There tends to be a love/hate relationship between truth and fear for me. I spend the majority of my days keeping fear at bay. I don’t ever deny the emotion of fear, and the fear comes from the truth of our current circumstances with Carter. Living with and managing Type 1 Diabetes can have you feeling a range of emotion from one moment to the next. Carter will have a wonderful blood sugar of 120 at breakfast, and then at lunch be 60. It doesn’t matter if I do the exact same ritual everyday, feed him the same thing everyday, at the same time, the numbers will always be different.
This is when the fear creeps in, am I doing everything I can to give my son the best life he can possibly have? Then the fear starts to creep in at the thought that at some point I will have to turn the management of his diabetic care over to him, most likely around the teenage years. I often wonder if I am setting the best example of diabetes management, given the fact that I don’t really live with it.
That’s when it clicked, parts of the example I am setting for my children, especially my son, is fear based. The running for carbs when I test him and he is 62, the frustration when he won’t finish the food I have dosed him for. Unconsciously, fear has me by the hand and leads me when it comes to monitoring my sons diabetes. I work my hardest to be calm and rationale, but the truth is, there is nothing rationale about type 1 diabetes.
If you let it, diabetes will tear away at your core, you will always feel like a failure if you let fear guide you. I have found that the best way for me to have peace is to remember that I am human and doing the best I can. The more forgiving I am with myself, the more peace I have.
Learning how to be more proactive instead of reactive will assist me greatly, always anticipating lows and highs at each blood check will streamline everything and not give fear the ability to show itself. As the caregiver and mother to my T1 son, and my non-diabetic daughter, it’s easy to forget that I am constantly under the microscope. I feel the pressure of always handling every situation the right way, but find comfort in not handling it the right way and using my missteps as examples to my children on how to strive to be better.
Fear will always be there, learning how to hinder it from taking control is the real lesson. I strive for that everyday, some days I succeed, and others I have wonderful examples for my children on what not to do. I like that no matter how the day goes, my children and I always have an open dialogue about all things diabetes. My hope and prayer is that by doing so and making discussing every aspect a part of our day, we will continue that and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls in the teenage years that can develop from shame of being different. After all, embracing our differences is what makes us confident and fearless I the long run.