Little did I know on this day, 11 years ago, that I was about to embark on the steepest learning curve I would ever embrace. It would be tougher than the lessons I learnt in childhood loosing a parent & later peers. It would be tougher than managing to be run over on zebra crossing! And it would be tougher than the journey I’d made becoming a motherless mother.
For on this day, 11 years ago, Pumplette shouted, or I’m sure she would have done had she not been such a small baby, “house!” and metaphorically laid out her winning hand of cards & was diagnosed with T1D.
Skills I have acquired in the past decade include:
Being able to juggle a breast feeding baby, whilst simultaneously wielding a bg meter & lancet before drawing up & mixing tiny doses of insulin in syringes (a practise I’m certain prematurely aged my eyesight!).
Accurately deciphering the hitherto little known “Farrow & Ball Hypo pastel shades chart”, for all your hypo detection needs. This chart has a twin, “F & B hyper detection primary shades”!!
Nailing down the “I know which of the three children careering around me has to be nailed down to have a bg check” when you’ve three children under 5 & your brain is addled through lack of sleep. (I genuinely have, on multiple occasions, attempted to check the bgs of a non D child, much to their surprise & amusement!)
Preventing an adventurous toddler hurling herself into paddling pools & baths before the advent of a waterproof pump!
Perfecting a nonchalant game face to project an aura of calm confidence to enable Pumplette to embrace all new opportunities & adventures with excitement & not trepidation.
Cultivating the patience of a saint to accommodate the desires of a 2yo to “Do it mine own!” and wait whilst a bg check takes 30 mins to fully execute – an operation I had nailed down to a swift 30 seconds!
Realising why the above is so vitally important to a 2yo.
Latterly the patience of a saint is being deployed to allow her to experiment & discover her own managerial path. Support & IT support are now my most important roles in her management.
Being comfortable in a hospital environment. Again, it’s all about the game face & acting. Happily Pumplette has fallen hook, line & sinker for my charade & couldn’t be more confident when navigating the hospital corridors.
Whether it was the time she made a rather large hole in the roof of her mouth with the aid of a plastic tube & a sudden meeting with a door frame, or the time she was thrown from a fairground ride & run over by the carriage for good measure, a calm & unflappable approach definitely made these harrowing experiences more bearable. (And also always engender masses of sympathy from the nurses & doctors who need, quite literally, to patch & mop her up!).
That I can survive on infinitely less sleep than was previously considered possible to man! From that first night holding vigil at her cot in intensive care, I’m not sure I’ve ever been 100% rested since!
We can travel the world & guesstimate the bolus with aplomb! Showing her first hand that there are no barriers for her at all. Anything she wants to do, she can.
The online community #doc contains the most remarkable & inspirational bods across the world who have made me be a better parent & more in tune with Pumplette’s needs, not mine.
And so I sit here, 11 years on. The fear we felt this time 11 years ago is still very easy to access. Almost loosing a child changed me. Emboldened me. And made me appreciate every moment I have with my precious girls & inspire them to grab every opportunity that life throws their way. Which is why, when I awoke this morning, Pumplette wasn’t there. She is busy this weekend, training for her next adventure as a member of the UK Youth Parliament.
Little did I dare to imagine at that cot in intensive care, that my little scrap, clinging so very tenaciously to life, would be setting off on her own adventures so soon.