T1D Affects the ENTIRE Family..

Eden has an older sister named Ally. Of course when Eden was diagnosed 3.5years ago Ally was sad and worried about her little sister. But somewhere deep down throughout the years Ally has also developed a resentment towards US and her sister for this time consuming disease. NO she hasn’t stated this as a fact – but I KNOW it – I can see it and FEEL it.

T1D takes up a LOT of our time and attention. We try very hard not to treat Eden differently but sometimes it is hard not to. We are constantly discussing carb counts, blood sugar numbers, site changes, etc in our house. Eden has a special stash of juice, jelly candy and glucose tabs that are just for her to treat a low blood sugar when required. Does she get to just eat them willy nilly – no way – but does Ally get them? No she does not – they are considered “medicine” and we have them to save Eden’s life.

Erratic blood sugar numbers can cause rapid mood swings. YES – mood swings are a very normal part of raising a pre-teen too.. When do we know if this moodiness is caused by hormones or if her blood sugar is out of whack? good question…

I DO NOT let either of my kids get away with disrespectful behavior either way, but sometimes, just sometimes, I KNOW I am easier on Eden because blood sugar moodiness is out of her control.

Eden got a phone for Christmas – trying to get her to be more responsible and readying her for Middle School. Well, Eden got her phone 6 months in age BEFORE Ally got a phone – and it was a smartphone too, not just a cheap ‘ol cell phone. Fair? Well, probably not really – but the circumstances are different.

Eden plays basketball – is obsessed with basketball as a matter of fact. If given the chance she would probably play/practice 7 days a week. As exercise has a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels, it means that I need to be PRESENT at every single game and practice. Many parents now that Eden is 11, just drop their kids off and I sit there on the bench – alone.. I truly enjoy this time – I LOVE watching her do something that she loves so much. BUT, this also means that Ally is either left home or encouraged to make other plans. There has only been ONE time I can recall that I had to miss something of Ally’s (one race at a track meet – I saw the others)  to get Eden to practice. Don’t get me wrong – Ally’s activities are VERY important to me too, but Eden really needed to be at that particular practice as she had an upcoming tournament and as it was I was taking her over an hour late.

Of course, Ally focuses on the time I spend with Eden versus the time I TRY to spend with her.. which, as she is now 13 years old is becoming less and less. (apparently I am NOT COOL) It is impossible to be in 2 places at once and unfortunately, Eden’s health and safety WILL come first.

At some point I am hopeful that I will get Ally’s personal perspective on this – but as of today, she is not ready to share…

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6 thoughts on “T1D Affects the ENTIRE Family..

  1. Such a confronting reality. You are a lovely mum and Ally will be an adult longer than a child and will understand your extra focus on Eden isn’t driven by having extra love for Eden. I’m sure she understands in her heart. Being 13 means she is pretty self focused, this will pass. Perhaps you and Ally could have a date night once a month. You are all amazing. Thanks for keeping us aware with your blog xx

  2. My 14 year old daughter is in the same boat as Ally. It’s tough. But it’s life. And teenage girls….well, I teach 7th grade…so I know. The world revolves around them and they take things personally. I like the advice that Ally will be an adult longer than she will be a child. I hope our girls will be more compassionate for having gone thru this.

  3. My Mia (T1D) has a beautiful big sister too, Abby (aged 12 years). Abby is Mia’s rock. On diagnosis, Mia was confronted with a barrage of finger pricks and insulin injections to stabilize her out of control blood glucose readings. Mia’s face was full of fear. Abby (aged 9) sensed her anxiety and asked our wonderful Diabetes Educator if she could go first!! Then Daddy offered, followed by Mum and Nan afterwards. Mia smiled and said, “I’ll go second, after Abby”. It makes me cry just thinking about it!! Sisters will always look out for each other always and forever XXX

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