Hello, my friends! Well, if you have been with me since June of this year, you would probably know that June was an incredibly hard month for my family and most particularly my son, Douglas.
On June 10th, 2019, Douglas or as well call him, Dougie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
When the doctor looked me in the eye in the Triage department, as a handful of nurses were scurrying around my son hooking him up to IVs, machines and what seemed like a massive amount of equipment, and told me “We believe your son has Type 1 Diabetes”, my heart sank down to my toes. I burst into a fit of uncontrollable sobbing. Crying that I usually only reserve for the privacy of my bedroom.
I am an ugly crier. There’s no nice way of saying it.
You see, that morning, I thought I was going to go to emerg and they were going to tell me something like, “your son needs more iron” or “he’s been losing weight because he has a stomach virus.”
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my son would have a life-altering autoimmune disease.
For a couple weeks leading up to his diagnosis, my son had lost a drastic amount of weight. He was peeing and drinking a lot — plus, there was bedwetting. My son is five and has been potty trained since he was two so the bedwetting should have opened my eyes more than it did. There was a myriad of signs and when I look back I see them all so clearly but at the moment — I saw nothing that would have indicated Type 1 diabetes.
I remember forcing out through my uncontrollable sobs to the doctor, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I am crying.” (what a weird thing to say, right!?) His reply? “I do! I just told you, your son has diabetes.”
When you become a parent, your worst fear is not being able to protect your children or keep them safe. I mean, that’s our sole purpose as parents, right? So when a doctor flips your world upside down and tells you “listen, your whole world, life, everything you knew is going to change. Your son’s life is going to be different from now on and now you have to manage this disease for him until he’s able to do it on his own.” you don’t really know how to react to that.
There’s really no being prepared for that. I do have faith and I do believe in God so I know that this is not without reason. Nothing is without reason but I didn’t instantly come around to this and say, “Ok let’s do this. Let’s kick some T1D butt.”
On the surface to everyone, I made sure I put on a brave face. I made sure that no one would see me doubt my ability as a mother. I smiled, I laughed and I made jokes but at night by myself, sitting on my living room couch, I crumbled. You guys, this is a lot. It’s a lot to learn and it’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders.
I am my son’s pancreas. His body does not produce insulin so I have to give him something that his body needs and cannot make on its own. I have to do the work of a body organ — and not mess up in the process. That’s heavy.
Today we are 4 months post-diagnosis and while I am learning the ropes and every day gets a little better, I am still nervous, scared, unsure but I pick up my bootstraps and keep on truckin’ because as a mother, there are no other options. My son needs me.
I don’t want this story to be all doom, gloom, and sadness. I do try to always see the positive. I pray and thank God every day that my son has a disease that can be managed. Of all the diagnoses a person can get at least, there is a medicine out there that can manage this disease. Thank God for Sir Fredrick Banting.
I am extremely grateful to the Diabetic team at LHSC. They are rockstars. We received 4 weeks of in-depth diabetic training and they are always there for me whenever I need anything.
I am grateful to all the people in the T1D community, the amazing FB group that I am a part of that is so supportive. I am grateful for people like Melissa (another T1D mom local to me) who reached out to me after my son’s diagnosis just to say, “Hey, I am here if you need anything.” This is a woman who I had never met before or talked with and she reached out and I am so grateful. She’s been a great support.
I am grateful to each and every single one of my fans and followers for your kind messages of encouragement. The “hey, you got this” people. You know who you are. You are seen. You are heard but more than that, you are so needed. So keep being those people. Keep on rooting for the people you believe in because they see you rooting and they so appreciate it.
Most importantly, my family. They have been all so helpful, understanding and supportive. A support system is so important when trying to manage a disease and you never know just how lucky you are to have these people in your life. I have learned through all of this that without my family, I could not do this.
When my son’s diagnosis was fresh and my head was about to spin off into another dimension, my sister sent me a message and it will stick with me to the day I die.
She said, ” I was honestly thinking about you and Doug and I thought man, God must know just how strong Holly is beyond what anyone thought. So as much as this is tough, remember that God definitely has great love for you. The End.”
And then she sent me this page from a book she was reading:
If you know my sister, she’s not really one to get all sentimental and mushy. So this really meant a lot to me and it was exactly what I needed to hear.
Don’t be afraid to be there for the people in your life that are important to you. A kind message, words of encouragement or even just a hug can be the best thing for people.
And last but not least. My husband, Jaime, who works tirelessly to support this family. Who perseveres in a job that is mentally and physically draining so that we can have amazing benefits to cover all the drugs that Dougie needs to survive. Thank you for being there for every appointment, taking notes and studying the giant binder of diabetic knowledge given to us on our first day of diagnosis. Seriously. My husband is the bomb at math so thank God for that. This meme couldn’t be more about me if it tried:
Since this life-altering diagnosis, coming out with content, more specifically longer-form content, has been a little tricky but I sat down and found some time to make these matching mugs for my son and me and made a video to share with you guys.
If you want to make these for yourself, don’t worry. I got you! You can download the cut files for free by visiting my FREE CUT FILE library.