Michael woke up today complaining of a sore throat and stuffed up nose. In the past, this would have been an ordinary inconvenience. For Michael it would have meant he was not feeling well and I would have felt bad for him as any parent would for their child. No one likes being sick with a cold. For me, it would have meant that my work day was thrown off course as I would be the one staying home with him. This morning it came with a whole new set of circumstances. He was sick with a cold and he has diabetes. I was not panicking. I knew it might stay as a cold. It could develop into something worse. Panic would not serve anybody. So I stayed calm. Dad and I checked if we could give him his usual Tylenol for his sore throat and body aches. And what about honey in his tea? Honey is a fast acting sugar, something that could sky rocket his blood sugar and make him feel even worse. As usual, our team at our local children’s hospital were amazing. They promptly got back to us regarding the Tylenol and tea. Both are fine. Insulin is a natural hormone, not medication that could interfere. They also reminded us to check about his anxiety medication and if it would counterbalance with the Tylenol. That was our next question too. I called the pharmacist and he reassured me that there was no problem either with Michael taking Tylenol and having his chamomile tea with honey. So many more things to think about now than before, but we went with the flow and it all worked out. We were also told to expect higher blood sugars as a rule. It was the body’s defense against fighting a virus.
Michael spent the day watching tv and relaxing, only to stop and have his scheduled snacks, bathroom breaks and lunch. I was proud how he took it easy, ate what he was supposed to eat, and ended the day with his usual routine and a nice chat with his father and I. I was proud of how Dad and I remained calm, positive and how well Michael managed everything. This is still something we are all adjusting to-diabetes. We went through the same thing with autism. It is all about fitting both diagnoses into our life, and not the other way around. Yes, for sure having autism and diabetes has changed Michael’s life and ours. There are lots of things he and we have had to adjust to. But overall, we have taught Michael and continue to remind him, having these challenges does not have to limit him from experiencing anything from activities, to parties, to traveling to whatever.
We never want Michael to feel he can’t do something due to having diabetes or autism. It means that Dad and I have had to continue to look at Michael’s strengths and honor them. We have also had to work on helping him overcome his weaknesses, and show him to strive for the best life possible. This means sometime riding discomfort, stress and overcoming obstacles to get to the place he wants to get. It means all of us going with the flow of life and making the best of things, learning from the bad, accentuating the good, and finding the balance. I think most of the time we do a good job of it and Michael is learning too, with his strategies, how to cope, believe in himself and move forward.
Exceptional Parents, what challenges are you going through in your Exceptional Family right now? What scares you? What is keeping you “out of the flow”? Whatever it is, remember to believe that anything is possible for your child, in spite of their challenges. They have a special gift to offer. Your job as their parent and advocate is to find it, hone it, and then help them “go with the flow” of life living in a way that helps them bring their unique stamp to the world. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with Autism and Type 1 Diabetes has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of living in the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence on their own exceptional parenting journey.
For more information on my coaching services, for a FREE 30 min consultation, and to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY,” see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.