I am going to do my best here-to represent my son, my family, and Type 1 diabetes. What I knew about Type 1 before my son’s diagnosis was a big fat ZERO! What I am going to write-stories I will share hopefully will be thought provoking, funny, and sorry to say–sometimes scary. There is so much for parents to learn about in regards to type 1–there is grief and mourning over ‘what might have been’ and the constant niggle in your heart-that my child could die from this.
I told my son about this blog and asked what he would want me to share about his life with diabetes. He looked at me like I had 10 heads and said “tell them I hate it!” Well-that really sums it up-but also illustrates what as his Mom I am most proud of. At age 8-my son has already mastered the internal ‘I hate it’ against the external ‘Life goes on.’ Anyone who meets Frankie-sees a happy go lucky kid who loves a good party, loves being with friends. Frankie plays sports, is a Boy Scout, does volunteer work, and does well in school. Frankie embraces life-even on the hardest of days.
Diagnosed at age 6-we spent a full day with a Diabetes Educator learning how to give shots, count carbs, check blood glucose readings. We spent the day trying to avoid Frank being hospitalized by swearing up and down we could ‘do this’ as parents. You come home scared, dazed and in shock-a diabetes book in one hand and various diabetes paraphernalia in the other. That night-Frankie cried in my arms for 3 hours straight until he fell asleep. He woke up the next day and said “Let’s just do this!” With diabetes-attitude is everything–and Frankie generally has a great attitude–but more than what this disease is doing to him on the inside–it is always outside forces that chip away at that attitude.
A coach who saw him check his glucose-“Gross” A neighbor upon learning he has Type 1 “Oh you eat to much sugar huh?” An attendant at a ball game who stopped Frank and tried to prevent him from bringing in his bag of supplies “I have Diabetes” said Frank. “you don’t look fat” said the attendant.
How do you keep a positive attitude when you have to explain yourself in almost every situation. When at age 8 people tell him about their blind grandfather, dead aunt, and even their dog who had his leg amputated due to diabetes! How do you stay positive with your own body working against you–high low, high low, you feel blah on the inside–why not just give it up and act like that on the outside? This is my son’s daily struggle.