Someone recently asked about the positives type 1 diabetes has brought to our life. Some might immediately say "none", but that isn't the case in this household. The gifts that diabetes has brought to our family I call the 'diabetic diamonds in the rough'. You might not see them, or appreciate them, at first glance.... but they are there if you look hard enough.
Here are some of our diabetic diamonds in the rough:
- the insulin pump is teaching my seven year old to read. She may struggle with "See Jane run. Run Jane, run!" but she can read "Normal Bolus" versus "Dual Wave Bolus"
- Rowan is being taught awareness of her own body. Both inside and out. I'm still learning about mine!
- My children know more about nutrition than the average twenty year old.
- My daughters are being taught to speak up if they feel an adult doesn't know what they're talking about. Note to daughters: stop using this one with your mother.
- My seven year old has learned much about consequences. Particularly before our leap to the pump. You want to eat that great big gooey brownie? Sure.... but you can only have half, and after you're done all that's left for you to munch on is cheddar cheese and raw carrots. There will be no more food for at least another two hours. What's that, have a tummy ache? Yeah.... not such a good idea, eh?
- Schedule and routine. If ever that was lacking, diabetes walked into our lives and bitch slapped it into my reality. We are structured. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we HAVE structure.
- Living in the moment. I have struggled with THIS one for years. But when the diabetic seas are calm and smooth, you learn to savor every single moment of it. No worries about what happened four hours ago. Right NOW, it's all good!
- An appreciation for our health. Especially my ten year old. Not a day passes that she's not tremendously grateful somehow type 1 diabetes didn't come knocking on HER door.
- Empathy. My ten year old was born with buckets of empathy. My youngest? She's the typical youngest. But when she tests her blood in front of her friends and someone says "Oooh gross!!" she has profound empathy when she meets a little girl in the neighbourhood wearing both a ventilator on her throat and a feeding tube. They stop to show and tell each others site locations.
- Gratitude! Rowan survived her battle with DKA in August of 2010. We are profoundly grateful, and I'd like to think we connect with that gratitude daily.
- The generosity of our community has been overwhelming since Rowan's diagnosis. We moved to a new town three, maybe four years ago. I had no idea the level of friendship, support and giving that were waiting us. These people are our angels.
- An appreciation for technology and advancements in medicine. If I have to be raising a type 1 diabetic child, I am UNBELIEVABLY grateful that I have the good fortune to this do today. Not 30 years ago, God forbid, not 100 years ago. I don't have to resharpen syringes for her insulin injections. She gets to finger poke instead of doing urine dips. Her pump can fit in her pocket, not have to be worn like an astronauts backpack. Yes.... PROFOUNDLY grateful for advancements in medicine.
- Also very grateful to be living in Canada with standardized health care. I cannot express again our grateful that the overwhelming costs of living with type 1 diabetes has been miniaturized by our counties health care. Further, I am grateful to be living in a country where my 'access to insulin' is never in doubt.
I'm sure that there are more diabetic diamonds in the rough. Perhaps I haven't stumbled onto them yet. But I'm always on the look out.
What positives did type 1 diabetes bring to YOUR family's life?
Wishing you good health, and cooperative numbers!
Woman.... Artist.... Mother.... Advocate.... Artificial Pancreas..... and everything in between!