So, I am having dinner tonight and talking with my sister and we were discussing the "fear factor" of having a T1D child. If you have a diabetic child, you know what I am talking about. If you don't, let me share a little bit of what this is about.
We all know people fear what they don't understand. And in this case, I suppose I can understand their fear. It just doesn't make it any easier for a T1D child... or the parent of that child.
We can't do sleep overs - at her friends' houses. Well, and by default, neither of the girls can do a sleep over. How could I allow one to have sleep over parties with their friends while my T1 girl sits at home. Not going to happen. So, they both stay home. Even if a parent of one of their friends would be willing to accept that responsibility, I would not be willing to relinquish that responsibility. I can barely accept simply letting my husband take responsibility for it if I will not be home overnight for some reason. It is a HUGE responsibility to care for a T1D child overnight. And rightfully so, people who are not that child's parents fear that responsibility. (parents fear that responsibility too but that is a whooooole separate blog for a later time!) It is understandable but try explaining that to a young girl that just wants to have a sleep over party with her friends. Well, I foresee a whole lot of sleep overs at our house in our future! (I sure hope they will all think we are the "cool parents" because this is where they will all be hanging out!)
Birthday parties. Can't really ever drop off the kids for a birthday party either. We always have to be there. For the entire party. This one might ease up as she gets older and can better take responsibility for complete care (independence with carb counting, knowing when to correct highs, etc. - she can currently bolus if we give her the carbs and if prompted will correct a high or a low, but not yet at a place where she could take full responsibility for these tasks), but right now we are still the parents that are lurking at the birthday parties to watch over the BG levels and to bolus for the meal and cake. Fun for us? Not really. Fun for her? Probably not since we are usually the only parents tagging along.
Even just a day out with family or friends - sans parents - takes on a whole new level of responsibility. Few are willing to take on the responsibility to learn what is involved because they fear what could go wrong. I can understand and respect that. I would probably have had the same reaction if I wasn't dropped into the situation myself.
But the goal of this blog is to hopefully break through the fear a little bit. Our children are not made of kryptonite. With them comes an awesome responsibility, but it is worth it to learn about them because THEY are worth it. T1D is scary sometimes but imagine it through the eyes of that child. We, meaning all adults, should at a minimum offer our support by learning more about them.
In our family, we will do what we can to make every day fun, regardless of our "restrictions." Because every day is a gift...and we aren't about to waste it!