The second date becomes engrained in your mind as did the first date. Child number two has been diagnosed. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. Another event in our life a simple band-aid just would not work.
We understood that we knew what to do. So many reminded us of that point. We did not need the reminder. Those who chose to do so did not understand. We knew that we know. And it is in the know that we had to grapple with in our minds, and in our hearts.
We knew it was the fear of others and them telling us that it was still their fear that THEY too would have a second diagnosed did nothing to make us feel better. Because we were in the now. Like so many things in life, if you are not in it, you cannot understand. It was not just the pain times 2; I only wish it were that simple.
I could never imagine what it is like to have three children almost the way that I have never once pretended to understand what it is like to have diabetes. “I’m sorry, and you are in my thoughts and prayers”: seemed to be the nicest and safest response from so many we knew; when it happened to us.
Our hearts broke none-the-less. Because WE DO know. A second childhood stolen away.
I say what I feel in my heart. Sometimes that honest feeling and ‘speaking my mind’ has cost me some aggravation. Sometimes, when misunderstood, my statements have impacted and possibly hurt others as well. Never intention, but it has happened. Life happens. No one has made more mistakes than I in this diabetes journey. I freely admit that and when people ask me how I move on my answer is always the same. Whatever happens is absolutely miniscule compared to what I deal with in reality; in my mind, and in my soul having two children with T1 diabetes.
When we found out our second ‘now had diabetes’ we didn’t care to hear someone else’s fears, about the dog who had diabetes, or what Aunt-so-and-so thought about what else we ‘did wrong’ to cause such a horrible thing. We grieved.
Not the grieving process as in a loss of a child (another feeling I would never even think to understand, and may I never) but more of the stolen childhood. Kaitlyn had to grow up quicker than others and everything she did she has done with an asterisk in her life. Now Rob would have to deal with the same.
It sucks just as much.
It’s unfair just as much.
But like anything life throws at us we need to cope. Cope does not mean get better, cope means just that; cope. We need to start to move forward. We did. One step; no matter how small. One step.
One step leads to a journey, different from if we only had one child with diabetes but a journey none-the-less. The journey becomes the new normal. A different new normal than we expected; but a new normal none-the-less.
The truth is that we DID HAVE the education; we know what we knew. The education aspect is both a blessing and a curse. It IS a blessing because we now knew what needed to get done.
It is a curse because…….well…….we know what it means.
We hurt. We hurt to this day. A heart should not be broken twice.
But we created an attitude that kept us going, just as we did when our first was diagnosed. We still cry, we still hurt but we will be absolutely damned if we allowed ourselves to think that diabetes would win. Ever win. It won’t. We won’t let it.
That drive did not come the first hour, day, or week. But the power to make this work was now given over to an exponential of two. If the pain would become two-fold so would our efforts.
No one understands unless they have been here. When we had just one we realized how much we wanted it no more. When we had the second we realized how much we wanted just to have one. But we cannot control that, can we?
No matter what, diabetes can not win; and we are doing everything in our power, times two, to make damn sure that is the case.
I am a diabetes dad.
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