The local JDRF put on a workshop this weekend on mentoring other families that have recently received a diagnosis of a child with diabetes. I went.
When we first received the diagnosis - I was desperate for someone to talk too. I craved information. I tried calling the JDRF and they said they'd look into finding someone local but I never heard back (I now know this is because they had no program in place!) I spent hours reading on the Internet. I called our friends back in Edmonton who had a son with diabetes. I called other friends who had experienced the unexpected (so to speak) with a child. I needed someone to listen. To say "it'll be OK". I had NO idea. I was scared shitless. I am thankful to everyone that listened to me. I am thankful to everyone that said "it'll be OK". I am thankful to the Internet for letting me find people who talk about it and how it affects them and their children.
I hope that I can give back to a newly diagnosed family what I received and continue to receive.
At this meeting was a lady (22 years old) who is preparing to run with a diabetes group the 26.2 mile (42 km) marathon in Rio de Janiero, Brazil later this spring. (How cool would that be!). Her mother had planned to attend the meeting but ended up not being able to make it so she sent her daughter who has diabetes. She had many fascinating things to say:
- She used to hate being with other kids with diabetes because it made her realize she was different than her day-to-day friends.
- Then she loved having other friends with diabetes because she was the same as them.
- She didn't like learning about people who accomplished so much and had diabetes - Inspirational people - because it had never occurred to her that she couldn't do whatever she wanted to do because she had diabetes. By meeting these people she began to think that maybe she could NOT do whatever she wanted.
- Now she is preparing to run the marathon to prove that she really can do whatever she wants - and if it wasn't for diabetes she said she can guarantee that she would never be running a marathon.
- Oh ya, and like 1 in 20 with Type 1 D. she has Celiac Disease (no gluten).
I learned from her that our children our normal and diabetes can make them do inspirational things but we need to focus on helping our children do what they want, regardless.
However, as a parent who is still scared about having a child with diabetes and still craves information to know that everything will be OK, I am thankful that I continue to meet inspirational people.
P.S. I am very tired and typing this so I hope it makes sense! G'night!