Monday, November 7, 2016

November is National Diabetes Month: Lesson Learned of Keeping Perserverance

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Here is a true confession:  Sometimes, I really hate talking about T1D.  

I confess this because over the matter of days into weeks, leading to months, I have been dragging my little fingers over to the keyboard and feeling the worst case of writer's block ever imaginable.  At the same time, I have been scrambling to keep up with my growing teens as they embark on new and greater independent adventures.  

All of this has felt completely overwhelming.  So much so, that I have struggled to find the words to share the massive highs and lows they have experienced while continuing to remain upbeat and positive for the girls.  Sometimes, I can't even think about what happened because I am already moving on to the next big, more adult-ish topic.  All of their learning seems to be come fast and furious.  This is just so different than grade school or preschool or even toddlerhood.  It's hard to even explain.  

And they are really good kids.  That's the kicker.  Great kids that have been dealt this extra card of 'DIABETES' on top of everything else.  Their life game is achieving amazing grades, scoring well on the SAT, playing the best golf that they can, joining community service organizations, managing the social connections and above all; staying in control of their diabetes.  

It's not much to handle, right?  

So sometimes, the scales tip more towards one direction over another.  Sometimes it is an innocent, "I forgot to bolus" or other times, it is "I needed to take the test and couldn't pull out my phone to check my CGM."  There are decisions made on "It worked last time" or "My sister does it that way."  There are understanding supporters and once in a while, a unsympathetic adult that blocks their route.  All of these things lead to learning and often, mom or dad to help intervene.  

What I have come to realize is this new phase of life is the final push of learning before I set them (mostly) free.  I once read a quote about why teens struggle to deal with so many new situations that create conflicts and demands during ages 13-18.  The quote (paraphrasing here) shared something about the reality that if they were good all of the time, parents would never let them willingly go off onto their own.  I suspect that this is true.  There are days when I am so tired that I secretly wish for college to come that much sooner just to give us some space.  Then, I shudder because with that experience will bring an entirely new set of challenges including the one I dread the most, "THE NEVER ENDING SLEEPOVER."  The other sharp reality is that none of us are quite ready for that.

But we will be.

As I have watched all of the good and the very discouraging unfold around the girls, I now understand that this kind of learning that brings about both failures and success is the most important lesson that I can teach them.  Most of all I learned that my perseverance to try yet again, is the best teacher yet.  

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As November is National Diabetes Month, I want to share some of our newly discovered lessons.  Tune in tomorrow, November 8th for lessons learned on sleepovers. 

#ndam #T1D #november #natsweetsisters

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