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.

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This is really a great post of yours. When i read this, it really touched me deep inside. It’s been great playing with my son who has type 1 diabetes. This is really means to me. We are bounded with connections

I completely agree – we already had a very strong bond as our son was diagnosed when he was just 19mths old. Having been premature and in NICU and also been back in hospital on two different occasions, i already felt over-protective about him…but now, even more so. But he is so strong and such a good boy with everything he has to deal with and i know he and his daddy will always have a special bond as he too is Type 1, so they have a greater level of understanding and will do as he is growing up too. Kids are amazing and i feel over whelmed when i think of just how great he has been :)

My son was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was only 2 and a half. He is now 7 and I am so proud of how he copes. He is so brave and words cannot express how proud I am of him. He never complains, only when I have to remind him to do a blood test when he is busy with is Lego!!

What a great post my son was diagnosed 4 months ago and he is 9 years old , he amazes me with how he copes with everything , for me and his dad this has been so difficult but we are getting there as we have to , I knew nothing about diabetes before this but will make sure I’m an expert from now on .

Hi Jenny I’ve been diabetic type 1 since October ,2009 and the people I trust are my partner and my diabetic team at hospital nothing,s too much trouble for them as they are only a phone call away.

I also know that bond, my beautiful son was diagnosed with Type 1 six days before Christmas 1997, when he was 10 years old. He now uses a pump. Each year brings new challenges, this year it is GCSEs, but he never ceases to amaze me in how he copes with Type 1. Couldn’t agree more with your blog. I wish you well

Hi dis really touched me I also have a son wiv type 1 he is 8 and I have a 6 year old son who is just emerging type 1 I also have a 10 month old son, my son was only diagnosed early dis year an 3 month after found out dat my other son was emerging type 1 so we are at the hospital every 2 weeks been a tough time but we are getting there nice 2 read other ppls storys xxxx

I couldn’t agree more as I am the same with my daughter she was diagnosed with type one when she was 2 and is now 7 though the highs and lows we have such a strong connection with each other including subconsciously being able to pick up vibes of when she is high or low… She has been through so much I have got the greatest respect for both my daughter and any other child who grows up with type one as they seem to deal with it so well… Puts life in perspective at times on how we can make a big deal out of small silly things yet those with something wrong with them which is a quite a big deal just get on with it and never complain!!!!

Hi Jenny,
My niece has very similar conditions to your son although more recently diagnosed. I’m sure my brother and sister in-law will enjoy your posted thoughts.

we know that bond also our daughter was confirmed type 1 two weeks before christmas aged 14 months young, now 18 months young and on the pump