Monday, March 18, 2013

Lucky Thirteen

March 17, 2000  is a date I will never forget. Its the day that diabetes stormed into our lives. Its the day we realized the lifesaving properties of insulin.  Its the day that our world was turned on its ear and would never be the same. 

That was thirteen years ago now. A lot has changed.  My son is now 15 and not 2.  He knows no other life beyond insulin pumps, infusion sets, glucose tablets and blood glucose testing.  It is a part of him.  He ignores it as much as you can with a  tube sticking out of your body and lancing your finger in search of blood multiple times during a day. 

He is now taller than me and weighs a lot more than the 11 kilograms he was at diagnosis.  He lifts weights rather than sippy cups. He prefers Duck Dynasty and Gold Rush to Land Before Time.  He continues to take life in stride. 
A lot has changed for me in thirteen years as well.  My boys are now young men.  I have a lot more white hair and a few more wrinkles than I would like to admit to.  I also have a large network of amazing friends.  

As I mentioned last week, I now speak to other families living with diabetes and help them to navigate through the bureaucracy of schools and governments. I enjoy chatting with other parents and offering experience as well as a friendly ear of someone who has lived their lives. 

St. Patrick's Day for many means green beer and fun.  For thirteen years, it has been a day of reflection for me.  Yesterday I decided that that day would no longer be for somber reflection. It would be a day of celebration. 

March 17th marks two very special things--its a day to celebrate your "Irish" and since I fell in love with the country of Ireland last summer, its definitely something I would love to celebrate!  Its also the day that saved my son's life.  A few weeks ago, there was a story on the Internet about a young boy who died because no one recognized the signs of diabetes in him.  My son was given less than 24 hours to live because it was so late before this disease was recognized in him but he did live! He is alive, happy and thriving today. That is definitely something to celebrate!

Thirteen years of incredible friendships.  Thirteen years of learning.  Thirteen years of growing.  Thirteen years of change. 

When we started this journey there were no insulin pump programs. It was rare for a person with diabetes to get the Disability Tax Credit.  Glucometers took a lifetime to read blood glucose levels and require a gallon of blood per test.  Long acting insulin was something yet to come and CGMs were bulky, blinded devices used by hospitals in extreme cases. 

Times have changed and so have we.  Thank you Sir Banting for keeping my son alive.  Thank you my friends, family and those who have followed us for your amazing support! And in honor of St. Patrick...

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

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