Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I can’t help thinking about all the things I’m thankful for. I am so grateful for this time of year when I can really reflect on all the blessings I have in my life. This time of year is also special because it marks the fourth year since Kaitlyn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I can hardly believe that it has been that long, but at the same time, it feels like she has been living with diabetes forever. She has lived longer with diabetes now than she has lived without it. In fact, I don’t think she has any recollection of how things were before she was diagnosed.
It hasn’t been an easy four years. It has been filled with work and worry and decisions, and doctors and nurses and pharmacies and bills and school conferences … I could go on and on. I figure we’ve spent close to 100 hours at doctor visits, counted carbs for at least 7,300 meals, changed her pump site about 375 times, ordered and paid for prescriptions and supplies for 48 months, and pricked her finger about 15,000 times. That’s a lot, and the numbers do not even begin to portray the worry and the emotional stress that came along with it all. It’s been a lot for my husband and me, and it’s been a lot for Kaitlyn.
I can’t think about it too much, though. When I catch myself dwelling on all the negative aspects of a child having type 1, it helps to think about what else I have. I have my Kaitlyn. If she were born a hundred years ago, before the miracle of modern diabetes treatment, we wouldn’t have our Kaitlyn. What a blessing she is to me and our family! Thanks to great doctors, modern medicine and friends and family who have supported us every step of the way, I have a beautiful, wonderful -- and yes, healthy -- daughter.
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.
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