Where would I be without my Dad? He was always my protection growing up. When I was four, he would sit beside my bed every night because I was scared of the dark. When I woke up sick in the middle of the night, I would run across the hallway calling out for him. And when I’m miserable and talking negatively about anything, he’ll be the first to tell me to stop talking rubbish.
Dad was the one who drove me to hospital on the day of my diagnosis five years ago. I was sitting in the car fazed, panting, nauseated and thirsty. My pulse was beating ever so rapidly, and I had no idea what was happening to me. I was sitting there, next to him, with no honest idea whether I would survive the car trip there. But I knew that I could rely on him to get me there, and get me through it.
Dad was there by my side as I was helped onto a bed in the emergency room, and almost certainly diagnosed with diabetes the minute I lay down. My fazed self had heard the word diabetes, and I was devastated. I thought that it was my fault. I was terrified at the thought of needles. And I can even remember asking Dad if they were sure that it was diabetes and not something else. Reassuringly, Dad told me that the doctors had said that I would still be able to live a normal and healthy life.
One thing me and my Dad share in common is that we have both been through life threatening conditions during our lives (admittedly his was bigger than mine). And today, we are both dependent on prescription medication for the rest of our lives because of it (mine being insulin, his being something completely different). We usually go to the Chemist to get our prescriptions filled together. While we are waiting, he usually points to things like jellybeans to remind me if I need any. It’s one of those annoying Dad things that he loves to do, even at home, but I appreciate it anyway.
Being diagnosed at the age of 17, my Dad hasn’t had the diabetes duties that many other d-parents face. But he did perform a big diabetes duty that day in helping to save my life. He got me through that day. And I am still here today, writing this story because of it.
Happy belated Fathers Day, Dad. And Happy Fathers Day to all the other Dads and d-parents in Australia for yesterday.