Guest post – Diabetes type 1

Two years ago today I was told to put my child in a sailboat. Alone. She was to journey out to sea and I was not allowed to escort her. You can imagine the fight I put up. I yelled and pleaded. I dropped to my knees and bargained with God. I had a fit. But alas, my flailing was fruitless…she was literally taken out of my arms and thrown into the boat. I was given no choice. She had Type 1 Diabetes and there was no going back. She could not stay on shore. She could not live without the boat…it was part of her now. I watched the boat go out to sea and I cried for what felt like forever. The world seemed to be in constant motion, while I was stuck on pause…mourning her separation from the shore. The viciousness of the waves were horrifying. My child was helpless. I was helpless. I would have done anything to be on that boat. I willed her diabetes to enter my body so I could switch places with her But apparently, that isn’t how it works.

Unfortunately. I was given two tools to help my child. A telescope and limited control over the weather. I have vigilantly had my eye set to that telescope for 2 years. There have been long stretches when I wouldn’t leave the scope. I wouldn’t shower. I wouldn’t eat. I have had comments throughout the years that my attention would be better placed somewhere other than the boat. What they don’t understand is that my child is on that boat. My heart. My soul. How could I ever walk away from my scope? My one advantage is, with insulin and food, I can sometimes control the weather. I can smooth the waves and bring her close to shore. On those days it almost feels she is on land with me. On those days we dance together and laugh, and joke that the ocean has nothing on us. But other days the storms come in out of nowhere. The black clouds close in and the numbers ebb and flow with the powerful tide. On those days, I watch my child ride those waves and I spend the day at my scope…determined to change the colour of the clouds. If her boat capsized…I don’t know what I would do. Sure she is above water. Sure…she is surviving. But on the stormier days her sea sickness weighs so heavy on my shoulders, I’m sure I am going to run out of strength, and one day drown into despair myself. My child has grown up on her boat, and I am in awe every day of her constant vigilance, and her nimble control of her craft. She is an able captain now. She can hoist the sail, she can watch for the storm clouds. She can batten down the hatches. She can steer that boat away from immediate danger…she FEELS the sea. Her intuition is inspiring. My husband and I live our lives on the shore waiting for storms, hoping for sun…watching each and every wave.

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