Twelve whole months. 365 days of over 1,800 injections, endless finger pokes, living day-to-day dictated by a number. Endless research, learning, and advocating. Time away from my business to serve my family and to make sure we get this right for her. Time as a family maneuvering, adjusting, and supporting. It’s been a year of life with Type 1 diabetes.
It’s interesting. When you watch your kid struggle through something immensely difficult, as a parent you find yourself stuck in the middle. Like living a double life. One side you fill the role of the pusher. You know that the job requires you to teach them how to overcome, how to move forward, and how to approach the trial they are facing with a strong and healthy mindset. You want them to conquer. You want them to be independent because there will come a time when you will no longer be around. This requires you to stuff your feelings down of wanting to protect and shield them again and again and again.
Then there’s the other half of your reality that is spent living with a broken heart. Mourning the normalcy of childhood for them. Seeing your cub be dealt a tough hand and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. It is spent on bended knees begging for protection and hoping for a miracle. It is spent crying alone in your closet only to dry your tears and suck it up and do it all again the next day. You are constantly pushing the thought of what life used to be out of your memory – not only to preserve your sanity, but to simply just keep going. To continue putting one foot in front of the other. Because going back isn’t an option.
And then in the midst of injections, and frustrations, and tears, and pain, and sadness, and mourning, and post-traumatic stress… there have been tender mercies. And miracles. And major wins. And strengthened faith. And growth. And knowledge gained. And all of these things have made us better in every way possible. Growth that we would not have experienced without the trial.
Over the past year I have often repeated the following quote to myself when it feels like too much:
I remember a day just a few months back that I felt like I was failing at everything. A day that just continued finding ways to make me feel like I wasn’t getting the job done. From managing Blair’s needs to the other four kids to home studies to business and everything inbetween. I was losing whatever competition I had built up in my mind. Worst of all, I felt like I let the weight of Type 1 show in my attitude that day.
While the kids played outside after lunch, I found a quiet moment to put a load of laundry away. While I was in the girls bedroom, I looked over to see Blair’s notebook and what she was doodling earlier that morning.
I collapsed onto the floor and the tears just fell…
Through all of it, Blair has shown strength and courage beyond measure. She has left us speechless time and time again in her resolve to manage her disease in a common sense way. To put her health first above what the world deems as normal for a kid her age. Time will only tell the incredible things this girl will do. In the meantime, I am just honored to have a front row seat to it. And grateful for quiet moments that help me focus on the
A year of life with Type 1 diabetes. I never wanted this chapter to be part of her story, but she is making it a beautiful one.
A big heartfelt thank you to those of you who have walked this chapter with us, who have prayed for our girl, and for us. It has meant everything to our family.
A documentary that includes families I have had the opportunity to speak with and learn from. I am so extremely grateful for all of those who have helped us navigate this life with hope and with confidence. If you are new to Type 1 diabetes or know someone who is facing it, this documentary is extremely eye-opening and inspiring.
And this book has been a saving grace.