Connections – by Jenny Foster
When I heard about the ‘connections’ theme for Diabetes Week 2012 (10 to 16 June) I went into overdrive trying to think of who, out of all the people we have been ‘connected’ to in the 2 years since Ewan’s diagnosis, has been the biggest influence or the most important?
I am not ashamed to say that I struggled to single out just one person. Of course there’s the professionals who I still couldn’t be without, then there’s our family and friends who definitely don’t realise what an important role they play – and then there’s our new friends in our extended Type 1 family who are the people who really understand. But each one of these people have been important to us equally, so who could inspire me to write a blog about connections?
Then it struck me, it’s pretty obvious really… So why did it take so long to hit me? Who have I become more connected to, more than ever before? Who now, could I not be without?
My biggest, renewed and most important connection is of course with Ewan himself.
All parents have a connection with their children that cannot be compared to another. Even before Ewan’s diagnosis my connection with him was completely different to the connection I had with his younger brother Kai.
With Kai it was (and still is) loads of huge hugs and careful negotiation of his moods, whereas with Ewan the connection was more mature, with the odd cuddle then a need for reassurances that he was doing well! But from the moment we were told Ewan had Type 1 our attitude towards each other shifted and getting the right kind of connection between us became vital. His life became dependant on me and in turn my priority in life became to understand what was happening in his little body.
Since then we have had our ups and downs. Ewan has been through 3 different insulin regimes and has dealt with them all effortlessly, he has had the added frustration of needing a gluten-free diet which he has dealt with maturely and defiantly, he has recently started on an insulin pump and whilst it’s been like starting all over again he has taken to it like a duck to water! I have the utmost respect for Ewan and that’s an unusual thing to say about a 9 year old!
Our connection has deepened and has become something more intuitive. I now have an uncanny ability to see when he is low or high without even checking his blood and he knows just by the way I am looking at him that the blood checker needs to come out!
I have the unenviable task of nurturing him through the moments of anger and pain when I stand-in as a punch bag to hit or a pillow to cuddle. I have become his teacher who he invariably hates when I am showing him how to carb-count, but it is me he can’t wait to tell when he has worked something out for himself! First and foremost however I have the task of being his mum, and for me that is the most rewarding connection of them all.
Our connection is now Type 1 Diabetes, our connection is now unbreakable.
He needs me and I need him. It’s that simple.