I’m late coming to #dblogweek as I’m struggling to get the figures I need for my piece on CGMs. Then something happened which is more personal that the universal themes of the week, but which I wanted to share.
We’re still two months away from my son’s first “diaversary” (the date of his diagnosis). It co-incides with my daughter’s fifth birthday so it’s going to be a challenge.
But my son has had Type 1 diabetes for more than a year and every point of the summer term calendar is a reminder of how sick he was, and how we failed to get him diagnosed despite multiple trips to the GP. The hayfever which masked his fatigue and breathlessness is back; everyone’s drinking more in the heat. The annual choir tea party comes round again and I remember how ravenously he demolished the cakes (“polyphagia”, or excess hunger, was his main and not well known symptom alongside fatigue).
Last summer term his school took photos to use on their website and as marketing shots. My son features heavily, something this proud mum would love, but in every photo I can see how ill he is. His glassy eyes, impish look and high colour I know so well now as “tells” for high blood sugar. All term he teetered on the brink of the ketoacidosis that landed him in hospital on the first day of the holidays with a blood sugar of 50 odd, a drip in his arm, a lifetime diagnosis and the knowledge that a few days more and we would have lost him for ever.
The photos have been so painful that I’ve avoided the school website. But today our local magazine popped through the door, and fell open on a page with this picture. And the first thing I saw was the smile! Yes, he’s as high as a kite, yes he’s ill, but he’s happy!
Critical life events make you revise history. For the last 10 months I’ve had to shut the door on the past. Every memory of my children’s early years has been consigned to a box labelled “before”, too dangerous to be opened as it brings into focus the difference between “now” and “then”.
But the magazine that burst through the letter box today, with that smile… Maybe the time is right to go rummaging through that boxful of memories, to start to try to reconcile the good things of the past with our present. Even to think about the good memories we’ll create in the future.
Warning signs of Type 1 Diabetes (external link)
Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (link on this blog)