Every 3 months, as part of Fin’s diabetes care, we go to meet with his DSN (Diabetic Specialist Nurse), Dietician and Consultant Paediatrician at the hospital where they test his height, weight, blood pressure and take a finger prick sample to check his hba1c levels.
Whilst waiting for the nurse to bring the results of his hba1c in last week, the consultant tried to engage Fin in a conversation about his blood sugar readings. Not at all interested in talking about that, after a few minutes, he had somehow turned the conversation around to rugby and started telling them all how he had recently been on rugby tour to Butlins and that his team had been unbeaten and had walked away with the winner’s trophy!
I then showed her the following photograph which one of our coaches managed to capture.
She loved it and looking quite emotional she turned to me and said “That picture is amazing, look how far you have come! Remember how you were?”
Not look how far HE has come (which of course he has) but look how far I had.
Because the truth is, when Fin was first diagnosed at the age of 2, I lost the plot. I suffered with severe anxiety, wouldn’t leave the house, took six weeks off work and was a shadow of my former self.
I felt as though I was grieving for the healthy child I had lost overnight and the thought of having to stick needles into my baby boy every day to keep him alive both horrified and terrified me in equal measures.
I spent days googling Type 1 Diabetes and became obsessed with his life expectancy being reduced. I ignored my friends and would only speak to Andrew or my mother. Despite feeling this way, I was 100% hands on with Fin’s care and wouldn’t let anyone else look after him. In my head, I was giving up work and keeping him in this house with me forever, never letting him out of my sight.
Slowly, with the help of medication and the massive support of Andrew and my mother, I started to see light at the end of the tunnel and took very slow steps back to normality.
Fin’s consultant was witness to all of that. She has watched me progress from someone who had completely lost her way and was terrified of the future to someone who is determined that nothing will stop her little boy from achieving everything he dreams of.
It’s far from easy on occasions but I force myself to let him go to sleepovers and out with his friends. I watch him put his body on the line in rugby every weekend despite my heart being in my mouth for most of the match and next year, I have already given him my word that he can go on the school residential for 2 nights without me. I will probably not eat or sleep for those 48 hours but it is something I have to do.
Because in the very beginning, when I was pricking his chubby little fingers at 3am in the morning, as he lay there oblivious, I made him a promise that I would give him the best life he could ever wish for and as hard as it is on occasions, I am determined to keep that promise.
At the end of our meeting last week, the consultant asked if I could get her a copy of the rugby photograph to put up in her office, so that she could show it to newly diagnosed families, in the hope that telling our story would show them that Type 1 isn’t the end of the world.
So, I suppose that’s why I had the idea to start this blog. We have come a long way and maybe sharing our journey, the highs and the lows, may help other families dealing with the same diagnosis.
As well as raising awareness and hopefully providing support, above all I want this blog to be filled with happy memories which prove that Type 1 may bash us down on occasions but it will never beat us!
“It’s ok to be a glowstick, sometimes we have to break before we shine!”