Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hard knocks advice - when siblings say "it's not fair" (Both sides)

I will share some hard knocks advice I got from my dad shortly after my son was diagnosed and I struggled with the same thing (my kids are 2 years apart). Here goes.... "life is not fair" " life is especially not fair for diabetics, so get used to it" *note, he is in the medical profession and is a very loving, but a straight shooting talker, it came from a good place and was a hard pill to swallow for me too (came with a few tears at the time). So.. how did I translate this with motherly love to my kids?? I told my son(T1) that sadly diabetes means life won't always seem fair, or quite frankly be fair... that there are what some may see as perks for him (sweet treats, eat when you are hungry or low and a bit of perceived extra attention (medical or not, like it or not) even though they get to eat whenever they want, they won't understand what it is to be inside your body,and you just need to keep strong and do what is right for you. and to my daughter (younger sister) we had a talk that it might seem like her bro (T1) gets more treats and in her mind more attention, but it comes with a responsibility - he gets shots, when he sees her eating and wants to eat it too, he has to poke and had to get shots (at the time, now he boluses, which seem far less troubling to her as a little sis, and in her mind, that we should consider renegotiating just how fair things are ;)) If she had to trade a sweet treat for a shot, would she? Now to put things further into perspective, 4 years later (last endo visit) they are both older, T1 is seeming pretty second nature to our family, sure he complains about always having to carry his case around, and check before he eats, but the true perspective came when she had to come to his endo appt, (i had no choice) what she saw was a side of her bro that she did not know... he was comfortable at the hospital, knew his way around, smiled at the familiar faces and was not phased, and all seemed great, the doctor knew him well when she walked in (After all, he has been going every 3 months for 5 years now) then she said, "time again" my son's eyes welled up, and my daughter had no idea why this 'secret code' made bro so sad... he needed blood draws again, he cried and acted out and really got frustrated he gave his straight talk to the dr when she said to calm down, it was only one draw, then he corrected her and said, ' one... a year, for the rest of his life!'... his sis then realized that there was a whole lot more to this than she saw or knew... that diabetes does suck, and the perks, or what seem to be perks, are well deserved and what seems to suck for the T1 does. This is life... not always fair, but lots to be thankful for and walk proudly in your own shoes, because when the grass seems greener elsewhere, consider watering your own, and growing your own flowers to see the beauty in what you have been blessed with.