This is my first blog as part of 'Diabetes Blog Week', I don't actually know how I stumbled across it, but here I am. The first topic is 'I can....' and it is looking at the positive side of our lives living with diabetes. Straight away I am stuck, it's tricky as I write about being a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, I don't have diabetes myself.
I try really hard not to let this condition get in the way of my sons day to day life. He is 10 years old, he needs to be able to live as a 10 year old boy. He needs to be able to play football, run around outside, wrestle with his sisters, and for the most part he does. At the moment it's my job to worry about all things diabetes not his.
I have always said to him that there is nothing he can't do if he really wants to, yes having diabetes sometimes complicates things, but with forward planning most things are possible. He amazes everyday, especially when he is at school. When he was first diagnosed I trawled the Internet for information, I joined forums to find families like mine. The biggest thing that stood out for me was the talk of problems at school. It wasn't just would he be looked after well enough, he wasn't, and still isn't always hypo aware. The thing that jumped out at me more was that many of the children had 'statements', they had 1 to 1 help, they struggled at school. This was something I hadn't planned on, I didn't want him to be labelled as special needs.
Samuel does extremely well at school, at every parents evening I get told that he is above where he should be, that he doesn't let his diabetes get in the way. He has no issues with concentrating, even when his levels are out of range. He loves all aspects of learning, he also has a great bunch of friends around him, they have all accepted that diabetes is part of who he is, they look out for him.
I suppose that a positive of him having diabetes is that every three months he gets a MOT, a health check. He is weighed, his height is measured, his blood pressure is checked, and once a year he has a whole host of bloods taken. My three girls don't get these checks.
Diabetes has also given us a great network of friends both online and in real life. They 'get it', day or night you can always find someone online with advice. They are a godsend, especially in the early days.
For me personally, diabetes has given me the ability to run. Before he was diagnosed I was overweight, unfit, and could not run at all. I couldn't run on a treadmill for more than a length of a song, and I couldn't see why anyone would do it for fun!! I entered the London Marathon.....don't ask, and ended up with a place on the JDRF team. I ran it (I use the term run very loosely) in 2010. Since then I have completed 1 ultra marathon, 8 full marathons, several half marathons and countless 10k and 5k races.
I've lost weight and I'm fitter now at the grand old age of 40 than I have ever been.
We have a lot to be thankful for.