Sarah over at www.igotthasuga.com issued a challenge last week in her post The Connection. In the post, she challenges us PWD bloggers to blog about our memories of growing up with D. A lot of parents of CWD read the blogs of adult T1s.
I wrote this post as a thank you to my parents a few weeks ago. It talks about some of the memories I have. What I remember varies. I do remember certain events, or certain things my parents did for me (hence the earlier post). But I also remember other snippets--feelings, thoughts, images.
I remember my mom taking me to the store the day I was diagnosed. We walked around, looking at the sugar-free candy and ice cream.
The nurse at the hospital showing me how to give myself a shot with the Inject-Ease.
Lying to my teacher about my blood sugar so I could go to recess. And being so ashamed.
My mom weighing/measuring everything for me at dinner every night.
My little brother hiding under the kitchen table when it was time for my shots.
Mom making sure I always had dessert so I didn't feel left out.
Going into the hospital for three days when I was 14 to learn to use my pump.
Making the trip to Italy with my high school choir by myself. Being terrified and doing it anyway.
These are a few of the things that stick out in my mind. But I don't really remember feeling different or left out. I'm sure I must have, at least some of the time. How could I not? Because having a chronic illness as a kid does make you different.
Kids are funny about stuff like this. I wasn't the popular kid in high school--not at all. I'm sure some kids thought I was weird. Part of it could have been the D, but I am absolutely positive that it was also that I am actually kinda strange and a total geek.
I may not have been in the in crowd, but I had friends. Because while some kids may respond in a negative fashion, others don't care. I have always had, and still have, wonderful friends who support me in all areas of my life.
When I think back on my childhood, it makes me proud. Proud of me, of my parents, of my brother. Because we all survived. It wasn't fun or easy (and I know there were times when my parents wanted to kill me), but we did it.
My parents did the best job they could to prepare me to deal with D as an adult. It couldn't have been easy for my mom, especially for her to watch the transition to me doing most of my own D care.
So do all the D-parents out there, try to take a moment to breathe. I know it's hard, but you will make it. Your child will grow and learn to deal with D on their own. And there will be a lot of bumps on the way. But your child won't remember all the bumps. I know I don't.
I do remember that my mom was there with me, every step of the way. She never let me feel sorry for myself, never let me use D as an excuse for anything. Did she do everything perfectly? Definitely not.
But she did her best. And that's all any of us can do. Do your best, and trust that it will be enough.