11 years ago our lives hit a bend in the road. It hardly seems like that much time has passed since diagnosis. 11 years ago the doctor said there would be a cure in 10 or 15 years. 11 years ago I learned the power of love from an amazing source, our daughter, Sarah.
A lot can happen in 11 years.
Here are 11 memories. I have WAY more than that, but really. 11 is even overkill.
I remember hearing the diagnosis and Sarah vomiting on my Keds. That was ok. They were washable. And Ben finding CWD within the first 5 minutes of my anxious call to tell him to get his tush to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital ASAP. Thank Goodness! We went to our first conference exactly one month later. More than just Friends for Life, in our minds the conference is Family for Life.
I remember Sarah, in the hospital, being told at the ripe old age of 9 1/2 that she needed to be able to feel her lows because she might not wake up and could die, and when that happens it is called Dead in Bed. (that nurse never came near Sarah again) Checking every 2 hours throughout the night became the standard for the next 8 years.
I remember being thankful for dear friends who asked to be educated and feeling sad that others thought diabetes was too much of a bother to include Sarah.
I remember getting that first pump, our beloved Cozmo, Bubbles. And just 2 days later watching her swim in the ocean and drink a smoothy with everyone else. The freedom was almost overwhelming!
I remember 50 people walking side by side across the soccer field looking for the CGMS sensor that fell off and Sarah holding back tears at a tennis tournament where idiotic teenagers teased her about drinking juice during a match, trying to weaken her confidence. Didn’t work, she whooped their behinds!
I remember Sarah going off to distant places, across oceans, having the time of her life, and receiving unconditional love and friendship from her peers. Watching her lead the troops through the airport to reconnect with their parents was a sight to behold. A pack on the front, a pack on her back, her authoritative voice telling everyone to head out. PRICELESS!!!
I remember Sarah in the Homecoming Court, tossing candy from the car and waving to everyone with the widest, most beautiful smile on her face and her beautiful curls streaming behind her.
I remember Sarah performing random acts of kindness, giving away free hugs and cupcakes as part of her senior project. NO ONE gives hugs like Sarah. If she could patent them and sell the secret, we would all be living on Easy Street.
I remember seeing this always strong and confident young woman confront her fears and heading off to college with barely a backward glance. While I miss her at college, I always know that she will be back in the summer. But, not this year. This year Sarah is working at a great internship 9-10 hours from home, having the time of her life.
I remember other anniversaries where we celebrated another year of good health. Always something fun with friends and /or just the family.
Thank you my friends for supporting the Loebner’s as we move through this diabetes journey. Without you we would be an oar short, spinning in circles instead of making progress across the water.
Tonight, Ben and I will toast the year of good health as Sarah celebrates in San Diego with her friends, wishing Sarah and all PWD good health and someday soon, a cure.
PS I am convinced there will be a cure. Perhaps not in 4 years, but sooner rather than later. Hold onto the hope my friends!
I am a diabetes dad
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