This question is asked by so many parents who have a child with diabetes. I asked it often and knew that because of my loyalty to the things that I have dedicated my life in the diabetes world after Kaitlyn’s diagnosis in 1992; that there was no way on earth that God, fate, or whatever one believes in would ever allow diabetes it to impact our lives yet again.
We were owed that, right?
The biggest lesson I learned on March 20th, 2009 is that diabetes just does not care what we do, or who we are, or who we are not; it comes with a vengeance. It comes on strong, and it does not care. Rob was diagnosed at age thirteen, and to make matters worse it was four days after my dad died. That week sucked.
Since 1992, we never lived our life in the fear of diabetes hitting us again. We went and had the testing done on our other kids and actually when Rob was younger it came back that we had nothing to worry about. But also, either we were not told, or we did not hear, that he needed to be tested every year. THAT we did not do so we were not aware. It was our job to know and we did not and we take the blame for that, no one else.
When it happened.
Rob told us he was peeing a lot and when asked how much he told me four times an hour for the last 36 hours. THAT was a lot. And long story, short; he was diagnosed.
The anger that raged within us was huge. As Jill so aptly stated about our anger; “It is just so unfair that another childhood would be stolen.” But as in the first time; the anger was to be channelled into action. To be honest, the anger is still there. Not because we ‘deserved’ anything but because no one deserves having another child with diabetes.
All of a sudden I became very interested in those people who had three children diagnosed. VERY INTERESTED. I knew right away that I would never assume anything again, because as I stated; diabetes does not care.
A huge lesson to share with you is that even if it does happen; the truth is we are already very good at this, aren’t we? I mean aside from all of the ‘stuff’ that plays games with our head; we are experts at dealing with insurance companies, the school, play dates, daily management, and almost everything else that comes along living with diabetes. The learning curve for us was being diagnosed smack in the middle of adolescence.
The conversation Rob and I had (which will remain with just us) are conversations that I cherished. Richard Rubin (and others) taught me well how to become a partner with my son. Clearly I could have done things better but we crossed many a-bridge together that we did not even know we crossed until we crossed them and we did it as a family.
We continued onward.
There is no reason to live in the fear of an additional child becoming diagnosed because you cannot do anything about it; but you can do something should it ever happen. I hated having one with diabetes, I hated having two with diabetes. But it’s what we do when it lands that maps our course. And laying down for diabetes is just not an option…..ever!
When I read about the struggles people are having with a child with diabetes (and not to belittle that–it all is horrendous) I long to have those days back when there was only one……..but I do not take too much solace in that thought because I know somewhere there are those with three, and even four…..so having two is not so bad; relatively speaking. Not to mention those that have lost their child as well; I cannot even imagine THAT horror.
So even as bad as it seems sometimes, the question that needs to be asked is how bad do we really have it? A question to remind ourselves daily.
I am a diabetes dad.
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