Monday, 11 July 2016

Be anything you want to be...

I have very mixed feelings about Theresa May. On the one hand the industry I work in has been decimated on a scale far greater than if she had driven a steam train into Piccadilly Station and set off an atom bomb. Morale is at an all-time low and the derogatory comments and smears she has made of services I treasure, such as the Police, are unforgivable. On the other hand, as a person with type 1 diabetes in a public role, she flies the flag bearing the mark of diabetes. 

I often think about the 'what's ifs' of my daughter one day developing type 1 diabetes. She shouldn't, given that she has just a 2% chance of developing it, but the chance is always there. Raising a child with type 1 can be a tricky business, and in amongst the challenges about self-management, maintaining blood sugars, issues with food and trying to manage a long-term chronic condition, come questions and identity challenges about what you can and can't 'be'. Aviation and emergency services are just two of the careers marred by limits on who can do them, and usually people with diabetes need not apply

Had you told me as a girl of just four, hands too small for the cumbersome blood glucose meters of the day, whose life had been irrevocably thrown into a veritable typhoon of diabetes, that she could one day have a job like being the Prime Minister of England, I would beamed from ear to ear.

The fact that the next would-be Prime Minister of England has type 1, is a landmark for people with the condition. People like Halle Berry, still causing merry hell by telling people that she was a type 1 who 'weaned herself off insulin' (God, give me strength) means we may finally have a 'real' face of the condition. Even if that face is one whose political decisions I have disapproved of, deeply. 

The one good thing out of the political turmoil and social unrest in our county is that one day I may have to convince my daughter than she can be anything she sets her mind to, and that can even be the Prime Minister of England.

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