We boarded the Type 1 Diabetes train in August of 2010. A bag full of needles, insulin, lancets, and diabetes ‘stuff’ in hand. We had no idea where this train would take us, we just knew we couldn’t get off and the ride would be forever. We are close to the 3 year mark on this train and oh the places we’ve been!
The first year we stopped only when necessary. Doctor’s visits, blood tests, the hospital. We were too scared to get off at places named restaurant, sporting events, sleepovers, and the like. Year two- we became a little braver–unbuckled our seat belts, signed up for basketball, cub scouts, went out to eat, created our awareness page, began to talk about this elephant in the room called diabetes.
As we approach the 3rd anniversary of this disease entering our lives- we see that somewhere along the way, we embraced it. Diabetes has become family. We don’t always like it, we get angry at it, but it is ours just the same. We don’t pretend it’s not there, we don’t forget about it, but we make sure that it does not keep us from getting off the train.
Our baby boy, now 9 years old, handles his own shots, glucose checks, and ketone checks. He counts his carbs, tracks his glucose numbers, has an awareness of his body and how it feels. Our baby boy talks to adults about his diabetes, stands in front of crowds to tell his story without a waiver in his voice. He sticks up for himself when people don’t get it…’Why do you have a purse?’ ‘It’s not a purse, it’s my diabetes bag’…’My so and so died from that’ ‘I take my insulin-so I’m okay’…Somewhere in the last 3 years our baby boy became a strong young man.
In three short years Frankie became the conductor, engineer, and ticket taker on this ride. The trip is not always smooth-illness, weather changes, growth spurts, you name it–so many variables makes this disease go crazy, but he navigates, changes tracks, keeps going.
The Type 1 Diabetes train is out of the station and moving fast, but Frankie is planning the course, driving the train.