Happy New Diabetes Year

I was just on my way to the grocery store, listening to "So this is Christmas/And what have you done?/Another year over/And a new one just begun..."

It's been one year since we started living with diabetes. One year since Samantha went into the ICU and came back out with an insulin prescription. And what have we done? I feel like I've been letting life live me a little too much. It took the upper hand one year ago, and I'm getting ready to take the controls again. No more sitting around stunned, hoping that we just make it through the day ok. No more living from doctor appointment to doctor appointment. I'll even try to get over the feeling that I'm going to burst into tears in the grocery store.

We did make some strides. Participating in the Defend 2 clinical trial has been a lifesaver for us, and maybe it will eventually help others in some way. The best thing about it has been the frequent contact with a doctor who cares. I'd rank that even higher than the possibility that Samantha may have gotten a drug that is extending her honeymoon.

I don't want to sit here and cry, and I don't want to look backward at Samantha Before Diabetes. Everything's changed. Samantha's 15. My daughter Annebelle is 13, with a birthday coming up in December. But that birthday is scaring Annebelle a little. She said, "I hope I don't turn 14 and get diabetes like Samantha." I wish I could say, "Don't worry!" But I can't. I have to say, "We're not sure why Samantha got it, so I can't lie and say it won't happen to you."

My job is to change that for future parents. Diabetes research should lead to an answer to that question. We have to participate in research, we have to support it, or we won't see the benefits. This Diabetes Year, I'm not going to roll with the punches. I'm going to be raising money. I'll be out there walking and talking and whatever it takes. I want progress on all fronts: artificial pancreas, islet cell transplantation, drugs to stop the autoimmune attack. Anything that might make life better for Samantha and everyone else with diabetes.

This year, I bought Samantha a t-shirt to celebrate her first anniversary with Diabetes. We'll probably have an ice cream cake to go with it. Next year ... who knows? Maybe I'll be able to get her something more life-changing.

Hi samsmom, I am new to tudiabetes, I have been reading the blog on occasion but I never signed in and replied or posted anything. I came across your blog and your story is very similar to mine with my daughter Rylie. Thanksgiving week 2009 was the day that forever changed our lives, my 15 year old daughter Rylie was diagnosed with T1, as with you and many others it was a complete shock! As her father I took it very hard, much harder than her, two years later and I still struggle with the diagnosis because there was nothing I could do to protect her from it. My daughter was finishing her fall season of travel softball when she was diagnosed, we had our biggest tournament in LA that week, she was able to go and play but she could not pitch. A few months later after she gained her weight back and her strength she collided with another player at another softball tournament in LA and broke her collar bone, her season was finished. Similar to your situation we felt like the challenges just kept coming our way with the T1 diagnosis and then broken collar bone two months later. I cannot remember hurting so much for my daughter, but she always stayed positive. Two years later and my daughter has not let T1 get in the way, she exercises everyday and plays a lot of softball. She works harder than most on her team and does not let T1 get in the way no matter how hard the conditioning. She travels all around California playing and last year played at the ASA 16U national championship tournament in Tennessee. She pitched four complete 7 inning games in the heat and humidity while managing her T1. Just recently Rylie got her driving permit so she is driving under our supervision until she turns 16 in February. Our stories are very similar with our daughters; I would love to share information that can help our young athletes as they journey through high school playing softball with T1 and into college. It is a tough road that has been paved for them, however, I believe they can and will be an inspiration to others. She is already to me! I wish you and Sam the best……….