Reflection is a curious thing. Sometimes reflection involves an immense understanding of the struggle you have just endured, and allows you to see with clarity the benefit of it as you grew through the pain, other times reflection leaves you bewildered.
I vacillate between the two outcomes these days. Most days I search, difficultly for the clarity, some days I find it some days I am left with bewilderment. I will never fully understand the full extent of what I am to gain by this diagnosis for my son, but I do my best each day to find the clarity I need for that moment, to get through the day.
Some days my son’s Type 1 Diagnosis evokes bitterness, other days I am left feeling grateful for the closeness we will always have. Despair, disbelief, disdain, these are feelings that work hard to burrow themselves into my soul, not allowing it has been an immense effort.
I hate having to watch my son for “weird behavior” in order to stay on top of his blood sugars and health. It saddens me that I know what odd behaviors my son shows when he is too low or too high blood sugar wise. I hate that I get judged by strangers when I administer a shot of insulin to my son in public, because those people are uneducated when it comes to diabetes. I hate that people assume I feed my son sugar all the time and look at me as an unfit mom when in public, only because they don’t know Type 1 is an auto-immune disease and I didn’t do anything wrong in order to have my son become inflicted with this disease.
There are days I get tired of being the bigger person and am tired of being understanding, I would love for accountability to be dealt full force to those who presume to know what my day looks like, who assume that my days is the exact same as before, just with shots added in. I grow weary of the ignorant comments, the incorrect assumptions that we eat poorly, or I didn’t breastfeed long enough, or I gave my son cow’s milk once he turned one, that all contributed to his disease.
It’s then, that reflection becomes my best friend, I reflect on our lives pre-diagnosis, and I reflect on how life has changed. I reflect on the how Type 1 Diabetes has essentially become the nucleus of our family, being the constant that aids in our continued growth.
So today as I reflect, I am proud to be the Mom of a Type 1 Diabetic Toddler, I am no longer impacted by the deflected shame, I take complete ownership of the fact that every shot, every blood sugar check, every ketone analysis, is a direct refection of my love for my son. It’s a direct reflection of his fathers adoration for his one and only son, and a reflection of how from the ashes, the Cheatham family has risen above the norms, above the stereotypes, and found the newest ways to dive harder into faith. We have become the poster children for growing stronger through adversity, and through reflection, I am pretty proud.