This weekend we played a game of Bananagrams. One of those games that you either love or hate. My need for order and precision, my discomfort with change means it’s not my favourite. But it grows on you. Those who like to shake things up, change them for the sake of it, experiment, they love it. It makes GG happy. If she doesn’t like a word she’s used, she’ll change it. I wish everything was that simple.
I left them to tidy up, and when I next looked, they hadn’t. They’d all wandered off, apart from her. She sat at the table, arranging letters into words, until she had something she considered worthy of an Instagram post. This was it. I had to swallow hard. She’s embraced diabetes, as much as ever one can. She gets on with it, rarely complains, and doesn’t flinch much these days when I change her insulin pump cannula. So we don’t often talk about how it makes her feel. She’s such a cheerful soul, it’s always a jolt when something reminds us that she’s a deep thinker too.
But this is not a sad post. We’re fundraising, me and my girl. I’m running the half marathon that I ran last year. Ironically, when I signed up then, it was asthma I was most worried about. By the time I ran it, I was consumed by our diabetes diagnosis. I ran the first mile with some lovely people in JDRF vests (JDRF is the main Type 1 research charity), and swore I’d do it again, this time to help find a cure for Type 1. She is running another Type Onesie day at school for World Diabetes Day. I’m in awe of her, really. At the age of 9, and rocked by her diagnosis, she conducted a whole school assembly, with no input from myself or her teachers. She’s doing the same this year, has decided that raising awareness, and educating is the way forward, and has an Instagram and YouTube account for the purpose. I’m so proud.
But that’s not all. Starting as she means to go on, last week she completed a Warrior Adrenaline Race (WAR). Five kilometres of hard slog assault obstacles, all climbed, crossed, crawled through and jumped off earlier by the adults. No concessions for the kids. I followed her and her two friends around the course, and didn’t find it easy to keep up. They ran it wherever they could, they smiled whenever they had the breath for it, and they threw themselves into every challenge. Two of them have Type 1 diabetes. They stopped a couple of times to prick their fingers, and top up with fast acting carbs to stay safe. Their mums both fretted, and stayed up half the night dealing with the aftermath of unruly blood sugars shocked into misbehaving. But they did it. Once again, I’m proud.
Please sponsor us. Every pound that comes in makes her smile. She has the innocence of youth; she believes that every pound takes her closer to the day when the hurting might stop; when the tests are less frequent, the pod changes are no more, and the constant obsession with numbers is gone; when all the work is over, and life is easy. Perhaps she is right. I for one won’t stop until we find out.
You can sponsor us here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/helenvsdiabetes Thank you so much x