Looking to the Future
All the parents I have talked to have worries about what lies ahead for their children, but every single one has great hope as well. Diabetes research is constantly in the news and what we hear is probably only a fraction of what is really going on in the research community.
Our children today have so much more accurate testing equipment than even kids diagnosed ten years ago. And results from recent studies have proven that complications can be avoided or lessened by good control. All of this makes me feel very positive that my daughter's life will be a full, healthy and happy one. There is no reason why it can't be!
At the beginning, I felt so helpless and hopeless. All I could do was cope day by day. After a while, I realized that I could do something. I want my child's diabetes gone, so I decided to help.
I am not a scientist, but I can help them by making sure they have the funds they need to do their research. I am not a millionaire, but I can help the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in their fundraising campaigns by donating, canvassing and publicizing. I am not a social worker, but I can help other parents by sharing my experiences and feelings.
So often I hear people say, "Why doesn't someone do something?" Well, in every little way I can, I am doing something. It maybe doesn't look like much, but a journey of a thousand miles is made up of small steps.
And do you know what? Doing all those little things has taken away the sense of helplesssness and hopelessness I felt for so many months. Now that I am helping, I have hope.
We had been dealing with our child's diabetes for over a year when one day, something occurred to us that we hadn't thought about before. Up until then, we considered ourselves fortunate that diabetes is a disease we could control ourselves. That very same thought now scared us. We have to somehow find the desire, energy and stamina to keep up with controlling it.
And, much more importantly, we have to lead our child to want to control it herself, and as she grows older, have the inner discipline to do it against all the pressure that already goes along with being a teenager.
We've always known how very important our parenting skills are to how our children view themselves and others. With our other children, how we treat them, how we allow them to make their own choices, right and wrong, and live with the consequences all add up to whether or not they have a good chance of being loving, caring, self-confident adults. With our child with diabetes, the same skills add up to whether or not she will live a normal, healthy life.
It was a very important realization for us, but certainly not a negative one. It gave us that little nudge we needed to be the very best parents we can be for all of our children.
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Last Updated: Thursday May 05, 2005 07:25:34
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