Points were being scored all day.
I have an imaginary scale in my head when it comes to my children’s health. Anything that closely resembles a symptom of type 1 diabetes gets a point. Unfortunately several symptoms of type 1 diabetes are also symptoms of other ailments. The way I moderate this is if the point score stays under four or five across a day or so, I can control my anxiousness and resist the urge to pounce on my children with a blood glucose meter. Anything above this and I start to feel an impending sense of doom; my own private hell which I have never been able to articulate with words.
Yesterday I had a ‘seven’ with my son, Jarrah. The final point was scored in the early hours of this morning and I fell apart. In an instant we went from a quietly slumbering household to lights, noise & panic. (Even BobCat didn’t cope well with the unusual level of activity.) My husband & I grimaced through doing a blood glucose check on Jarrah. Unfortunately he thinks that finger pricks cause pain that never, ever goes away. On some level I agree with him; I am still in pain after all these years.
The screams of terror that filled the room as I pricked his little thumb opened a vault of emotions I keep buried deep: so very deep. Ordinarily it stays sealed because I know there is nothing I can do about either of my children getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I have acknowledged my fears and worries about this possibly happening and that is all I expect myself to do.
The vault was opened last night and I fell apart.
It wasn’t dramatic. I had a short, intense cry after everyone was tucked up in bed again and then I went numb.
My life with diabetes isn’t that hard. I have everything I need to stay alive. My quality of life doesn’t rely on much that is out of my control. I don’t really care whether people use the right language around me, or whether a public awareness campaign is done well. The world is full of glitches and quibbles and I decided long ago to walk my own path to happiness and this includes my approach to living with type 1 diabetes. Despite living a life free of religious allegiance, I often think of the first verse of The Serenity Prayer my Mum cross stitched and hung in our family home when I was young.
So one would think that if one of my children got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I could easily apply the same logic. Lead by example. Show them how to take responsibility for their own health. Teach them about the right time to advocate for their rights, and those of others. Help to minimise the impact type 1 diabetes may have on their lives. Allow them to enjoy their childhood.
Practically I can handle that…
But what stirs me, makes my heart ache and renders me unable to express myself is that there is no one else to blame but me. It is my fault; their risk of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is greater because I have it. Albeit a small percent, it is still there & it is more than other children they are surrounded by. I’m really not sure whether my feelings differ from those of my Mum; I’ll never be able to have that conversation with her. All I know is that there was no diabetes in my family before I was diagnosed and that’s a responsibility I simply cannot assign to anyone else.
I take on blame, feel guilt and go numb in insurmountable and unsolvable amounts.
I have not granted myself the serenity to accept this thing that I cannot change.
So for now, that’s why I want to be the 1 type 1.