Having Confidence in Our Choices

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I became an advocate in 2009, when my daughter was born.  In the first moments of her life I realized how the only things that mattered going forward were her safety and happiness.  The same thoughts flooded me the day my son was born in 2012.  I presume this is why being an advocate for my son through his diabetes comes easy to me.  We become advocates the moment we become parents, we speak on behalf of our children and protect them when they are too little to do it for themselves.  I am lucky enough to have confidence in my parenting, and don’t rely on other people’s opinions to validate me as a mother.  I must say, the 5 months we have endured Type 1 care for my son, I have been astonished at the pressure received through some of the doctors offices I have been in.  In these past five months, we have gone through 3 endocrinologist in an effort to find one who gives my son the care he deserves.  There are plenty of things I do not do, as I don’t let science dictate how to raise my children.  For instance, my children never received the H1N1 vaccine, I don’t run my life living by fear.  I read a blog the other day, where a father wrote about his daughter who has T1 was getting through the flu.  He wrote about how he and his wife don’t get the flu shot for their daughter, as most often the strain within the flu shot isn’t the one that is actually going around.  I applauded him and responded how I am the same way with my children.  My children have never had a flu shot, nor have I.  Doctors these days, especially when you have a child with type 1 diabetes, feel the need to scare you into doing things their way.  After all, they have read plenty of books about what “could” go wrong so it must be true right?  I profoundly disagree.  I remembered the pressure I was given when Carter was first diagnosed to join support groups.  At the time of diagnosis I wasn’t interested in getting together with total strangers to talk about what life now meant for me.  What I found most manipulative was when the nurses didn’t like that answer they sent the social worker in to try to persuade me.  This happens a lot when it comes to the care of my diabetic not yet two-year-old.  I am lucky enough being five months in, to have my son’s A1C numbers to back my responses.  I’ve been the rebel from the onset, and have pushed back against the resistance that is the medical field.  My son’s A1C result in April of 2014 was 8.3, down from 10.8 at diagnosis, proof that I am caring properly for my son.  I appreciate that lately the doctors have backed off, as I have told them when I refuse some of the things they try to push, my son, my choice.  I believe as parents it’s important to remember that we know our children better than anyone.  We know their personalities, and just because 85% of children my son’s age are wearing a pump no problem, doesn’t mean my son is ready for it.  I am proud to stand behind what I believe in when it comes to my children, I know that there isn’t a person on this earth who loves my children more than me, or who is as connected to them as I am.  I have full and complete confidence in my ability to care for them and to make decision for them that is within their best interest.  I am pleased that today, my children’s doctors believe in me with the same trust, as they have seen proven in my son’s health and how it has flourished.  I encourage every parent who is a caregiver, if you have questions ask them.  If you aren’t comfortable with the way something within the care for your child is going, speak up.  We are not only caregivers and parents, we are our children’s advocates, our children rely on us for their health.

4 thoughts on “Having Confidence in Our Choices”

  1. Alyson:
    I totally commend you for standing up to your doctors and knowing what is best for your son! Doctors may know what “scientifically” SEEMS to work best, but we T1Ds are all individuals and no set rule applies to ALL of us. As a young child diagnosed with this disease, and unable to stand up for myself, my mother was my biggest advocate and supporter. She was the first one to stand up and say “that won’t work for my daughter” or “I’m not comfortable with that treatment plan.” After all, she definitely knew me better than anyone; doctors, educators, other diabetics, heck, even myself! Growing up and seeing her voice her concerns and putting her foot down when it came to my care, showed me how to stand up for myself as an adult. Now, 32 years after diagnosis, I can honestly say, I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am nor as vigilant in my own medical care, if it hadn’t been for my mom setting a good example by fighting for what she knew was best for ME!

    1. Thanks Johanna, my thoughts exactly. I know that both my children will learn how to advocate for themselves by watching me advocate for them first! 🙂 You are so right about how not all rules apply to all!

  2. Amen! I had the same experience with my now 22-year-old son with Down’s. I was the rebel who refused the Ritalin just because he was going into a new Sunday school class (as if he wouldn’t be able to handle it) or when I chose to home school him. It can be very difficult to keep your cool when the “professionals” are giving you the idiot treatment, but I listened politely and then proceeded to do what I felt was best. You’re right Alyson. In time, they see the results of your choosing to put your child’s individual needs above what “they” say should occur. It’s challenging to remember that they are trying to help you and think they have your best interests in mind, but until you are speaking to someone who is exactly in your position, you need to weigh everything said with your own wisdom. No matter how it looks, everything is subject to change and as long as you are proactive and not motivated by fear, the change is always for good! 🙂 Keep up the awesome work on all fronts!!

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