The Talk about Diabetes and Alcohol

talking about diabetes and alcohol Diabetes Advocacy

My son with type 1 diabetes is now an adult. He can vote. He can drive a car and he can drink alcohol.

He is living at home again while he does some upgrading and starts training for his chosen career.

It is hard to believe that my baby is an adult but he is. He has his own car. He drinks alcohol much to my surprise (because he is my baby).

He seems to be responsible…well as responsible as you can be at his age. When he drinks he doesn’t drive. When he goes out, he brings along a friend who is a designated driver and doesn’t drink. He spends the night at that friend’s place so that he doesn’t drive again until he is sober.

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He brings his test kit. He has his spare supplies and extra glucose with him.

He has a system when he drinks. He has already learned how certain beverages affect his blood glucose levels. He was pretty confident in what he is doing.

He talked to me about diabetes and alcohol

How do I know this? Because my son told me.  We were discussing his night out.  I was giving him a little bit of the information that I had learned about diabetes and alcohol thanks to places like the Diabetes Mine.  He told me about his experience.  

I asked what he would do if heaven forbid, he got falling down drunk. How could he handle things? He told me that he had been there. He began to tell me what he did.

I was shocked.  This was my little boy. I began to walk out of the room. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to think of my baby as drinking. I really didn’t want to think of my little boy getting drunk. He stopped me.

He made me listen to his experiences when drinking alcohol

He told me that I had to know. It was important for me to understand how he handled drinking. If I didn’t listen to him, I would worry more. He wanted me to know that he was listening, learning and growing up. It was going to be okay.

I listened. I was proud that he would have this dialog with me. It was candid. It was honest. Nothing was hidden to make me feel better. It was raw.

It was tough to hear. It was good to hear.

He has stumbled in his short life. I have cried. He has learned. So have I. Together we will continue to get through.

I am glad he feels that he can talk to me.  I am glad that he has learned. I am proud that he wants me to be okay as well.

Swept away and retired to a desk

Today’s prompt for Diabetes Blog Week asks what is that one thing that we are still clinging on to that we need to let go? What in our diabetes closet needs to be cleaned out?

Honestly, I was going to use a wildcard for this one. I thought it didn’t apply to me any longer.  Diabetes does not live with my full time any more so what could I possibly need to junk out? We cleaned out most of my son’s diabetes supplies when he moved.  Anything left here he needs when he visits. Obviously this was a topic that I was going to have to give a miss. Or maybe not….

sweeping up
Sweeping out the old

There is something that I have been working on for…cough, cough, almost….two…cough…years.  It is something that I need to let go of, clean out, sweep away. My challenge is to sweep away that need to know all and me hands on 100% of the time.  It is now physically impossible and thinking otherwise is emotionally draining.

I have to adjust to the role of no longer being that person in charge. Learning my new role as the person standing in the office listening to what is going on in the trenches but removed from the actual events is a huge challenge.

I no longer have to wake up at various times during the night to test my son. That has its own guilt.  I still wake up through the night out of habit but as time has gone on, I no longer wake in a panic wondering if he is okay and if he is testing.

I have gotten better at having him text me readings.  Originally I wanted to know every reading.  I would stay up to all hours just so that we could talk and he could tell me what his readings had been like.  That didn’t work. He did his best to be busy when I wanted to call and talk.  I had to get rid of that need to know. I had to learn that it was now truly his disease.

We still talk daily.  I don’t know his readings from day to day.  He calls me when he has a problem. We troubleshoot issues together.  I still work on being okay with the fact that I don’t know his A1c.  I still struggle with not being able to hook him up to the technology that I want him to use.  Sweeping out the DMomma who is hands on and replacing her with the DMomma who is just there to help out when things get a little messy or he needs a break has truly been my biggest challenge.

As I have have been swept out of the trenches, I found myself struggling to understand my place on the sidelines.  I worried that I had not prepared him enough. I worried that I would not matter any more. I worried that I would no longer have a role in that community of diabetes parents that had been my home for so many years.

Just like cleaning our house can give you a new perspective, cleaning out my role as a DMomma did as well.  I have seen my son thrive on his own. I have seen him put to use what he has been taught and develop his own confidence.  Standing back has allowed me a new role in the diabetes community and in my son’s life…and its not that bad!

The private parts of our life with diabetes

Day two of Dblog Week asks what are the private parts of our life with diabetes? What is it that is off limits for sharing with our readers or maybe even family and friends? What will you never read about on these pages?

This is actually an interesting topic.  Once upon a time, there was almost nothing that you would not read on my blog pages. I was an open book in part because I never thought anyone else would read what I had to say.  It was my personal journal. I shared my most raw emotions. As friends and strangers began to read, things began to change.

I won’t press publish when I am emotionally charged by an issue.

private parts of life with diabetes

I no longer write when emotionally charged. I still write posts with emotional attachments and passion but I try to wait, write, re-write, wait, and then post after the fact. I want people to understand some of what I deal with as a parent of a child with diabetes but I don’t want them to lose the point in a sea of anger or frustration.

I won’t call my children by name.

I no longer write my youngest son’s name and very rarely the names of anyone around me out of respect for their privacy.  My son spent a lot of his early life with diabetes in the spotlight.  I wanted people to know more about the disease but I never considered that he’d preferred anonymity.

He does.  When he turned 16, he laid down the law.  He wanted his privacy. He did not want to be featured in diabetes-related campaigns or any other displays.  I have learned to honour that.

I will talk about hot topics and trends.

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Over the years, my life has changed and so to have my blog posts.  I continue to seek to educate people on their options in diabetes care. It is important for me to highlight social issues that impact people with diabetes.  

I will share our experiences but some parts of life with diabetes will be private.

Our life with diabetes has changed. It no longer consumes me 24/7.  It is now the burden my son carries mostly on his own.  I can no longer moan about sleepless nights but I will still share my feelings of guilt at being able to sleep.

I will still share many emotions and experiences in my blog posts. I try to keep them real and from the heart.  Yes, there are a few things that you will never read about.  There are still private parts of our life with diabetes. There are a few things that family and friends will never understand either but the important things that educate, advocate and raise awareness will always be shared.

Diabetes Advocacy also takes your privacy seriously and never shares your information with anyone. You can read our privacy policy here.