When A Second Child is Diagnosed.

ouchThe second date becomes engrained in your mind as did the first date.  Child number two has been diagnosed.  I remember the feeling like it was yesterday.  Another event in our life a simple band-aid just would not work. 

We understood that we knew what to do.  So many reminded us of that point.  We did not need the reminder.  Those who chose to do so did not understand.  We knew that we know.  And it is in the know that we had to grapple with in our minds, and in our hearts.

We knew it was the fear of others and them telling us that it was still their fear that THEY too would have a second diagnosed did nothing to make us feel better.  Because we were in the now.  Like so many things in life, if you are not in it, you cannot understand.  It was not just the pain times 2; I only wish it were that simple. 

I could never imagine what it is like to have three children almost the way that I have never once pretended to understand what it is like to have diabetes.  “I’m sorry, and you are in my thoughts and prayers”: seemed to be the nicest and safest response from so many we knew; when it happened to us.

Our hearts broke none-the-less.  Because WE DO know.  A second childhood stolen away. 

I say what I feel in my heart.  Sometimes that honest feeling and ‘speaking my mind’ has cost me some aggravation.  Sometimes, when misunderstood, my statements have impacted and possibly hurt others as well.  Never intention, but it has happened.  Life happens.  No one has made more mistakes than I in this diabetes journey.  I freely admit that and when people ask me how I move on my answer is always the same.  Whatever happens is absolutely miniscule compared to what I deal with in reality; in my mind, and in my soul having two children with T1 diabetes.

It sucks.

It’s unfair.

When we found out our second ‘now had diabetes’ we didn’t care to hear someone else’s fears, about the dog who had diabetes, or what Aunt-so-and-so thought about what else we ‘did wrong’ to cause such a horrible thing.  We grieved.

Not the grieving process as in a loss of a child (another feeling I would never even think to understand, and may I never) but more of the stolen childhood.  Kaitlyn had to grow up quicker than others and everything she did she has done with an asterisk in her life.  Now Rob would have to deal with the same.

It sucks just as much.

It’s unfair just as much.

But like anything life throws at us we need to cope.  Cope does not mean get better, cope means just that; cope.  We need to start to move forward.  We did.  One step; no matter how small.  One step.

One step leads to a journey, different from if we only had one child with diabetes but a journey none-the-less.  The journey becomes the new normal.  A different  new normal than we expected; but a new normal none-the-less. 

The truth is that we DID HAVE the education; we know what we knew.  The education aspect is both a blessing and a curse.  It IS a blessing because we now knew what needed to get done.

It is a curse because…….well…….we know what it means.

We hurt.  We hurt to this day.  A heart should not be broken twice.

But we created an attitude that kept us going, just as we did when our first was diagnosed.  We still cry, we still hurt but we will be absolutely damned if we allowed ourselves to think that diabetes would win. Ever win.  It won’t.  We won’t let it.

That drive did not come the first hour, day, or week.  But the power to make this work was now given over to an exponential of two.  If the pain would become two-fold so would our efforts. 

No one understands unless they have been here.  When we had just one we realized how much we wanted it no more.  When we had the second we realized how much we wanted just to have one.  But we cannot control that, can we?  

No matter what, diabetes can not win; and we are doing everything in our power, times two, to make damn sure that is the case.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

5 replies on “When A Second Child is Diagnosed.”

It does suck. It really, really sucks. One thing that I find positive with having 2 type 1’s is when my daughter Molly, who appears to be asleep, hears the beep of the glucose meter in the middle night coming from her brothers bed above her (in the top bunk) and asks me what his blood sugar is. She is always so concerned for him, and he truly is for her as well (although the beep of her meter doesn’t wake him!) Maybe they (and your kids) have a special bond that they otherwise wouldn’t? I guess we will never know.
Thanks for this post.

I have discovered that those of us with T1D children are almost like foreigners in this land. We recognize each other and can speak for hours about diagnosis days, high and low triggers, grief, and come away thrilled that someone else knows our language. I don’t have a translation book to help others not directly connected to this experience understand what we are going through and I wish I did. Thank you for your posts. You write of the things in my heart and hearing my new language spoken by someone is like finding a candle in the darkness.

As you know Tom we had our second dx 2 years ago, it was a shock to say the least. It was exactly 2 years after our first dx. Both my girls were 3 years old at diagnoses. I hate when people will say “well that’s better that way, they won’t know anything else”, how dump. The only thing they will remember is having an insulin pump strapped to them, dad laying on their bedroom floor waiting for a blood sugar to come up, having to have their fingers pricked every time they want to eat, ride bike, play with friends, take a test, go do anything and I rambled on two long. I fell for your friend, ill carry a heavy heart the next few days, I know what they are feeling right now, and its not fun. Tell them I send my thoughts and prayer (and I really do mean that) and will do so for a while. Thanks for writing about this, and letting us know. Godspeed to you and your friends.

When my second was dxd what we heard most often from well meaning family, friends, teachers, etc is “well at least you know what to do”. Sadly those words stung worse than many others – it isn’t just knowing what to do – its just knowing. You hit it square on the nail – its a curse as much or more than a blessing that we “knew”. It isn’t that I love my son less than my daughter but her diagnosis – the second diagnosis hit harder than the first. Maybe its because I had already been exhausted, maybe its because she is my daughter, – regardless of the reason the second hit me harder and Im not recovered – 4 years later I am still pissed. Our kids do grow up faster and always with the damn asterisk. I could not be more proud of all of my kids – they are stronger, braver and smarter that i could have ever been at their age – or even at my current age. Maybe I stay pissed because just prior to my daughters diagnosis I was in a good place. I had faith and felt in control – then BAM! I don’t think I will ever let my guard down again – I still have one non-D child – a child that is positive for all the antibodies and has pancreas hiccups every so often. I will not allow myself to be hit again by the mack daddy diabetes truck.
Sorry to say so much on your post Tom. It is a great post and it made me cry – not entirely your fault – Im still in a funk from Sunday. Thanks for sharing Tom!

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