One of the pivotal moments in our diabetes story came in our very first week. As we struggled to learn about what it means to have type 1 diabetes, our wonderful educator said, "James will live a long, healthy life. He will be able to do anything he wants to do and be anyone he wants to be." THAT was our introduction to what it meant to have diabetes. It has shaped our perception of what diabetes means from the very beginning.
So James is now a young boy of 8 years old. It's obvious that he is so healthy. His color and weight are excellent, and you could never look at him and know that his pancreas doesn't work properly. As I spend a minute watching him today at the park, I see a confident kid. He's running, climbing the slide, digging in the sand, catching bugs, laughing -- a "normal" kid by all means.
It isn't rational, but honestly, when I look at his face, it's effortless to forget the hours that I've spent working to keep him healthy. The thousands of blood sugar tests, carbs counted and consumed, infusion set changes, needle pricks and sleepless nights of worry have all contributed in their ways to the happy and untroubled kid, who can tumble down a hill of grass without a care in the world. It isn't that his life is free from worry or stress or that there aren't aspects of diabetes that bring tears of pain or frustration. It's more that we've been able to see past the daily struggles and inconveniences and glimpse the beauty that life affords to a boy who really can "do anything he wants to do."
About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I'm thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.