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!