Rather than re-write what I have already written, I'm posting this article I wrote a short while back for another blog of mine. It pretty much sums things up for now...
My son, Lucas, was diagnosed with type one diabetes in February of 2005, shortly after he turned two years old. I was the first to suspect diabetes since his father is also a life-long diabetic. I had been watching for it. I wanted to be wrong but I was not. His father, my husband, Chris was in denial. He felt responsible. We both felt relieved to know what was wrong but angry and sad as well. So many emotions. All these emotions-strong, inevitable emotions-had to take a back burner. Despite my husband being diabetic, he did not know how to care for a two year old diabetic; the treatment is entirely different in young children...you almost have to develop a sixth sense about it, which, we have (myself more-so than my husband.). I barely knew what diabetes really was...I had lots of lessons to learn... Lucas was not really talking yet...he could say some words but still wasn't stringing them together (high blood sugar had held him back slightly; once he was treated and blood sugars were under control he began speaking volumes!). Because of this he was not able to tell us how he felt. Being able to tell us how he feels has been a long, slow training.
Life in my house is not like life in a house without diabetes (I KNOW this because I've already raised a daughter without diabetes to adult-hood). It seems everything revolves around diabetes. You have to be disciplined. You have to be organized. You HAVE to be diligent. If, for one moment, you just don't feel like dealing with it, you are putting your child's life in danger. Diabetes is a bus traveling at high speed through our lives. I curse diabetes almost every hour of everyday. It is difficult to hate something so much and not be able to walk away from it...this is how much I love my son. What will I do for my son? Anything and everything I can.
There are so many misconceptions out there about diabetes. Many people do not realize there are two types. My son does not have type two which is, in most cases, brought on by a combination of being overweight, eating a poor diet, and genetics. Sometimes, type two diabetes can sometimes be corrected through diet and weight loss. My son has type one diabetes (often called 'Juvenile Diabetes') for which there IS NO CURE and it cannot be reversed . Type one is brought on by two things: an autoimmune disorder and illness. A certain type of virus causes the body of someone with this autoimmune disorder to attack itself. When this happens it kills the part of the pancreas which creates insulin. A part of my son died. In order to live he must be given injections of insulin. Not quite as simple as that but I'm trying to simplify things. The whys and what fores don't matter here. What matters is that you understand this life I live with my son and husband. To quote a friend on my list I "put my big girl panties on and deal with it." everyday-like it or not.
Here's what I know for sure-it will get easier. This is my mantra at times, the idea I cling to. However, I will NEVER stop wishing for a cure. In the meantime, what will I do for my son? Anything and everything I can.
Shanda, thank you for sharing your story