4 years ago we went fishing.
4 years ago my son was sick.
4 years ago we nearly lost him.
4 years ago our world was turned upside down with just a few simple words.
4 years ago Ryan was diagnosed.
This year we reached the half way point. Ryan has now lived with diabetes for half of his life. The last 4 years have been filled with ups and downs. There have been times when life just seemed to move on without a second thought about diabetes. And then there are times when diabetes knocks us down and stomps a few times, but we get back up and keep going on with life. The last four years have been a challenge, but they haven't been all bad.
In the last 4 years I have learned what an amazing person my son is. He has always been a very go with the flow easy going person, but watching him deal diabetes amazes me. All the pokes, all the pain, all the frustration he just brushes it off and keeps moving forward. He never lets diabetes slow him down. He inspires me to be a better person.
In the last 4 years I have watched my child grow. When he was first diagnosed Ryan was very shy about his diabetes. He didn't want people to ask him about it, he didn't want to tell people about it, and he would try to hide whenever he had to test or dose. This year I watched my son check his blood sugar in front of his friends, this year I watched my son dose for food during a classroom party, this year I watched my son play a game of shirts vs skins with his pump site proudly displayed on his stomach. Does that mean that he is completely open and okay with talking about it, no, but it means that he is growing more confident in who he is and I respect that.
In the last 4 years I've been incredibly hard on myself. I have always struggled with self worth, so its easy for me to blame myself for everything that goes wrong. Every high blood sugar, every high A1C, every time we have run out of a supply, or had to fight with the insurance company I have blamed myself. So here is where the positive comes from all of that, it has helped me realize that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. When blood sugars are high we adjust, when A1C is high we work even hard to get it down, when the insurance company/pharmacy doesn't do what they are supposed to we fight until Ryan gets what he needs. I may blame myself for what goes wrong, but I am starting to realize that when things go wrong I fight to make them right. I'm a work in progress one day at a time.
I expected today to be hard. For a while I have been dreading the fact that today feels like a milestone, and one that I'm not ready to reach. But instead of focusing on the fact that Ryan has had diabetes for half of his life I am choosing to focus on all the things that we have learned and all the positive changes that we have faced in the last four years. So today I hug my son a little tighter and thank God that he is still here, we go to football practice, and then celebrate his life with cookies!