This is how we do it….

We put one foot in front of the other.
We pray to the universe and the God we no longer believe in
To keep our child safe
Until he returns home
When we will happily carry his load.
We do all that we can
Each and every day
To keep our child safe from invisible harm.

We take solace in the normal moments:
The issues with homework not being done well,
The squabbling amongst teenage siblings,
The overuse of mobile phones,
The constant need to stay in touch with 765 ‘friends’ on Facebook ,
The obsession with animal videos on YouTube.

We rejoice in the victories:
A run of days with normal blood glucose levels,
Playing sport at 100% effort and staying in range,
The days out with friends jumping in rivers and riding bikes,
The meals out in restaurants, ordering the biggest chicken shnitzel,
The laughs around the dinner table, hanging out together.

This is how we do it.

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A ‘what if’ day

Most days my son goes into the world with total confidence and a good level of trust in those around him. I’ve trained myself not to worry about him and not to pester him with texts about his BGLs and what he’s eaten.

Days at work pass very quickly and I’m pretty good at focusing on the task at hand. There’s not much time for naval gazing when you are a teacher. I trust my boy to do the right thing. What worries me is the ‘what ifs?’.

These are things which come from nowhere, which are outwith my son’s control but are all part of the rich tapestry of life with Type 1 diabetes.

These days usually come after a ‘diabetes disaster’. These rock our world when they happen and our sense of confidence is shaken. It takes me weeks, if not months, to feel good about letting my son do normal teenage things after a disaster. I can see he feels the same but he still does everything.

What is a ‘diabetes diasaster’?

Firstly, we are lucky that we haven’t had many!

My son’s recent school excursion, where he had two hypos, told the teacher he was dizzy and was told to go and lie down for a bit was a near miss. A teacher telling him it was possibly just low blood pressure due to having grown so fast did not help. He so wanted to believe that this was true! What saved him, is that he had the sense to text me, telling me he was dizzy and didn’t know what to do. For him to text me anything about his diabetes was a total red flag that something was very wrong.

Since this happened, he is absolutely worried about having hypos at school. I don’t blame him. The school is coming on board with education which is a positive thing for all the students with Type 1 who go there.

I think: What if he hadn’t sent me a text? What if he’d had a fit in front of his peers? What if he’d gone back to school then got the bus home having used all his poppers? 

None of these things happened.

He thinks: What if people start seeing me as the boy with diabetes? What if I collapse in front of my mates? What if the teachers stuff up again? 

None of these things have happened. 

Diabetes does not rule our lives so when my son asked if he could go straight from school to watch his friend’s rugby final tonight, I said yes. His team didn’t make the finals which could have been awkward in the House of Testosterone when both of your brothers both made it through. He’ll get a lift home at 10pm with his friend’s dad. I’ll be standing at another rugby field cheering on number 3 son whilst my husband does the same for our 16 year old.

Diabetes does not rule our lives so of course I let him go. Accepting that I will have a ‘what if’ day is my role as his mum. I’m sure there will be many more as he goes on his way and has his adventures. The main thing is, that he has his adventures and that I keep my ‘what ifs’ to myself!