Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Those Just Beginning...

Day two of the Health Writers Activists Monthly Challenge and today its all about what I would tell or have told the newly diagnosed. At first I was not going to do this topic.  I don't really write to the newly diagnosed--do I? I mean, I just ramble about things that we are dealing with now. Diagnosis was a very long time ago. What do I have to offer?

I then realized that yes I do write to the newly diagnosed. I talk to them at conferences.  I respond to them on Facebook. I let them know that it will be okay.  

They will find humor in the strangest places....Like this past Christmas season when my teenage son discovered the reason for this night time high blood sugar levels--the dog was feeding him in his sleep! There was also the time that my son decided that he no longer should be doing his own site changes.  His doctor suggested that he do them since he was about 13 and now at 15 he has had enough.  His reasoning was typical teen and another source of comic relief for an often draining disease.

We need comic relief because there will be times that parents will feel overwhelming fear.  This is normal. Its the new normal that comes from living with a brutal and unforgiving, silent disease. It will sometimes lead to depression and it is important to recognize it, accept it and get help to find a way to move forward.  We all have our days when we want to be the way we perceive the rest of the world to be. We want sleep.  We want a life without injections or insulin pumps.  We don't want to see blood or test strips but there are sunny days.  There are people who understand.  You will make it through another day and begin to accept your new normal--I promise.  

There is no choice. The alternative is not worth thinking about accept when counting your blessings.  Our children are strong.  They are younger versions of us and we are making it.  They will amaze us and frustrate us.  Diabetes will not hold them back from being incredible. 

Type 1 diabetes is much more than "take an injection and call me in the morning".  It changes our lives.  It changes our perspective. It demands our time and our efforts even when we don't want it to but our chidren are alive.  We will connect with amazing new people who also live this life.  There will be downs but there will be ups and over time you will learn to live life with diabetes not for it.

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