It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. But we’ve had a full-on life-changing summer. My eldest who is 15 was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This is our story.
An hour after a doctors appointment we are sitting in a&e and I can feel it coming, the news I’d seen on a quick Google search in a long list of possible suggestions before we’d left the house, type 1 diabetes. We’d just had a fantastic 10 days in Portugal, where we all drank loads because of the heat. I remember looking at him by the pool thinking how tall and slender he is, all 6 foot 2 of him aged 15. When we returned he could not stop going to the loo all the time and for ages. and his thirst was unquenchable! Now I am being told he’s underweight by 4 pounds and didn’t I notice?
The nurses and doctors are too much with their information; who can get up to speed in such a short space of time? We tell them to stop. Me, his Dad, younger brother and Grandma all end up in tears around his hospital bed, my son’s tear-soaked face covered by his favourite hoodie; he can’t look at us but needs us all next to him. I sleep beside him on a camp bed tightly holding his hand, as much for me as for him, until the sobbing stops. That’s when my sadness is at its heaviest and every horrible possible scenario of his life ahead pulsates through my brain and I think I can never let him out of my sight ever again. When he injects himself with insulin for the first time my heart breaks. He’s pissed off and swears, a lot. He hates the food and the bed is so hard, sweaty and uncomfortable. He wants out of this place ASAP. So do I.
I’m sick of people telling me he will be fine and it could be worse, I want to slap them as well as those who ask me when we are home again if it was from eating too many sweets. It is like having a newborn baby all over again, we are sent home with some instructions and just have to get on with it. For the first three weeks, I cannot stop crying; the tears just come with anything and everything. When he walks up the road on his first day back at school with all his diabetes kit I can barely breathe; I just want him to be ok. I do cry in front of my son, he says it helps him deal with it all. I take some time off work when both my sons go back to school just to get my head, body and soul back in some sort of gear. His school has been fantastic, so kind and caring and really help him get back up to speed. 9 weeks on it now seems so normal and we are learning every day to let this new thing join our family without it taking over. My friends have been so supportive and I found an awesome group on Facebook (UK CWD AG) who have been my hand-holding big-hug reassuring-advice lifeline of utter beauty and love. My son just gets on with, sorts it all out and tells me ‘it’s just an extra layer of thinking’. We’ve got new things in the house; digital weighing scales, a magnifying glass so I can read the small print on food packaging and two lovely grey boxes which go with the kitchen decor to keep all the stuff he needs in. At the weekend he got a yellow card at football; I was delighted that his fighting spirit and love of football are still strong. Type 1 diabetes has tried to mess with him but he’s having none of it. Teens get a bad press sometimes, but my teen has taught me just how resilient and pragmatic he is. He’s not wallowing in self-pity and he’s still very much the boy I know and love just as much as the day he was born, even more so now especially when he tells me ‘Mum, it’s all chill, trust’. So I’ve promised him I am going to try and do my best!