Tennis Balls and Syringes; How the Diabetes Ball Bounces

Here we are for our 27th Diabetes Awareness Month.   Ahhhh November.  The thing I always share with parents is the fact that no matter how much time we spend on this journey, whether diagnosed last week, or 26 years ago, it makes sense to look back to the beginning and realize just how much we learned.

Because whether it is a short time, or a long time, one thing I know to be true is that no matter how much time passes, we gain knowledge every day.  Don’t we?  We start with the realization that we have no idea what this disease is about, and how to handle it, to meeting with newly diagnosed parents sharing with them that they too can do what we all have done.

One-day-at-a-time—–and breathe.

The other day I saw a tennis instructor working with a young pupil.  A basket full of tennis balls accompanied the teacher.   I’m not a tennis player and know little about it other than what I learned the times I tried it in my youth.   This was a new visual for me.  Tennis ball after tennis ball after tennis ball went from instructor’s racket over the net to the student’s racket.  It clearly was a practice they had done hundreds of times because the student knew, without a spoken word, when to move to different parts of the tennis court, or to use a backhand or overhead swing.  It was fascinating to watch.  Hours and hours and tens of thousands of tennis balls……tennis ball after tennis ball after tennis ball, again and again and again.

Every now and again the student would get frustrated because a shot was missed.
“Grrrrrrrr” came the noise.
All for one goal—-perfection.

We, too, do the same thing when it comes to our children and their diabetes management.  Again, and again, and again we try, striving for that perfection.  Perhaps we need to give ourselves a break sometimes because we are going to be right back at it tomorrow, and the next day, until such time that the ‘break’ we wait for arrives and this disease is cured once and for all.  But until such time it’s injection after blood check after treating a low after injection after blood check after treating a low after injection after……..

I am a diabetes dad.
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5 replies on “Tennis Balls and Syringes; How the Diabetes Ball Bounces”

How many years have you lived with type1 diabetes Diabetes Dad? How do you know what it feels like as a kid with type1? Have you lived with type1 for years or decades? So many people think they understand what type1 it is like but have never did it for even one day. I had type1 for 41 years and got as a kid, so I know what it really feels like.

In all my years at being at this for my children I have not, for one second, EVER stated I knew how it felt to have diabetes and in fact I have stated many, many, many, many times just that point—–THAT I DO NOT. Not sure how you read that into my post. My perspective has always been as a parent, getting it right as a parent, and trying as a parent. Most who know me know this to be true. You are right—-I do not know. You are incorrect—-I have never said otherwise. Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts.

Hello, 44 years here and i think you hit the nail on the head. I was 17 when Dx’d but grew up with several T1’s as friends. Why you might ask? I grew up with T1 friends barbecue my mom was T1 and she cared for several children with T1 when there mothers could not find care elsewhere.

What i knwo is a simple truth, we work hard every day for ourselves, but our passion is for our children.

Great Post Tom.

Really good piece Diabetes Dad! I’m in my 25th year of type 1 and I’ve been following your blog and sharing it for at least 5 years because you get it. I’m also very grateful for the power of parents advocating for type 1 diabetes. You may not have type 1 yourself but you definitely feel every bit of it. That’s my opinion.

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