Dear Newly Diagnosed Family……

I read in a recent FB post about a parent who was filled with despair and absolute loss that their child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My column, this month’s column, is dedicated to you.

Dear Parent to the Child Newly Diagnosed with T1D,

Let me begin by saying how sorry I am that you are now part of ‘this club’; ‘a club’ of which none of us ever wanted to belong. There is not one single thing that you are thinking, or have thought, that most of us have also thought. We know your fears.

Outside of those fears, in actuality, our kids are doing GREAT! That’s what we WANT to share but the fear you have, we have too. Always did and always will. But here’s the thing, the first night became the second night which became the next month, and then the next year and we woke up one day and it was 28 years for our baby girl diagnosed at age 2 and 12 years for our youngest, a son diagnosed at age 13.

So although the fear is there, we have learned to take this ‘diabetes thing’ and live with it and allow it in our lives (because we cannot control that) but not to allow it to rule our lives. We do not live in fear, we live in ‘bring it on’, we can handle it.

Our kids make friends, go on to high school, college, and beyond. They are in the homecoming court, robotics club, prom court, track team, badminton team, and so much more. They letter in sports on high school teams, they play college ball, some even turn pro. All with the same disease that has you wondering today, about your child’s tomorrow.

They become executives, nurses, doctors, and play sports on teams like the Miami Marlins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Toronto Blue Jays. They win medals at the Olympics, win Grammy Awards, Academy Awards, and they even become Miss America. You see it’s better to live a life by grabbing it for all it has and letting nothing stop you, or your child.

It’s hard to see that right now as you cry while you inject your child with life saving insulin or prick their fingers to check their blood glucose number, or even pricking the heels of their feet because they are just too little for their fingers. It’s hard to think that your daughter calls you when she makes you a grand parent as you think, today, will anyone even marry someone who has this disease? The answer is yes.

Learn two things: The answer to every one of your questions about what you child can do with diabetes is the same answer as if they did not have diabetes. Yes they can, will, do and achieve.
The second thing, and it’s also the answer as to how the first thing can be accomplished; and that is education. Learn all you can about this disease and how it impacts your child, it is the ultimate equalizer. Education.

You do not see that at 3 in the morning as you cry out, “Why them? Give it to me.” But I have been there and so have millions of others. Look in the mirror and tell that person, “You’ve got this.”

One day at a time.

It’s okay to hurt, cry, scream, be frustrated, exhausted but look at your child…… just can never give up. Look at them. They’re worth every bit of energy you have but don’t waste that energy……you will look back and know that your child is doing so well because anything else is just not an option. You’ve got this.

We’ve all been there. We’re all here now. If you need us, call.
Sincerely yours,

I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

3 replies on “Dear Newly Diagnosed Family……”

Hi Tom.
Well written and right to the point as always.
Keep up your great work my friend.
Take care and keep smiling.
Marc H. Blatstein
“60 Years Type 1 Diabetes and Still Smiling!!

Great job as always Tom.
Keep up your great work..
Take care and keep smiling.
Marc H. Blatstein
“60 Years With Type 1 Diabetes and Still Smiling.!!

A gift my parents gave me almost 47 years ago, keeps giving even today. I knew I was a person with diabetes long before the docotr ever said those words. So did my parents. Since mom was a T1 it was pretty clear even back in 1974 without blood sugar testing that I had what I had.

We were in Fl and had to travel back to Indiana get to our regular doctors and the like. The first gift was that my parents did not run back to Indiana. We stayed an extra 5 days. First lesson, Yes you feel awful but we think you will be OK. I was, and i still do not know how. The second and the real lasting gift was that my parens never showed me one but of pity. they never said oh wow you have it tough, they never said you are different. My parents worried and cried, and fretted for 5 days. But they never once let me see over concern.

The gift, this is something, but it is not the worst thing. You will live. We will help, but you will live. That is a wonderful gift to give any kid. 🙂

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