This week is blog week and we, the DOC Bloggers, have all been given a title for each day of the week and asked to write on this topic.the fourth entry into blog week we are asked to address the following title: What is our greatest accomplishment big or small.
As in most things in this journey of ours, the accomplishment I consider to be one of the largest had little to do with me, but it did have to do with us being educated and listening.
POWER. The biggest amount of power we can give our kids with diabetes is the ability to own it. To care for themselves. To take care of their diabetes. The more they do, the more they ‘own’; the better for them in the long run.
When Kaitlyn was first diagnosed, we were under the absolute belief that she was going to have this for the rest of her life so we figured we would DO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE for as long as we could. It was the least we could; right? Read on.
Mindy entered our lives.
Mindy was as smart as she was beautiful. She had type 1 for years, was married, had a wonderful daughter and she was one of the strongest women I have ever met. She would tell us a story that would change our lives.
When we first started on this journey and met Mindy she told me that I seemed like a very dedicated dad and that I was driven to change this world of diabetes.
I informed her that I was definitely on that roadway.
Mindy said, “start with your daughter. Tom I am going to tell you something and you will get angry but know this as truth. It is not your diabetes, give it back to Kaitlyn.”
She was correct……I got angry. Of course it was as much ours as it was hers. What is she talking about? She continued.
“Hear me out. I was diagnosed with diabetes at a very early age. My parents did everything for me. EVERYTHING. Age 9-10-11-12-13. I never did a thing; NOT A THING. They followed me, they measured, they tested, and they injected. I was home one night waiting for them because I was hungry (Remember that we are speaking of diabetes in the 60’s-70’s here).
The door bell rang and my grandmother answered the door (even she was not trained on what to do with my diabetes). I remember the policeman standing there. My parents were killed in an automobile accident. And to be honest, I was unsure if I was more angry that they were dead or that they left me with everything AND I KNEW NOTHING. SO I can tell you, give Kaitlyn her diabetes back. You will be glad you did.”
We started that day. It became the greatest accomplishment because Kaitlyn took complete control as soon as we knew she was able. By age 7 she was giving herself her own shots. It was a painful but crucial lesson to learn.
I am a diabetes dad.
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