Yesterday, I joined the diabetes community by watching the Diabetes Hope Conference. This virtual conference was at times difficult for me to watch. Please let me explain. As most of you know my son was diagnosed at the age of 12 a little over a year ago. As a single mom, this past year and his new way of life has been one of survival. Some day’s feeling like we barely survived.
I did not have time to think about the ever lurking complications that diabetes brings. To be a little more honest I know that I have not let myself feel the scary feelings of what could happen to my son in the future.
The crew from TuDibaetes – Manny, Emily and Mike were very transparent and sincere with their comments, which led me to attempt to feel fully my emotions of what my son could possibly face in the future. Their honesty was refreshing in that they truly explored the fear and anxiety that many face with this disease but worked without effort to share that they too don’t wish to think about complications.
This virtual conference gave me an understanding that hope in regard to Type 1 Diabetes is not in the belief that my son will be free of complications in his life, but hope being an understanding that he will be surrounded by a community that will support, encourage and uplift him in his journey.
Emily Coles of TuDiabetes shares her thoughts on this subject in this post.
Adventures in Traveling with Type 1 Diabetes
In January I launched a radio program on Blog Talk Radio called Conversations In Care. Once a month I feature stories and information about Type 1 Diabetes. I decided to do this because being new to this disease I know how much we just don’t know or understand. I also wanted to include a way for us as parents, and those with Type 1 Diabetes a place to connect. To know and understand that you are not alone in this adventure.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having Michelle Weisenburg, mom (CIO – Chief Insulin Officer) to Jordan who was 9 when he was diagnosed and is currently 15 and about to get his driving permit. We had a wonderful conversation about being a parent, wishing we paid more attention in math class and tips on how to travel well with Type 1 Diabetes.
I had so much fun with her on the show that I want to have her as a regular. There are so many things to talk about that I am sure I can convince her.
Listen in and Enjoy!
This has been a really tough year one that has tested not only my patience but my strength. Brandon has struggled with accepting diabetes and he has spent many months angry. Frankly, I have spent many months angry. Diabetes stole from me this super funny kid that laughed and joked and left me with this kid that slammed doors, and cursed and broke plates.
During this time there were days that Brandon refused to test his blood sugar and take his insulin. His therapist suggested some extreme forms of getting him to be compliant. Things I was not ready to do and struggled with. I wrestled with the ideas she gave me and the kid that I know. A sweet boy that is uber funny. When spoken to gently can be reasoned with. One that I knew was trying in his own way to come to terms with what life just dealt him.
I on the other hand was dealing with increasing anxiety of making sure that my son would not die. That he would not damage his body with the highs. This anxiety took over. This anxiety made me angry when he would not take his insulin because I was scared that he would die, that he would cause damage because of the highs.
It took time and patience, it still takes time and patience. And by the expectations of his therapists he may not be making the progress that they would like him to make, but he is making progress. What makes me believe that he is making progress other than the lowering of numbers? Let me tell you.
About two weeks ago I went into his room to wake him up for school and take his blood sugar. This is a task that I need to be throughly prepared for. I learned quickly not to sit by his legs during this new morning ritual. He rolled over and stuck his hand from underneath his blanket. “Hey bub, what finger do you want me to prick.” Remember he is still under the blanket except for his hand, facing the opposite direction. He slowly pulled back four fingers to revel his middle finger. There it was, his humor. It’s back. Giving Diabetes the middle finger was absolutely priceless to me.