I wanted this blog to be about my family's experience with my son's Type 1 Diabetes. My family is more than just diabetes, but I want this blog to be focused on how it affects our family. I hope other T1D parents find it helpful, and that my family and friends find it informative.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


It has been a smooth few days around here as far as T1D goes.  Sure we have had a black eye, and a summer cold... but D has been playing nicely.  We are still adjusting dosages by the smallest amounts and maybe we always will.  I think that since his body is constantly changing, so will his doses (for a few years at least). 

I was watching a cute chick flick the other night in my "me time."  There was a 1 liner that really upset me, so much so I had to rewind it after a while because I couldn't focus on the plot for a few minutes after I heard it.  Here was the scene:
Man and Woman are on a date.  After dinner the man brings out a box of chocolates for the woman to eat right there at the table with him as dessert.  The woman says, "Are you trying to make me diabetic or just fat?"  They laugh, end of scene. 

Okay, so I get it... pre diagnosis I couldn't have cared less about something like this.  The reality is that 90% of diabetics are type 2, not type 1 like Johnny.  Its clear to science that being overweight is a big risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes, so I understand the line.  Doesn't make it right, to laugh at type 2 diabetes but my point is I "understand" the relationship between being fat and type 2 diabetes.

The reason I am upset is because all of pop culture that ever discusses diabetes seems to relate it to an unhealthy lifestyle.  So Johnny's teachers, peers, and strangers who see him injecting insulin have been told over and over again by our culture, that he brought it on himself.  Its his fault (or mine), and he should just eat better. 

Being fat also increases risks for a lot of other diseases but for some reason those are too sad to joke about.  Being overweight increases my risk for breast cancer but that wouldn't have been a funny line in the move.  "Are you trying to give me breast cancer or just make me fat?"  Not funny.  "Are you trying to give me hypertension or just make me fat?"  Still not funny.  "Are you trying to give me sleep apnea or just make me fat?" .... "Are you trying to make me have a stroke or just make me fat?"  Nope, still not funny.  But, "Are you trying to make diabetic or just fat?" sounds much more like they go together and we can laugh, cause clearly diabetes is an okay disease to make jokes at. 

Lines like this down play the seriousness of my son's disease.  Lines like these are why people (including myself before I joined the D world) think diabetes is simply treated with insulin and not a big deal.  Lines like this is why it is so hard for others to understand that today is just not a good day for me as a mother.  If my son had a disease that no one laughed at, that was viewed just as serious as other auto immune diseases, then maybe I wouldn't have to explain why I can't sleep at night because I worry about him.  Maybe people wouldn't think I am exaggerating when I say, my son is on daily life support that I provide in the form of 4-5 injections a day.  When I say I am stressed out, they would understand that I am constantly thinking about his health, his blood sugar, if he is too low, if he can eat something, if he NEEDS to eat something, if he can play outside, if he finished all his snack or just gave some to the dog, if it is safe to leave him with a sitter, if it is safe to send him to his grandmas, if he can handle being hooked up to a computer 24/7 at this age or if we should stick with 4-5 shots a day... and that I worry about these things because they are actually a matter of life and death.  Kids do actually die from the disease that Johnny has.  Instead, society thinks if you eat too much chocolate you will get fat, or if you are lucky, you will just get diabetes. 

(I know that all moms of kids with special needs must come across this at sometime and that really, no disease or difficulty our children face is "safe" from being made fun of or down played in our pop culture.  But now I am a D-Mom, and this is the topic near and dear to my heart.)

To my friends and family who I know read this and offer support.  Thank you!  I like to think that you are on this journey with me.  As I learn more and more about this D world, it feels so good to be able to share it with you.  This observation is just one more thing I felt like sharing with the many of you on this journey with me.

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