I'm the mom of a beautiful Type 1 daughter and married to a wonderful husband who also has Type 1! This blog serves as a place for my thoughts and feelings, in the hopes that it will help other families struggling with the many challenges diabetes presents. I can't always promise it is uplifting...but, it is honest.

And, of course, it is by no means meant to offer medical advice.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A little girl no more

Posted with permission from my most fave T1D

Dear Jess,

I started and re-started this post so many times.  I rarely post now and am so careful to protect your privacy.  It is your diabetes.  But, I have to let you know how absolutely amazed and proud of you I am.

I don't recognize at all my little girl.  The one that had just started on her seventh year when her childhood was stolen.  My eyes will always water when I think about that time.  And, I will forever hate the instantaneous way that our lives were shattered.

Your diabetes was my diabetes back then.  You did so much even at the young age of 7...checking your own blood sugar.  I remember the first time you gave yourself a shot.  Your little hand shaking.  But, the management and worry were mine.

You grew up despite diabetes.  You went from this little girl to a young woman who is much taller than me.

Your diabetes changed with you.  You went from being an advocate who read to your class and spoke to large crowds about Type 1, to a middle school student who hated it and tried desperately to keep it hidden.  And, then one day I turned around and you were back to advocating...on Instagram this time.  I was shocked to see posts that stated "Proud to be T1D."

As all parents, I have tried so hard to protect you.  I've been the mama bear that has taken on anyone who I feel discriminates against you or treats you differently because of diabetes.

Today showed me such new ways how much you have grown and changed.

You had your diabetes eye exam today.  The nurse felt the need to tell you about a girl who ate candy and went blind.  She also talked with you about how she was so happy that she didn't have diabetes as she absolutely could never "do needles" or give up candy.  She told you that as long as you did what you were supposed to do and didn't do things like eat candy, you would be just fine.

As I felt my blood boil, and my mama bear instincts take over (carefully balanced by the desire not to embarrass you as I do so frequently these days,) I watched in amazement as you handled this completely inappropriate situation in your own way.

Some would say you should have patiently educated her.

But, as a nurse who works for a retinal doctor and sees people living with diabetes all day long, I will say she should know better.

You calmly asked me for your candy.  And, then ate it in front of her.  You and I know that they were actually glucose tabs, but I loved the way you even said "mom, do you have any more smarties? I'd like some more candy"  The look on the nurse's face was priceless.  But even more priceless was the look on your face when you looked around the room for cameras, waited for her to turn her back, and then quickly gave her the finger.

I know many will say I should have disciplined you.  But, instead I tried not to laugh and was not very successful.

I love that you realized the ridiculous scare tactic for what it was, and that it was mixed with a good healthy dose of ignorance.  I'm ok with the fact that you didn't patiently educate her that people living with Type 1 diabetes can actually have candy.  I love that her words did nothing more than piss you off, and that you handled it with humor, and then went on living your life... needles and all.  And, I love that her words didn't send you into a panic about going blind.  I even loved that when she asked you if you check your blood sugar you looked at her like she was insane.  And, when she told you "Oh that's good you check honey because some people don't.  What were you today when you checked?" you pulled out your dexcom and said "well I'm 95 now, would you like to see the past 24 hours?"

I know you will continue to grow and change, and we will see many more ways you process living with diabetes.  One day you may patiently educate and hopefully not give people the finger behind their backs.  But, today...at 13...I think your response was wise beyond your years.  Resilient.  Strong.  Sassy.  You are those and so much more.

And, I'm so proud to be your mom.