Most days, in our home, we try to live each day as if Type 1 Diabetes is just visiting, passing by, and soon on it's way out. Other days, like these past two weeks, Diabetes is that loud, obnoxious house guest you wish would just disappear. In other words, T1D is clearly a big pain in the behind.
No matter how much we try to keep things as they should be, "under control", any little thing can make the blood levels go sky high.
And, then came football.
I've been called crazy for cheering my son on to pursue his love for the game. I've been told I'm ignorant and not acknowledging the reality that if he's not well, he should just be off the team.
So, let's talk. Is my son ever going to be 100% all the time? Maybe not? Should he be limited because sometimes he has a cold and that just happens to set his sugar off? Do I teach him to pay so much attention to T1D that there's nothing else in life to look forward to?
Football, at least in the little I know, and am learning, seems to be strategic, like a battle plan in motion, the focus on one thing, one aim, a football making it to the other side of the field. There are all these players, one of which is my Jacob, and their job is to make sure this one kid, the quarter back who is holding the football, makes it, non stop, without interference, to the other side until they hear, "Touch down!"
Since my son has been on the Queens Falcons, he has learned about being part of a team and helping others do their best during a game. He is always encouraging and cheering on his teammates. He has his moments where he wants to sit down but he'll push himself. Yes, he's had his throwing up moments, his lows where he needs to drink juice or his highs, where he has to get insulin and lots of water, but there's this smile about him that nothing can take away.
I look out into the field, and the joy in his face and the determination in his demeanor, silence all the negative voices in my mind. The victory hands held high and the friends my son says, "Good night" to after a practice, fill my heart with the confidence that I have done the right thing.
You can call my crazy, but I think the only crazy thing I've done is embracing my son's passion and freeing him to be free on the field. You can call me ignorant, but the only ignorant things I've done is build a wall of fear around him and limit him.
When football came to save the day, I was busy hearing all the don't and nodding my head in agreement with the skeptics. But faith shows up at the door and challenges you to walk in, hand in hand with God, and helps you believe in miracles, believe in great things, and believe the impossible.
I am my son's greatest fan. I will carry all the bags I need to, with medication, supplies, and the foods he needs so that there is nothing to stop him from going out there and not only doing his best, but having a great time. You see, you have to be there when they're out on the field. It takes a lot for Jacob to ask to sit out a game. He carries this burden the rest of the week if he's unable to play. He feels he's let his team and coaches down. So, I've told him to cheer his team on when his body says, "Break time." And to see him cheer, encourage and celebrate them brings life into my heart, constantly.
What's your limit? I hope there are none. Are you a parent wondering if you should allow your child to soar and be part of sports? I can only share my experience and encourage you to dare the extreme and join your child as they dream, fight on and do their best. T1D is a condition, not a final judgement against your child. High or low blood glucose are conditions and moments of what they face, not the words, "THE END" to their story.
As for me, my faith and my trust are in a Mighty God that raises my son to soar and fly high. God enables my son to push onward even through his T1D. So, God can use even sports to bring out the champion in our children. I hope you can trust this for your child as well. Football keeps us going in our house, and I hope you find something to keep your house cheering and celebrating life!
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