My Diabetic Child Grew Up

Hi. I am the mother of an adult diabetic who was 15 months of age when he was diagnosed diabetic in 1970. The technoogy in1970 was pretty archaic and didn’t tell us much of anything. My son was either in an insulin reaction or had high blood sugars. There didn’t seem to be any middle of the road sugars. We tested urine back then…urine blood sugar readings were astleast 4 hours behind venous blood sugar readings! I had to squeeze out his diaper to get enough urine to test his sugars…had to use Pampers. A person I talked to on one of the Tu Diabetes blogs when I first joined called it “boiling urine”. I was scared to death my little guy would put one of those tablets in his mouth when I wasn’t looking!

He was so brittle and was so little, it was so hard to keep him on a diet. We were to use the diabetic exhange diet. I cooked many items at meal time. I cooked hamberger in little pieces, I cooked atleast 2 green vegtables, & atleast 2 yellow vegtables, and then had cottage cheese in case he didn’t eat all of his hamberger, or cooked a hot dog in case he didn’t eat all of his cottage cheese or hot dog or the hamberger! Oh, I also had braunswagger on hand if all else failed for his meat exchange! I always had cucumbers, carrots, fresh vegtables and fruit around. I tried to NOT let him know how important his eating was to me…he seemed oblivious to my concern and was a wonderful little eater. Praise the Lord!!

When Robbie was diagnosed, I was devastated! Being a nurse, I knew what was ahead of us. My Faith in God was really tested. I couldn’t understand how HE could let this happen to my little baby! I spent probably 3 years being really angry at God and cursing HIM. I met a wonderful minister in 1974, who helped me to regain my faith and to know God really was there all along. I also had a wonderful girlfriend who loved the Lord & talked with me and prayed for me through all 3 years! It is faith shattering when a chronic disease effects your child. It is beyond comprehension how life can go on and be even half way normal. Looking back now, I know God was always with us and HE kept my baby alive and has given me 38 year with him. HE is still with us and I am able to say thank you to Him everyday. Living with Diabetes is NOT the worst thing in the world. Many little ones died of cancer, trauma, or another dreaded disease. My burden was to keep my little boy well and alive and sugars in control as best I could.

I can not imagine what it would be like to have a child with diabetes. I only know the perspective of being THE DIABETIC! Lara and I were in nurses training together over 40 years ago. I was diagnosed 7 years at that time. It was not easy but you did what you had to do. I got so frustrated with never being able to have good control. I felt if I had an low sugar daily, then I must be doing ok. That was what my goal was. I can not imagine having to squeeze a diaper to even be able to tell what was happening. Pray Robbie does well. I know this disease can be the hardest one to live with. You are never away from it and you always have to think of what you are doing to control it. No vacation days. We all need to support each other. Have faith that they will improve things quickly. They have been talking about a cure since I was diagnosed in 1960. It is still being looked for. God bless you Lara. Pat

When I talk about my son in times past, he is always Robbie. And most of my frineds who knew me when he was young, know him as Robbie…Robbie hs grown up. Robbie IS Robert now and that name fits him much better than Robbie…Robbie is my little boy & Robert is my grown up son. Robert is a grown man and I am very proud of my Robert and where he is in his life & how he has handled his life and his stuggles. When I talk about Robbie, I do feel alot of emotions and sadness, but teh name Robert evokes more pleasent memories adn more happy times.

Since our Madeline aged 3 years was diagnosed in Aug this year my husband and I have spoken and wondered what it was like 40 years ago. Thanks for your blog its given me an idea of what it may have been like. All the best from down under. I hope Robert is doing well. Kirsten

Kirsten, My prayers go out to you and your family! It is so difficult and the feeings are just over whelming! If there is a good thing in the diagnosis, it is that Madeline is young & habits for her health can be formed now…atleast when my Robert was diagnosed, he didn’t know all of the unhealthy eating habits and grew up probably more healthy than his non diabetic friends! I had my own feelings to deal with and that was difficult, let me tell you. The technology is so much imrpoved and Madeline’s life will not be as difficult! thanks for asking about Robert & how he is doing. Robert’s diabetes continues to be pretty brittle. He has the insulin pump which makes life a whole lot simpler. Suagrs still bounce all over the place and he tests his sugars ALOT just to maintain control. His heart remains a concern and he is in chronic herat failure. He is a fighter tho’ and will never give up. He is working as a cahsier at a retailstore here part time. He has been involved with the State Vocational Rehabiliataion Depatment & is to start working @ home on the computer very soon. That should help improve his health status in a major way…as it is physically very hard on him to work in the community. He continues to live independently. His eye site is diminishing but he just keeps maintaining his good attitude and his good outlook and positive thoughts! He is amazing and such an inspiration to me and everyone around him! I will keep you alland Madeline in my prayers! thank you for responding to my blog! Larra