On January 31 it was official. It’s been one year since Jenna was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. One year since we began counting every carb that passes through her lips. One year since I’ve watched her run and play without wondering if she’s getting low. One year since I’ve gone to bed without debating if I should check her blood sugar just one more time. One year since Jason held her down so I could administer her first insulin injection.
In the past year, 3 year-old Jenna has endured 1500 shots, 2400 finger pricks, 1 trip to urgent care for IV fluids during the flu, and 7 appointments at the Altru Diabetes Center.
I’ve gotten out of bed the past 370 nights to check her blood sugar, subscribed to 3 diabetes magazines, bought or received 5 diabetes books that all say nearly the same thing, researched 4 insulin pumps, and – after everyone else has gone to bed – broken down so many times I’ve lost track.
And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “she’s being a bit dramatic” – that “diabetes is treatable” and “they’ve made great strides” and “she’ll live a full and happy life with all the advancements they’ve made” and, my favorite, “a cure is just around the corner.” Then there’s “it could be worse” or “at least it’s not (fill in the blank with any other horrible condition).”
My logical mind agrees with much of it, and my optimistic heart wants to believe all of it. And I do feel guilty when I think about what others are going through in this life. But the fact remains: I’m her mother. She’s my baby. And it’s just not fair.
I should be thankful that right now Jenna doesn’t understand the potential impact this disease will have on her future health and well-being. For now, that’s the burden her parents (and others who love her) bear. Ignorance – no, innocence – is bliss.
So tomorrow I’ll get up, put on my smile, and navigate the waters for yet another day. Because despite my own lows every now and again, I truly do believe that there’s hope yet.