As odd as it sounds, there are actually some things that I like about the fact that my child has type 1 diabetes. It feels wrong to even think that way...that there could possibly be things that I like about this bastard of a disease....but it's true.
I love the fact that my child has gotten the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Just today for example, we had lunch with a friend that is marking the 40th anniversary of her diagnosis with a party next month. I sat there watching them both check their blood sugar, bolus for their food, and talk about things that I could never relate to...because i dont have diabetes...I'm just the Mom...i will never fully be able to grasp completely what its like. They talked about pump tubing that had gotten twisted up in a knot, accidentally cancelling a bolus and having to redo it, and getting asked if you can play games on the pump. To see my child's eyes light up as she spoke with our friend about these things was priceless to me....to be able to see her find comfort in the same...with someone who has been doing this for 35 years longer than her...ahhh there are no words to describe how special that was for me to see. As we pulled out of the parking lot on the way home from lunch, Emma said to me, "it's cool to talk to a grownup with type 1. Usually when I talk to kids who have it too...we just talk about playing and having fun...cause were kids. Getting to talk to a grownup who has it is awesome because she gets it and she knows....she just knows."
I love the fact that my child has friends her own age that care for her and are concerned about her. Tonight we spent some time at her friends house...he is a classmate of Emma's and has been her friend for over three years now. He doesn't make a big deal out of blood sugar checks. He doesn't get annoyed or irritated when Emma has to stop playing to drink a juice box because she was low. He waits patiently and when she's finished, they carry on playing...no big deal. I love that seeing these types of things is just normal for him. I love that he sees Emma as.....Emma.....not the girl with diabetes. When he overheard me telling his Mom that I had to take Emma to her clinic appointment next Tuesday, he asked, "does that mean Emma won't have to have her diabetes anymore then?" My heart hurt when he said that...I wanted so badly to tell him yes...I wanted so badly for his innocent thought to be true. This same little boy actually has overcome incredible things in his own life as well. He is going to have surgery next month to fix a hole in his heart. He's 9 years old...and he sees life in the most beautiful way...he has an infectious laugh and I am greatful that he is my child's friend.
Finally, I love the fact that I have time to teach my child about her disease. I wasn't given time to prepare for it. I wasn't given time to be ready or learn or figure things out. I had a matter of hours to learn how to give injections, check blood sugars, and count carbs. I had to fly by the seat of my pants....hold on for dear life...and learn...immediately...on the spot...right there. I didn't have time to breathe. I couldn't learn one step and practice it until I felt comfortable. I just had to steady my shaking hands, grab that menacing life saving needle, stab my daughter in the leg with it, and just do it.....go....make it happen and don't screw up because it's a matter of life or death...if you screw up she could die....DIE....her life is in your hands from this second forward so don't screw up! I love the fact that I have time.....I have years to teach Emma how to manage her disease. I can take it slow...teach her step by step...give her time to master the skills...give her the knowledge as we go along age appropriately...so that one day she will understand it all.
I love the fact that one day....when she is old enough and ready to take the reigns....she will be ready. I love that I can give her the gift of time...because I didn't have that....and I would never wish that way of learning on anyone.