Friday, March 26, 2010

I'd rather have diabetes

Its not a big deal. 
Its not that bad.  
It could be worse. 

Those sayings used to make me cringe.  I would feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  My blood pressure would quickly escalate...until today.Today I read something that changed that. It gave me a new perspective and brought tears to my eyes. 

I read a letter written by a mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes.  The child was 13 years old.  He was diagnosed in March of 2000 at the age of three. He was active in advocacy.  He was an inspiration to many other young people living with Type 1 diabetes.  Notice the use of the past tense? He passed away recently.  Diabetes killed him. His mother reflected on how lucky some of us are to be able to say that we "have" a child with diabetes.  She noted that "I'd rather have a boy with diabetes, than no diabetes at all.

Michelle Page-Alswager remains one of the bravest women that I have never met.  She challenges us to walk in her shoes for just 30 seconds.  I don't know that many of us could.  I remember March of 2000.  I remember holding a lifeless child in my arms and willing him to live.  I remember bargaining with God for the second time, asking Him to save this child.  I could handle anything but he had to live.  I remember praying beside his bed. Praying that he would live to see another day.  Praying that my baby would be given back to me. My prayers were answered.  My son has lived for 10 years with Type 1 diabetes and I hope another 80+ after that! 

For the Alswager family, and sadly many others, diabetes was not just a big deal it was a deadly deal.  Life must have seemed very bad and very cruel.  Things could not have appeared any worse. For my family? Things could be worse. I have diabetes to hate and my son to love. I have diabetes to fear and my son has life to live.  

Diabetes is not a big deal? Well we know differently.  
Diabetes is not that bad? Death is certainly a lot worse.
It could be worse? Yes, we could have lost our battle 10 years ago but instead we stand here ready to fight another day.  I will continue to work to teach my son to live his life to the fullest. To care for himself to the best of his ability.  To try to accept and move forward.  To love each day and be grateful for all of the wonderful blessings it brings. 

According to Facebook, it is "Hug a person with diabetes day".  Personally I think an extra hug every day to show them how much we love them, care for them and enjoy having them alive and healthy is definitely in order! 


  1. That was a touching and heartbreaking post. I wish you and your son the best of luck.

  2. My son was diagnosed, at age almost 16, on 3/8/10. I have had it for almost 11 years. We were in a training with other parents just this week and I was saying the same to them. Diabetes is livable when managed, there are a lot worse things out there, and if my son had to have something bad, I'd take diabetes over cancer, MS, Aids, etc any day. Granted I prefer he be a normal, healthy boy with no disease. It is sad to hear that story and am very sad for their loss and thankful for my son. And he will most definately get a hug today.