Friday, August 5, 2016

Let Go or Be Dragged - 12 Years Parenting a T1D

Today is the 12th anniversary of my daughter's T1D diagnosis. She was three. Yesterday was the first time in more than a year I was able to get her to put on a Dexcom CGM. She's 16 at the end if this month.

 She has grown into the most amazing young woman. She is smart and strong, but beginning last summer, I let her take control of her diabetes for the most part, and now her HbA1C reflects a teenager's truly challenging ability to focus. Essentially, it was like giving my once toddler control. Teens brains are developing at such a rapid rate, their prefrontal cortex at this age is a newly used playscape. Everything we know about the teenage years tells us that the kids have way too much going on to manage this all by themselves. But they also don't want us involved. It's easy to push us away.

 So, as a mother, I'm sitting on this precipice of wanting to take control and wanting to set her free. I feel like overtime I've empowered her with the knowledge to understand her disease, but at this very juncture she needs very specific instructions on how to do this by herself. And it can't come from me.

So, after many months of health issues including fatigue, anemia-type symptoms, overall just not feeling well, trouble fighting off infections, difficult periods, she's come to see the connection between her high blood sugars and her body's inability to keep up. She's not quite there yet, but her denial is lessening.

She willingly put on the CGM yesterday for her endo appt next Thursday. I suggested that she needs to go into the appointment without me there the whole time. She needs to work out a plan with the diabetes educator that will work for her. I'll be there to help her with anything that she needs, but I've come to realize that my presence in the room overshadows her.  I have an awful lot of thoughts about things. Mostly they don't need to be said. She's got to figure out how to work with the nurse/doctors at this point. I'm simply not in control anymore. And she can do this.

Let go or be dragged!