I often use a roller coaster analogy to explain to doctors and nurses about the true grief process of a parent after their child receives a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis.
Up And Down, Up And Down On The Diabetes Roller Coaster
It’s now been 8 years since my son’s diagnosis. These days, when I see a roller coaster, although I am reminded of that initial period of shock and grief, the analogy strikes me a little differently. The diabetes roller coaster 8 years on is more about the ups and downs of overcoming fear or dealing with stubborn blood sugars.
I always see these monster roller coasters my son wants to ride and think… geez, is this a good idea? I am a little scared for some reason. I have my own fear of the roller coaster.
Then I recall the time I once overheard a doctor speak to a woman who was very worried about her son having an MRI. This woman was claustrophobic, and did not want her son to have a closed MRI – but the facility could not offer it any other way.
The doctor very directly told her, “Just because you are afraid does not mean your child is. Do not create fear for your child.”
Has Your Child Inherited Your Fears About Diabetes?
I think as parents, we have the potential to do this – either instil our own fears in our children, or protect them from our fears.
How we show up in the world and face our fears is so important. We lead by example too, even when we do not realize it.
Feel The Fear. Do It Anyway.
So when I am freaked out by the latest monster roller coaster that my son wants a turn on, I just remember all he has to overcome in the diabetes roller coaster every day. In the spirit of setting a good example to face my fears and encouraging him to do the same, I say yes, and I jump in and hang on for the ride.
There is the quote, “Do something that scares you every day.” We kind of already do that, so yesterday riding this beast was the new scary thing we tried.
Hold on for the ride.
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