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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Can Do This

Our lives were turned upside down when Jack was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on October 8, 2007.
Jack was only four years old, and in the weeks following his diagnosis, the mere mention of a finger poke or insulin shot sent him running. He would hide. He would cry. He would kick and scream. He would beg and plead. 
He would ask all sorts of questions. “Why did this happen to me?” ... “Why are you doing this to me?” ... “When will diabetes go away?” ... “When can I be normal again?” 
For me and Gregg, it was heart breaking. We were not only trying to help Jack cope with his emotions, but we were confronting our own pain and grief.  
In addition, we were overwhelmed with the everyday life of diabetes. Even though our endocrinologist had advised us to feed Jack as we had always fed him, we still struggled with what to feed him and how to count all of the carbs. We had to get into the routine of carrying a diabetes kit with us every time we left home. We had to make room in the house for the insulin vials, meters, test strips, syringes, glucose tabs, juice boxes, glucagon kits, food scale, Calorie King book and so on, and we had to figure out a way to pay for it all. We were learning how Jack's body would react to all the variables that affect blood sugar levels: foods, ratios, activities, stresses, illnesses, weather conditions and more. We were scared to send Jack to preschool or even have him leave our side. We had two other children, who were only five-and-a-half and two at the time, who also needed us.

We were a mess!
And because we knew one else whose child had been diagnosed with diabetes, we felt alone.
Somehow, we pulled through. We cared for all three of our kids as best as we could. We took things one day at a time. We leaned on each other. We sought other parents and children like us. We eventually gained confidence in our D skills and began to trust our intuition. We let more and more of our “old” life creep into our “new” life. 
We discovered we could do this thing called diabetes. We could be happy again. We could incorporate diabetes into our lives, giving it the attention it demanded without letting it consume us. 
We also realized we had to encourage and enable Jack to live the same life we’d always hoped he’d lead. 
And here we are today, nearly four years later, thriving with diabetes. We still have our moments when diabetes gets us down. We still have our days when we long for an easier life. We still wish our son wasn’t battling this disease. We still want a cure more than anything else.
But we’re out there, making the most of every day, and you can do this, too!
You can learn more about the You Can Do This Project here, and you can also find the project on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Thank you, Kim, for organizing this important project!


Lora said...

What a great project. I have been working on Justin for weeks abour doing a video with me... hes not having it :/ Good job guys :)

The DL said...

AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing. Truly inspiring.

NikDuck said...

Wowsers..I was already crying but really lost it when sweet Jack said, "I think they can do it. Just gotta be a little tough." Oh, he is so cute! Thanks for sharing. I don't think I realized that he was also 4 when diagnosed and is still on shots and even giving himself his own shots! Seeing how well he is doing gives me such hope!

Kelly Rawlings said...

Thanks for the video and inspiring words, Jack and Heidi! People diagnosed age 4 are particularly cool It takes one to know one :-)

shannon said...

Aw Heidi, it's so great to put faces and voices to names! I love that you involved Jack in your video. L was so not interested. ;P

And hey everyone else, it's true, reach out to her if you need to, she's got some great advice! :)

Dr.P said...

Jack was awesome "be a little tough and get through it."

Thanks to you both for sharing your story. It's great that Jack has Max as a friend.

Un-Apologetic Diabetic said...

This was wonderful Heidi. Loved that Jack has such a great attitude about it. You've done a good job, helping him accept diabetes. I loved his "Be tough" part. What an inspiring little guy!!! Awesome job Jack!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Reyna said...

Well, have I told you recently that I think you are amazing? And Jack is too? WELL, YOU GUYS ARE! What a wonderful video Heidi. I think it helps having Jack on there telling his little buddies that they can do this too! xo

Denise aka 'Mom of Bean' said...

I am loving seeing everyone! Thanks for sharing your story!

sky0138 said...

what an awesome campaign to be a part of Heidi! LOVE that you shared your story and Jack seems like such an AMAZING kid! Great job to you both!

tasha said...

Wow! Great Add to the project. I loved it!! Jack's line on about being tough and working though it got me, I cried! Children always say things so simple. You just need to be tough and get it done :D

muffinmoon said...

This was so lovely to see. Thanks for making this. Great to hear your voice and out a face to the stories.

Sarah said...

I love this teamwork you two have in talking about this topic to all of us, you guys are wonderful, thank you for this vlog :)

busymom said...

Awww...I LOVED it!! Jack is so mature! ..Now I know why he is giving his own shots : ) It was great to see you guys, it's totally worth the vlog time..I'll plan to invest. I really hope MC will do one with me!!! : ) Hugs!

Roselady said...

So great to see you guys! So much more personal!

Denise said...

Love SEEING you guys!! Love Jack's comment on being tough and getting through this. You also gave some great advice.
I can never get my guy to be serious for more than a second so our submission will be interesting when I get around to it :-)

Jules said...

Oh I have heaps of catch up to do. What sucks is I have time to watch the video but reuben is sleeping besides me. Have to come bk see it in the am.

Jeanne said...

Max sends his love!!!!!
So wonderful to have you all in our lives.
The Birminghams

Alexis Nicole said...

I know I'm late but finally catching up...sorta..

Loved loved seeing you "animated?" Lol and Jack rocks! Touch as nails :)

Awesome video! Xoxo

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Love it! You guys are both so sincere. You have a wonderful, level-headed young man there! Great job. Such a treat to listen and hear you both!