son has T1. I don’t live ‘in’ it. It’s not my journey but I cannot help but worry about my boy. He certainly doesn’t worry about his diabetes. He’s 14, he loves rugby, cricket, annoying his brothers and hanging out with his mates. That’s exactly how it should be. There’s nothing he cannot do but in amongst that we have established a routine that works for us, most of the time.
He generally can count his carbs but will ask for help if he’s not sure. He knows how much insulin he needs for each meal and he knows he needs to write his BGLs in his book every night except Wednesdays (when he gets a day off !). He also knows that he usually loses his phone for the day if he doesn’t write down his BGLs. He knows that we need to look for patterns here as there are so many changes at the moment as his ‘honeymoon’ is over (I wrote a poem about that) and he’s growing like a weed!
The routines and planning of his Type 1 diabetes piss him off every day but it doesn’t dominate his life. He gets on with life and lives it to the full and would probably roll his eyes in mortification if I showed him this blog.
This blog is about my journey as the mum of someone with T1. I don’t burden my son with my fears but I absolutely and totally cringe when I look through my son’s eyes at some of the information presented to the public. I’ve seen the research which has come out highlighting the increase in anxiety for young people with T1. I feel a need to protect him from that.
In some ways I’m thankful that this National Diabetes Week has come and gone and my son has not even realised that it exists but in other ways I think it’s such a shame and a wasted opportunity. He doesn’t yet know that there is an amazing community of people with diabetes out there and I’d love to see more of that in the media.
I have been on a honeymoon. It’s a distant memory but it was wonderful. My 14 year old son with Type 1 diabetes has had a very different honeymoon. It got me thinking about what a ridiculous word this is to use in relation to a chronic illness. I wrote this poem.