I have decided to share my feelings that I have been suppressing for many years. I have never told anyone how I really feel, but I am finding comfort in finally sharing my experience with my son’s diabetes. I joined this site because I was looking for research for a speech I had to give the other day. The more I read from all of you, the more I felt like someone else really understood what I was going through. I had to give a speech the other day in speech class and I chose to talk about Type I diabetics including my son. I had to stop in the middle of the speech because I started crying. I went over my allotted time and only got an 82, but it felt great to talk about it.
I am new to talking to others about Tyler’s diabetes. I felt like I could handle it by myself, since I am the man of the family. I even went to school to become an EMT so that I would know how to take care of Tyler. I am finding out that the more I share my story with others the better I feel and the more in charge I become.
I have a few flaws and not sure what to do, if anything, about it.
1st. I was told by a doctor that Tyler was going to die at the age of 6. He was 1580 at the time.
2nd. I was told he would never be the same again.
3rd. I was told that he would have to take multiple shots every day for the rest of his life.
4th. Tyler would have to be on a strict schedule, eating at the same time everyday, 7 days a week.
This was very difficult to deal with since our schedules are busy and often changing.
I inquired about pumps after educating myself on the disease.
I was told that he was too young for a pump and it would be many years before he could even think about it.
I loved what I read about pumps and pushed very hard to get Tyler on a pump. The doctor finally gave in and Tyler was on Medtronic’s 722 within 6 months after his initial near death experience.
So, here are my problems.
Tyler is the youngest child out of 4. I really changed my parenting methods with him over all the other children, and believe me, it was noticed by all. I did not do it on purpose, but to be given a second chance felt like a miracle, and I have never really experienced a miracle before.
He gets away with a lot more than any of my other children and of course that helped fuel Sibling rivalry.
He is a great kid and never (almost never) gets in trouble, but he is very lazy and does not always do what he is told to do. I let a lot of things go by with him that would have never happened with his older brother and sisters.
I really don’t mean to give him preferential treatment, but it just seems to come naturally; after all, he is a great kid that has to go through so much more than others his age.
I get a lot of grief from the family, who seem to criticize me every time I let something go that he does.
We have a great relationship and I hug and kiss him every chance I get. He told me the other day that he loved me in front of his friends and they laughed at him. He got mad at them and told them that he does love me and is not embarrassed to say it. As they walked out the door, I cried for an hour.
He has told his teachers that I am his hero, but honestly, he is the hero.
The issues in the family are that the rest treat him as a normal person (as they should) and get mad at me because I do not. I am his hero, but everyone else’s villain. There have been several fights between my beautiful wife and me over this. I deny all their accusations, but they know the truth. I have a very soft spot in my heart for my little hero.
He makes great grades, is never in trouble at school, and is the kindest and most passionate and mature child I know. He does all the right things when he is not at home. He stands up for his friends and those that get picked on at school, and never follows his friends that want to stray from the righteous path.
Believe me though, he is no saint; He only fails to do what is expected of him at home. He has not cleaned his room in over a year. He doesn’t clean up after himself most of the times and does not do what he is told to do until someone gets mad. He forgets his supplies when we go out and only seems to check himself after someone reminds him and does not take diabetes seriously.
So, why can’t I be as strict on him as I was with my other children? I try to treat him as a normal child, but even when I do get mad at him; I look into his eyes and just melt. The other children are grown and in college now, so he is the only child at home. When they come home, I can see the disgust in their eyes over the mess that he leaves behind. (I have OCD about cleanliness and have preached it to all my kids).
I did not mean to make this so long, but this is the first time that I actually wrote about my feelings. I don’t know if others have the same feelings that I do, but just in case you do, I wanted you to know that I don’t think you are alone.
I only hope that he turns out as great as my other children. I am very proud of them. They have never been in trouble and are doing great in college. They have goals and dreams and seem to be following the right path to achieve them. I am a very lucky parent, but I would give my life if I If I could just cure Tyler’s diabetes.