I google type 1 diabetes, read books on type 1 diabetes, take classes about type 1 diabetes-but I don’t know type 1 diabetes. Reality is I don’t have type 1 diabetes, my son does. I will never know what it is like to feel the “ISH” as my son calls it. Slug-ish, drowsy-ish, grumpy-ish, blurry-ish, dizzy-ish, and many more “ish” es. I will never know the pressure of being 9 ( or 19, 39, 69…) and having to live with a disease that NEVER gives you a break, never let’s you forget for 1 second that it lives inside you and if you don’t treat it right, it can kill you–all the while–getting your homework done, work done, chores done…living your life- like ‘I got this!’
I can say I see what it is like. I see my happy go lucky boy turn into a grizzly bear right before my very eyes, and just before I yell “Don’t talk to your mother like that!” I see T1D. I see my social butterfly, sitting by himself, face pale, eyes drawn, looking like our dog just died-I see T1D. I see balancing insulin with the food he eats, activity level, the weather, work load, sports-I see T1D. I see a life full of doctor visits, injections, blood tests, hospital stays-I see T1D.
I can’t take this away from him, but I can try to teach him persistence, patience, perseverance. I can be his shoulder to cry on and his kick in the pants. I will never know the “ish” but I can love him through it.
I see determination, tenacity, resilience-I see Frankie.