11 Apr 2016

Everyday documentary part 1/ therapeutic photography .

This post has been a long time in the making. I don't want it to be an educational post about diabetes, don't worry. After all, if anyone wants to know more, there's always the possibility of googling "Type 1 Diabetes in children" ;)  I just wanted to share some of our moments with this disease. It's a therapeutic post to some extent as well. It took me ages to make myself take any photos of Marta with her pump or of her checking her blood glucose levels. I still can't look at our pre-diabetes photos and not be emotional (i.e. cry a river). I have read that parenting a child is hard and parenting a child with type 1 diabetes is heartbreaking. And quite often it is. Especially at the beginning... after the diagnosis has come out of nowhere and the whole family has to learn to re-adjust their lives, because diabetes creates a lot of demands. A Type 1 parent knows the feeling of being forced to take a piece of bread away from a hungry and screaming 2-year-old because they still have to wait before they are allowed to eat... or the feeling of having to change an infusion set on their crying little one, scared to death of yet another prick of the needle... or the endless finger pricks... or the sleepless nights when you have to check their glucose levels every hour or so... I took on the position of full time pancreas for my daughter. But, I'm not writing this to moan ;) We somehow got used to diabetes being part of our family story and everyday life. That is, if you can actually get used to fear being your all-time companion. Because that's how parents of sick children operate - we fear, being constantly aware that, really, anything can happen. This perception may ruin your peace but it can also give you strength you never knew you had. I experience both. 

We want Marta to live as normal a life as possible. Managing diabetes and the risk of complications forces children to grow up too fast. She has become very mature at the age of just 6. A very serious little girl she is most of the time. I thank God every day for the amazing teachers and nurses at her school here - they make it possible for her to just be a child, doing everything they can to not let diabetes define her in the school environment or be an obstacle in her relations with her peers. We're very blessed. And thankful. 

I still don't have too many photos on the subject of diabetes. But hopefully documenting this part of Marta's life will be easier now. If you feel like watching some more photos from a parent of a Type 1 child, please take a look at this wonderful blog here. Grzegorz takes beautifully honest and very emotional photos. The content is in Polish, but you can admire his work anyway I think :) 

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