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Diabetes is for the elderly, isn’t it?
November 27, 2020 / A dose of optimism / Child

Diabetes is for the elderly, isn’t it?

9 min read

 Memories of a Mom – 3.

 On the last day of the vacation we went to the grandmother in the village.  We arrived in the evening and were supposed to sleep there.  I agreed with Marko that we wouldn’t drink anything before bed, so that he wouldn’t pee on Grandma’s bed sheets.  And he didn’t want Grandma to know either!  He experienced it as horror and shame.  He’s a big boy, what would grandma think if he was still like a little baby!?

 Even now I see those sweet blue eyes shining wide and the arms he spontaneously extended when he saw jars of cold sour milk in his grandmother’s refrigerator.  Hello, two jars of half a liter of real homemade sour milk, which Marko adores!

I took the spoon and put it in his mouth a few times to make the wish pass.  Grandma noticed this as soon

as I moved away… how she could  not give it to the child, when she soured it for him?  And Marko took the pitcher and drank until he drank the last drop, half a liter of milk!  It was as if he had escaped hunger.  And so that his mother from the garden wouldn’t accidentally enter the kitchen sooner, he started emptying the second jug, as if he hadn’t eaten or drunk for ten days.  And it really was without “AS” – HE REALLY DIDN’T EAT FOR DAYS, even though he ate in quantities like never before!

Today I know this, without enough insulin his whole body was starving!  He had been running out of supplies for days, so he was losing weight!  Then, even in the hundredth combination of thinking, I couldn’t figure out what was happening to my child, how hungry he was and why he was starting to lose weight.  And I still looked at him reproachfully!  Even today, I can’t hold back tears when I remember that moment.  How horrible it is to this day that I have denied my seven-year-old child cold milk with blood sugar over 30. Today I know that, but that day I did not know that such a thing was even possible.

 I had no idea then that my long night duty had begun that night.  On duty, as are all mothers, sometimes fathers, whose child grows up with diabetes.  Even today I still can’t understand how it is possible to raise two children up to their 20s, live in a big city, near thousands of children, at school, at activities, at check-ups and vaccinations, near all childhood illnesses and that you NEVER, but NEVER come across and you don’t hear that DIABETES EXISTS AMONG CHILDREN!!!

 And I was already in my forties, had a college education, worked among people over the age of twenty, and I had NEVER met a child or young person or the mother of a child with type 1 diabetes until then.

 But to finish that original story, i.e. the beginning of a story that never ends.  Yes, it doesn’t end – it’s a life story.  A story in which the main character, then a seven-year-old boy, is just then given another life task.  Living hand in hand with your “hobby”, as young people with diabetes used to say.  To live in such a way that you always strive to be a winner, to always solve every sugar-induced entanglement, either on your own or with the help of family, doctors and friends.

Other texts from this series can be found here

Ivana Kukec Read more posts by this author
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