Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ten Years of Type 1 Diabetes

I held his tiny, lifeless body in my arms willing him to live. Each breath was a miracle and I prayed that it was not his last.  Words like ketoacidosis and diabetes swirled through my head but I pushed them to the back.  The only thing I could concentrate on at the moment was getting my baby to the Emergency Room of the hospital 150km away.  He had to make it and then they would make him all better. If I willed enough of my own life energy into him he would be okay.  He had to be. This was my baby, my child.  I would not lose him.  He would be fine. He had to be.
The memories remain so vivid. It feels like yesterday and yet it feels like a lifetime ago.  Its been ten years today.  Ten years of learning.  Ten years of struggling.  Ten years of winning.  I have to remind myself of that--we are winning!

Ten years ago, snow raged and a blizzard threatened. Today it is sunny and flowers are daring to bloom.  Ten years ago my child could only be weighed on a baby scale but now he is over 100 pounds and quickly reaching my height.  

Ten years ago, I could only see the next 12 hours.  That was how long my child was expected to live.  Now I can see a lifetime filled with adventures and learning.  Back then the word “diabetes” meant nothing to me.  Today it means everything.  It is a part of our day.  It wakes me at night.  It gives me a purpose. It has brought me wonderful friends. It has not taken over my life or my son’s, it has become a part of it.

March 17, 2000 I was terrified for all that I stood to lose.  March 17, 2010 I remain in awe of all that we have gained.  I still hate this disease.  I hate the demands on my son and myself just to keep him alive and healthy.  I hate living in fear of complications.  I am very grateful however for the incredible advances we have seen.  I continue to be amazed by the amazing people that this disease has brought into our lives.  Our friends and family have grown beyond my imagination and those bonds are the very best thing about this disease. 

I will always hate stabbing, probing, and worrying about my child.  I will hate the silent attacks it makes on my baby’s young body.  I will hate the many battles we fight to get our loved ones the best care in school and in life.  I will hate watching a low blood glucose level interrupt someone’s life.  I will hate knowing the loss of friends who couldn’t fight this disease any longer.
I will more importantly cherish the blessings that we have seen—faster meters using less blood, smaller needles, better insulin pumps, smaller continuous glucose monitoring systems, and so much more.  The one thing I cherish most of all is the amazing friendships along the way. Those who have helped us change the world, those who have stood beside us when we cried, those who have laughed and understood the strange looks when you ask your 3 year old if they are high when you are in public.

Here is to celebrating 10 years of health and 10 years of blessings! Thank you all!!

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