I answered with just a factual regard; 21+ years (dx at 2) for one and 4+ years (dx at 13) for the other. I just stared at the screen after I typed those words. It seems so long ago but also seems like yesterday.
I kept thinking many things. But what stood out more than anything else is how long my children have been dealing with diabetes. What we have done as parents pales in the comparison of what they have endured all of these years.
I am not making light of the long hours of not sleeping and the long list that parents go through to make sure our children do well; we do a lot.
But when push comes to shove; what our kids go through just amazes me that they are functioning at all. But in many cases they are more than functioning; aren’t they.
Where is your child? Are they grabbing life for everything it has or is diabetes stopping them at every turn. You must ask yourself why? You must find out what stops them? Mine is not a judgement against anyone here. Mine is to ask yourself why some kids are just hugely successful at ‘this diabetes’ thing and for you to perform a ‘self-check’ if everything is being done to make sure your child has every opportunity that is before them and more than that; are they taking advantage of that opportunity? This is as important as diabetes management itself.
I love reading the incredible stories of kids that are just mocking diabetes with the activities that they are involved. Sports, theatre, singing, and just being kids. Our kids have it tougher than those that do not deal with anything; and they do it knowing that there is this constant, nonstop, ever-present pain in their ass (excuse my language but there are no other words for it).
So you are in one of two categories. 1. Your child is living life to the fullest that life has to offer. 2. Your child is stopped in their tracks. Where is your child?
Do you find yourself posting more pictures of your child in the hospital suffering than outside playing? (First step is to stop posting pictures of your child in the hospital—-trust me when I tell you that they cringe when they see them).
I get that it isn’t easy–believe me I understand. Our children are not athletes that will win huge scholarships but if they wanted to try something, anything, anytime; our only phrase was ‘go for it’.
A while back a woman asked about wrestling and what to do with an insulin pump. I thought it was cool that she was seeking out what to do for her son who, I figured, was probably in junior high school. I was wrong. He was 5. FIVE!!!!!!
Where do you think that woman’s child will be in 3-7-10 years? Will he be a state finalist? IT DOESN’T MATTER. If she is looking to get him in the mainstream at age 5, you can bet your last dollar that he will be doing quite well later in life.
My point. Life is not meant to be observed from the sidelines it is meant to be lived. Why are some people’s children hugely successful ‘in getting in the game’ and others are not? I cannot answer that question, only you can. I can also ask; what are you DOING to get them in the game? The power we have over our children’s decision-making process is huge and they will reflect our actions and thoughts.
Ask yourself how your child deals with diabetes and ask yourself how you deal with their diabetes; look familiar?
If none of this makes any sense to you; forget about it and move on. But if you find yourself saying, “why does diabetes stop my child from so much?”, it’s my strongest suggestion that you move forward in 2014 to change that paradigm.
It’s not ‘presto-chango’, it’s not magic; it’s just a matter of taking that first step for your child to begin learning how to grab life for what it has to offer. Diabetes is IN their life, it doesn’t have to BE their life. Help them understand that point.
I am a diabetes dad.
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