Soooooooo, as the youngest of 3 children I've always felt like the spoilt kid of the family. That's true for the most part, but after living with my parents as an adult, I now understand the care and effort parents provide. Selfishly or ignorantly I haven't full considered the feelings of my parents with respect to my diabetes. Now, when I think back on the day that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I realise the pain and anguish that my parents went through, and still go through (but to a lesser degree hopefully) today.
They were worried even before my diagnosis. My mom had a dreadful look one morning when she tested my blood sugars after I had mentioned that I was so thirsty and peeing all the time. I saw the levels but, since I didn’t really understand the condition, didn’t think much of it. The look on my mom’s face told me more than I wanted to know, but I still disregarded the signs. My day was normal and I never thought much of it. I thought, oh well, probably a mistake or a glitch on the machine, or blankly that it wouldn’t happen. In fact, I do remember thinking maybe my mom is overacting. You know how moms can be, sometimes they’ll call the doctor for an odd bowel movement (Just for the record I don’t tell my mom casually about my bowel movements but sometimes she asks, and describing is the polite thing to do).
I remember being in the doctors office and waiting for the results of the urine test with my mom. The results weren’t my best, but we’ll brush past that. After a lot of disbelief, my mom had to leave. I can’t remember why, whether there was another appointment or just that it was difficult to handle. I sat in another room, while my doctor dealt with some appointments. I sobbed for a while, which was probably because of the shock, but being totally alone didn’t help. No blame for my parents as they must have been something urgent (probably picking up my sister) and it wasn’t long anyway. I waited for my dad to come and pick me up and deal with some instructions from the doctor. After my dad arrived, and we gathered in the doctors office and the dynamic of the room changed. My dad who I don’t see get emotional crumbled and even our family doctor broke. As tears filled the room, the worry also built in me. More tears fell as we told my sister the news…. Such a baby haha. Essentially the disbelief of the diagnosis along with the uncertainty and concern over my future was overwhelming and rocked the family. This had happened to my mom a while before me and although this was just as shocking, it was different somehow. There was more silence when the same happened with my mother. I remember just times sitting in the living room with the whole family in silence after my mom had arrived with the diagnosis. Again disbelief and shock, but muted in both respects.
Having said that even now, when I inject my insulin, I can see that my father, who isn't someone who expresses very much, is uncomfortable and dejected. He's always worried and still does, but probably with good reason. There was one time I ended up in hospital due to my diabetes, but that's a story for another day (cheeky teaser). Its clear that he does his best for me and still to this day will tell me of the latest herbal remedy and most of the time attempt to get me some. Now I don't generally prescribe to herbal medicine, but I try it for his sake and efforts. It just shows how much he's worried if anything.
Even though there was a lot of worry to begin with, I’ve not really seriously worried a significant amount about my diabetes, or dealing with my condition. Not especially when compared with my studies where I’d worry quite a lot (classic glasses wearing Indian yo). I think I've definitely got my priorities wrong there. I can thank my mom for my calm and relaxed (maybe too relaxed) behaviour towards diabetes as she’s my diabetes role-model! As well as being role model for more general things. I saw my mom who was very sick before being diagnosed and was given a lot of confidence knowing that although its not something you really want to have, its certainly something you can live with. Something you can thrive with, in spite of it.
It still must be hard to deal with. I’m trying to imagine (since I have no children) what it would be like if they had a long term illness and they had to inject themselves everyday, and I’ve got to say I’m not comfortable with it. If it was someone dependent on me or a sibling it'd be would be painful to endure. For now though I’m alright actually, and there are some things that are much worse so I’m thankful. My parents probably feel powerless/paralyzed, but I hope that fades as I exude more confidence about my beeties (#beeties) my nickname for my diabetes. I got them beeties.
I think I’ll make more of an effort to let my parents know I’m cool and that they should be cool too!