You can do anything (but please, one thing at a time)!

Today it’s Tuesday of Diabetes Blog Week. We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)

‘You can do anything!‘ is the implicit message we give our son. When he says he wants to do something, for me, the trick is not to say much. He watches my reaction very carefully. I nod and say, ‘sure!’. The detail comes later but in the first instance my son needs to know that his diabetes is not an impediment to any activity. I hide my churning stomach and pack the worries away in a padded cell in my head which I will visit later.

How does my son deal with his diabetes? He lives life to the full. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He lives with it and that’s just fine. He is my Boy with the egg. At 15 years old, 185cm tall, and skinny as a rake, I watch him lope off to school, all elbow and knees, and imagine that little egg in his pocket. I cannot express how proud I am of him!

One thing at a time’, would be our unofficial motto!

My husband used to laugh at my love of planning. Now, not so much! I stopped trying to anticipate everything when I learned what a fickle beast diabetes is.

When my son was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, two and a half years ago, I’d worry about his long term future. How would he ever leave home? Who would do his night time blood checks? What do adults do? Do adults have these crazy fluctuations that my son has every couple of months? I’ve learned, after nearly driving myself crazy in the first few months, to slow down and try to focus on the next thing.

At the moment, that’s dealing with a fractured right arm that’s in plaster up to his underarm. Once we’ve navigated that, we’ll deal with the upcoming overseas rugby trip!

There is nothing that my son hasn’t done right from his diagnosis- school camps, overnight sporting trips with school, sleepovers, lots of camping on unpowered sites, an overseas trip, playing various sports both at school and through local clubs, working part-time in a fast food restaurant. These are the stuff of life and the things that worried me relentlessly in the early days. 

We are lucky to have an amazing guardian angel, our Diabetes Educator, who told us right from the beginning to make diabetes fit into our lives and not the other way round. If you’d told me when my boy was first diagnosed that all these things could be done, often with a heap of meticulous planning, but without any major disasters, I’d never have believed it! We get there, one thing at a time!

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13 thoughts on “You can do anything (but please, one thing at a time)!

  1. A message for all parents I think. My parents were polar opposites in this regard – My mum saying that everything was too dangerous, and my dad often putting us in dangerous situations. I was actually very much on the side of my mother – until I got diabetes and realised that life was too short to waste, and I want to do everything! You’ve done good for your son, not letting the ‘what ifs’ hold him back.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliant, brilliant post! My parents always reinforced that my T1D should never and would never stand in my way – I’ve achieved so much and take that lesson on with me, even now 30 years on. And with a child with his own chronic illness “cross to bear”, I’m teaching him and his sister the same thing – that it will never stand in the way of what they want to achieve. Great job xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like ‘one thing at a time’ as a mantra for raising a kid with diabetes. It’s much less overwhelming to focus on the next big step towards independence than to consider the overwhelming number of steps the future holds! Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I try so hard to say “yes” first and work it out later, although I’m sure my son can see the cogs of my brain whirring into action sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That initial reaction to the things your son wants to do is so important! Great job balancing his needs for freedom and living life to the fullest and still making sure the planning happens to keep him healthy while he’s doing all that stuff. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

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