Parenting is challenging enough without adding a child's diagnosis into the mix. As parents, we're thrust into an unknown world, now fighting for our child's life while still doing everything we were before our world was turned upside down.
Thinking back to that diagnosis day in 2005, our then fiery, redheaded JoJo was only four. The following year Jeff and I struggled. Since we're each the oldest, we naturally wanted to take charge, causing some marital friction and head butting. Ultimately we wanted the same thing for JoJo: a happy, healthy life where she owns her diabetes.
Diabetes introduced several new conditions we had to deal with: lack of sleep, medical calculations, food preparation,worry,frustration just to name a few. Here are some things we learned:
- Talk honestly with each other, agree not to blame or criticize what the other is feeling. Sometimes we just need to vent. Understand you can't "fix" the situation.
- Take time to connect with each other as often as possible, even in simple ways. Just the two of you without any background noise. Perhaps just a coffee or lunch while the kids are in school.
- Take time for yourself. As you know this disease is relentless and can wear you out. Recharge your batteries by doing something for yourself.
While the disease hasn't gone away we've worked hard to put it in it's place.
What suggestions do you have to stay on track after being dealt the blow of diagnosis.