A couple months ago, I wrote about the family we met with a little girl who was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, our families have been able to spend a lot of time together, and the girl's mother and I have become great friends. There have been several occasions when we've been able to help each other with diabetes care. One Sunday morning when we were at church, the children were being served a little snack for a special occasion. It was so nice to be able to tell my friend that since I would be there anyway, I could take care of the testing and dosing for both of our girls.
Then a couple of weeks ago, she sent Kaitlyn an invitation to her daughter's birthday party. I asked my friend whether or not she would like me to stay for the whole time, just the food part, or what? She responded that I could just drop Kaitlyn off and that if it was fine with me, she would take care of dosing her for the cake. I had to think for about half a second before I thought… drop her off? Yes! Of course I'll drop her off! It's probably the first time I have ever been able to do that! Besides special occasions with our own family, I have always had to accompany Kaitlyn to every birthday party or play date she has ever been invited to.
Well, the day of the party came, and Kaitlyn was so excited! It was such a freeing feeling as I brought her up to the doorstep and handed over the meter and other supplies. She walked in and waved goodbye! I realized that outside of school and our regular cousin date-night swaps, Kaitlyn and I pretty much spend all of our time together. It was fun for her, and also for me, to feel a little bit normal for once!
I'm realizing more and more how important it is to build a network of people who can offer support and especially friendship! Recently, another good friend of ours found out that their daughter has type 1 diabetes. As much as my heart aches for them, it's exciting to have another family to relate to and support in return. I also got a call the other day from our district nurse who works with other kids at different schools in the district. A mom of one of the little girls asked her to pass along her contact information to me so that our girls could meet and we would be able to set up play dates. My next goal is to set up a little group of friends with type 1 diabetes, so that we can get together on a regular basis. Our circle of friends within the diabetes community is growing!
About the author: My name is Kim. My daughter Kaitlyn (the third of our five children) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few years after my nephew James was diagnosed with the same disease. I'm excited to pair up with my sister-in-law, Jen, to share our story with you!
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.