Welcome to 2021! We first get to celebrate that we have been able to turn the page from 2020 and see what life can bring for us now — even though some may say it hasn’t started off much better.
While there is always joy and excitement and a sense of a fresh start, diabetes doesn’t start over. It’s there every day, whether we are willing to work with it or not.
I think that is one of the many things I wrestle with as a T1D parent: showing up on the days where even I don’t want to hassle with it. But putting on the strong face is the choice I get to make. I mean, let’s be honest — there have been a lot of things that we faced in 2020.
Personally, we started 2020 with Logan getting the flu, at the same time we were starting with the Dexcom CGM. I was so excited to get him started! But then battling the high sugars with being sick and seeing them constantly with the Dexcom, I learned very quickly what everyone warns you about…the CGM can also be too much information!
Then COVID struck, and we got to try to explain to our kids why we weren’t going to Great Wolf Lodge. There is this virus that we don’t know about and we don’t want to take any extra risks.
And who really enjoyed having to shut down your child’s requests over and over again to have friends over to play?! Logan is a social kid; he thrives on talking to people. And when I have that conversation of not feeling comfortable having his friends over because I don’t know how careful they have been…that immediately in his head says, “what, you don’t think my friends are smart?! You just don’t want me to have any fun!” One of those days I really didn’t want to show up for the diabetes. I didn’t like having that conversation. It was heart-crushing, actually.
There were a lot of heart-crushing conversations with kids this past year, diabetes or not. But to have a child in a “high risk” category just feels … extra hard.
And here’s the thing. We still did it. We are still doing it. We are still teaching our kids to face the hard days, or hard months. Because no matter how many calendar pages we get to flip into a new year, the reality is still that there are hard days with diabetes.
So how do you face the hard days? For me, I celebrate the little stuff. I am a gratitude fanatic! So much so that it really drives my family crazy. But I don’t think there is a wrong way to be grateful. So I celebrate the overnight stretches of near-perfect blood sugars. I celebrate when I calculate the carbs and extend the insulin just right for pizza night. Those things feel like hitting the lottery!
So celebrate yourself and your kids! Celebrate when things go well, so we don’t have to spend so much time worrying when they get hard.
This blog post is PART TEN of IT TAKES A FAMILY: LIFE WITH TYPE 1, written by Lindsay Dunlap.
The Dunlap family lives with two generations of T1D, and Lindsay is graciously sharing their experience with us. If you’d like to connect with Lindsay, she’d be happy to talk about the highs and lows with you at email@example.com.
Click here to learn more about the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, including support for families through programs such as Camp Hamwi.