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Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Post: Letting Go

My first guest post this week comes from Phyllis Post (hey!).  She tells the story of her son's diagnosis (that was very close to mine, in story and date) and learning to let him take control of his diabetes as he grows up.  Phyllis blogs about quilts and books with happy endings.  Thank you so much, Phyllis, for filling in today.  

It was like a scene in a TV medical drama. At around 4:00 am in a nearly deserted ER of the large children’s hospital near our Midwestern home, the triage nurse took a good look at our 10-year-old son and muttered, “I don’t like the look of this.” She immediately came around from behind the desk, grabbed the wheelchair he was in and rushed down the hallway yelling, “I need a resident in here, stat!” Doctors and nurses came out of nowhere and gathered around our son as they tested him and hooked him up to all manner of machines. Somewhere in there I heard the “D” word, but it would be over a day later before I even began to understand just what that word would mean for our family of 3.

That was how our Thanksgiving weekend ended in 2006. Now, nearly 4 years later, I rarely look back to try and remember what life was like without diabetes. Instead I am thankful that God promises to work for the good of all those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). And in all sincerity, there is a lot of good for us to see. Our friends and family have been so supportive. My employer in particular has made it possible for me to work around the rather insane schedule of medical appointments we now deal with. We have insurance. We still have our son who has handled having this disease with grace and good humor.

He’s in high school now. He just started as a freshman at the end of August. And it’s a whole new ballgame because the school nurse doesn’t keep a close eye on her diabetic charges unless they specifically ask for help. She tells me that few of them do. Instead it’s up to him now to count his carbs, bolus correctly, and pay attention (!) to what his body is telling him. Those 8 hours at school each day are the training ground for him to be living someday independently 24/7 with his diabetes. Those 8 hours at school each day are also the training ground for my husband & I to learn how to let him go. It’s hard enough to let go of a child as it is, but one day we’ll have to let go of his diabetes management, too.

These are treacherous waters. There are so many pitfalls facing teenagers; how do we help him avoid all of the normal ones as well as the one we never expected? There are no easy answers, no matter what issues we face as parents. I’ve spent a good bit of the last 4 years learning everything I can about diabetes. Blogs like Holly’s here help me understand some of the things my son will have to deal with when he’s on his own. So to all of you D-bloggers out there, I heart-felt “Thank You!” for what you do. I’m so grateful for the accumulated wisdom and knowledge that I find here in cyberspace. I don’t think we’d have adapted nearly as well as if we had if it hadn’t been for so many of you out there maintaining sites where I can lurk to my heart’s content.

Prov. 22:6 says “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” We apply this to everything, including diabetes, and then we simply remember that when all is said and done, God is in control. He loves us and will always be there for us and for our son. Life is about far more than diabetes and we do our best to always remember that.

Picture of Phyllis with author Brenda Novak who runs an annual auction to benefit diabetes research (Phyllis is the one on the right). 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.