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Lack of Knowledge = Anxiety...You Can Bet On It

learning never endsThe day you stop learning, I can promise you, is the day the fear and anxiety return. Knowledge is power.

I was reading something someone wrote recently.  It basically stated that they had arrived at a point in their life that whatever comes into their life, they take it as the norm and live with it. 

Really? Wow. I’m amazed how many people out there are faced with absolute adversity and if you talk to them, you'd never know it. Why?  Because they choose to grab life and all it has for what they enjoy.  They do not accept an outside force, ‘as the norm’. I’m equally amazed that many with such little woes are tripped up for such a long time.

The choice is simple. The choice is yours.

Now I’m not talking about walking around with your head in the clouds saying life is wonderful when your life is falling apart around you; I’m talking about having your feet firmly planted in the ground and you know EXACTLY what is happening in the world around you. But yet, you also realize that EVERYONE gets what life throws at them……no one gets a pass.

You also know that while bad is around you, so is good….and that also means many good people.   Those people who attach themselves to that aspect live a life that is both full and enriched through education.

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, “……when you are going through hell……..keep going.”  Sounds good enough to me.  Let me speak to parents who are caring for a child living with diabetes. Having two, T1Ds of my own, I understand the horror and uncertainty you experience.

The Day the Crying Stopped

We finally reached a point where we said: 'No More!' The crying every day had to stop. I believe much inner turmoil is the result of fear. Yes, the fear of what we don’t know but more than that……the fear of what we have yet to learn. Realizing that the roadway we will walk down is our choice was empowering. 

We didn't get over the initial shock of being told our children have a life-threating, chronic disease, until we had gathered a great deal of knowledge about diabetes. Knowledge is power after all. Practically overnight we went from parents with children without health concerns to instant caretakers of a then, two-year-old, who needed our care to stay alive. Let me assure you we learned a lot and we learned it quickly.

Here's the reality of parenting children with diabetes—the learning should never end, NEVER. Learn, learn, learn, and when you are done learning; learn even more. Your thirst for knowledge in this disease needs to be unceasing because I promise you this, the more you work at learning and understanding, the less time you will have for fear to set in and give you all the anxiety you are feeling. There is no lack of knowledge needed, the disease and all that goes with it changes constantly.

When the pumps came out (yes they were NOT in everyday use in the 1990s) we learned everything we could, we even wore them filled with saline so we really knew how they worked. We were not married to one over the other because we also learned that these devices change, and change often, and if/when a newer version that worked better for our child came out, we found a way to switch it. 

If we had to deal with the school, we made dang sure we knew the laws and rights better than they did—right down to the chapter and verse. If we were going to an amusement park, we were ready.  Restaurant? Ready. Airport? Ready.

If we made a mistake, we worked to make sure it did not happen again. What we reduced was the anxiety that comes with NOT KNOWING. What we gained, the ability to live life to the fullest inspite of the challenges of managing diabetes. Was it tough? Yup. Financially we could have been ruined. Family dynamic-wise we could have been ruined. But with more knowledge came more confidence. 

This disease was not going to get the best of us. In our life, it was surely hell and we did, indeed, keep going…….and we still have a ways to go. But we are ready? Are You?

I am a DiabetesDad.

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