Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not today thanks, Diabetes, I can't really be bothered

Some days I really wish we didn't have diabetes in our lives. Some days I just accept it, don't even think about it and go about my business as if it was what we had always done. Some days I'm even almost thankful for the positive things it has brought to our lives: new friends, an amazing online (and offline) community and an enhanced knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating. But some days I really just wish it would go away and leave us alone. I just plain can't be bothered with it.
If only diabetes were knocked down as easily as these pink fairies.

I suppose it's the same with anything, right? You can be happily married and still have days when you think how nice it would be to be single and go home to an empty house with no one's clothes on the floor but yours. And you can love your work but still wish you didn't have to do it every day. 

I even have days when I wish I didn't have kids. I don't mean that I would wish them away. Only that maybe it would be nice if they belonged to someone else. Then I could play with them all day and I'd be the fun auntie or babysitter instead of cranky mammy. They probably wouldn't make much mess because they'd be entertained and I'd have the whole evening to do any chores before having dinner at a respectable time of 7.30pm. Even better is the scenario where this isn't my house either. I could do a rudimentary pick up of toys before their mother gets home and then go home to my fashionable clutter-free house which is totally clean and tidy because no one is ever in it. I could smugly think "I blame the parents" when they misbehaved or had tantrums, instead of wondering what I was doing wrong. I could theorise with myself as to why they presented certain behaviours or traits: they aren't shown enough love/discipline, the parents are too strict/soft, they go to bed too late, the parents can't control them, they don't eat the right foods. And I could smugly imagine my own future children who I would raise perfectly and who would never do the things these kids do. 

But the thing is, even on those days, my kids have cute moments, affectionate moments, vulnerable moments, moments of such development and clarity that I look at them and think "are you that same small, squawking pink creature I gave birth to? You really are amazing." Moments where I can honestly say I'm proud to be their mother. They are full of promise of what the future may hold; of all the weird and wonderful things they will bring into my life as they grow and develop their unique personalities; of the pride that I will feel when they do something new, or different, or amazing or just because they are being themselves; of all the many challenges they will bring that will develop my own strength and character. Every day they teach me more about myself than I learnt in the entire 33 years I lived before they entered my life. 

Diabetes is not cute. It is not affectionate, vulnerable or promising. At best it is slightly inconspicuous and a minor inconvenience. Okay, so it is challenging, and it does teach me a lot, I'll give it that. I even have moments of pride when I totally nail something. But is constant, exhausting, always there, always a consideration, like having another, very demanding, child. It makes even the most confident, relaxed parent second guess everything. Imagine trying to figure out if your child is just refusing bedtime or is actually really sad because their little world has been turned upside down. I know we haven't seen the worst this disease has to offer. We've had no serious hypos, no stubborn highs and no hospitalisations. But Diabetes, I really just wish you would do one. 

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