Published on January 21, 2013 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
I’ve shared in previous posts, our journey with my daughter’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Although, I am very thankful that it is a treatable disease and she can live a long healthy life, we have definitely had to make adjustments. Our days are filled with finger pricks, carb counting and insulin dosing. I am not a diabetes expert, doctor or educator. Instead, a wife to a type 1 diabetic for 16 years and mamma to a type 1 diabetic for 6 years.
I had the unique experience of walking with my husband on this journey for eleven years before our daughter’s diagnosis. I heard first hand from him how certain comments or expectations from others affected him. Having his personal input has been a priceless blessing in disguise. As a result, I share with you our unspoken commitments we have made to our daughter.
We will never shame her or make her feel responsible for having diabetes.
We will always try to be flexible and remember that she is a little girl first, her identity is not found in diabetes.
We will not whisper to our friends or strangers that she has diabetes in front of her. We never want her to feel ashamed of what she cannot control. If they need to know, we will explain out loud by her side and/or give her an opportunity to share.
We will lovingly educate our friends and family who are integral parts of my daughter’s life about diabetes.
We will be understanding when she doesn’t feel well as a result of a low or high blood sugar. Chores and school responsibilities are still expected to be completed, however, we will offer flexibility when needed. (Not a free pass).
We do not offer rewards or incentives based on “good blood sugar readings,” there are too many variables that are outside of her control. We do not believe it would be fair. Instead, rewards/incentives are based off of choices just like any other child without diabetes.
We will always encourage her to try new things, new adventures or new sports. We understand that it may mean more finger pricks, insulin adjustments, etc. however, we will not make decisions based on our convenience.
We will do everything that we can to make her life as normal as possible. No, she might not be able to go to a friends sleep over until she is older, but we can have a rocking fun sleep over at our house.
The word “no” does not have to be followed up with “because of your diabetes.” There are so many things that she can do, we will focus on those.
We will always be thankful that diabetes can be managed, even on the toughest of days.
Please understand, I don’t have it all together and often fail miserably. However, I am committed to making sure that diabetes does not dictate my baby girl’s life. Like I have said before, she might have diabetes, but it doesn’t have her.