I often think about if my child were to be diagnosed with Diabetes, how I/they would cope, how it would feel and ultimately how I could help. Now I know the statistics are pretty slim, less than 5% chance but it is something that occupies my mind regularly. Those of you who have their eyes open will know I am just 18, and do not have a child, but that does not stop me fantasizing about my future. I got thinking about all of her potential, and what she will be capable of and what I would want her to know. Her life will be valued and precious and exciting. So this is a letter, a metaphorical one perhaps, but I hope to silence my thoughts on the matter.
If I Should Have A Daughter
Let me start by saying this, you are no less of a person because you have Diabetes. You are no less of a person, just like your Great Granddad was more than his injections, and like your Mother is more than her bruises. You are more than the blood and the lumps. You are more than your averages and the scores on a height and weight chart. You are more than the length of your hospital appointments and the attendance records at school. You are so much more, you are my Daughter and your parents love you very much.
For when you don't have the energy, for when your mentality cannot take anymore..look to your Mother. And when you feel okay about it all, I will teach you to stand on your own two feet, with my hands either side of you. My sweet girl, I will do my upright best to ensure you never feel alone, and that your dark days are always brightened by the sheer fact that if I can do it, you can too. I will hold your hand every step of the way, and dry our tears at every hurdle. I would never wish this condition on anyone, but I hope you can look at your Mother one day and think 'although this is crap, at least we are in it together'.
I promise to provide reassurance when it feels like you can't take anymore. I promise to supply limitless empathy and time when all you need to do is shout about how rubbish you feel. I promise to advocate on your behalf, darling, and to follow your lead in whatever you choose to do.
I promise to have your back, around every twist and turn, whatever the destination. I promise to be your number one fan, at the end of the day- good or bad, high or low, positive or negative.
I vow to never make you feel any different to any other child on that school playground, even if you like that you get to eat in class sometimes. I hope we can make Diabetes fun, and use sticker charts each time a needle scrapes your skin. I hope we can have Mummy-Daughter days where we don't flinch at the beep of a machine, or the tug of tubing or the numbers appearing on that all-to familiar screen. I will ensure you spend your days laughing, smiling and fighting for what you believe in. There is so much goodness in your heart and I don't want you to ever stop sharing that. I will fight for the best care available and encourage you to let your voice be heard. I will explore every avenue with you, every sentence that feels to painful to utter and each prick that feels like it could be the last.
I am not going anywhere sweetheart, not until I can feel your bones swelling with brightness, until I can see your eyes glistening with adventure and watch your mouth dance with anticipation. Your Mother raised a warrior with a heart of gold, a helping hand and a beautiful, beautiful urge to strive.
Don't ever stop trying, sugar-pot. Your love will take you far. I have no doubts about that.