Happy 4th of July to our US friends!
This post was originally published in response to a question for Diabetes Blogfest last year....
Dear Dr. vG;
It is day two of Diabetes Blogfest and a letter to you seemed appropriate.
We met over 11 years ago. I was told that you were the best and when I saw you, well, I wondered. My son was terribly ill and a man in a checkered shirt, bushy beard, and big winter boots was to be the one to save him? I left it in God's hands and we have never looked back.
You were very matter of fact when you met us. You left me scared and shaken to the core when you told me that the next twelve hours would tell us if he lived or died, if he had heart problems or kidney failure. You would teach me about diabetes and whatever else I needed to know after you saved my son's life.
I remember very little of you after that. I know you were there. I know that our prayers were answered and you saved my son's life that night. You carefully balanced his insulin and fluids, bringing him back to us healthy and full of life.
You met us again after he left intensive care. I can still see you standing near his room door. You told me that he could honeymoon for years. You warned me of impotency at 20. You gave me the facts never worrying that I could not handle them. You told me that I had to learn things that were foreign to me. I had to be able to handle my son going low before we could go home. You seemed to know my strength more than I did because I was sure I would never be able to handle it all.
Over the years you pushed me. You guided me and then left me to fly or fall on my own. You told your secretary to ignore my faxes for help because you knew that I could answer my own questions. I grumbled upon your return, you laughed and reminded me that I had done fine. When I decided to apply and fight for the Disability Tax Credit you told me I was crazy. You said it could not be done but if I wanted to waste my time, you would not stop me. When we were headed to court to further the fight, you were still standing beside us. When we won, not just for my son but for the thousands of people living with diabetes in Canada, you laughed and complaied that I had given you more work that you didn't need.
As my son grew, you pushed me again. You knew that diabetes care I could handle but you also knew how difficult it would be for me to let go of my children--especially one that had almost been taken from me. You made my son take care of himself long before many thought he was ready. You asked more of him than many others of his age. I was scared. I balked but went along with it because it had worked with me. Your reasoning was sound but I was terrified.
I am still scared today but I am grateful for the tools you gave us. Last year, we moved away and had to leave your practice. When my son was diagnosed, I had asked if you would ever leave us but I never imagined that life would put us on a path where we would have to leave your care.
You shared stories of your family. You shared your insights and offered us food for thought. You created a strong foundation for us to go forward on and I will forever be grateful. We have stumbled. We have not always agreed but you allowed us room to grow and had faith in us when we may not have had it in ourselves.
Thank you for saving my son. Thank you for showing us how to stand. Thank you for giving us the courage to fly.