I actually can't believe it has been a year. It seems like it was just yesterday. My husband says it feels like it has always been this way, but I can't say I feel the same. I remember life before T1. I tucked those memories away, its still painful to think of how it used to be, how it will never be again. Have I mentioned I have 17 8x10 or larger prints of Johnny hanging in my downstairs, yet not one is from this past year? Even though I think it is just cause I have been too busy, I bet some head doctor would tell me that means more.
To parents of newly diagnosed T1s this is for you. I do not want to dwell on how hard the first year is, so far every post prior to this one makes that fact clear. What I want you to know is this:
- My T1d son is happy, healthy, and NORMAL. Your child will be too.
- Lows happen, so do highs... educate yourself as much as possible so you can prevent as much as you can, but then let go. You will still have them because Diabetes doesn't follow the rules sometimes.
- You will stop crying. You might get depressed, seek help if you do.
- The panic, the fear, the constant thoughts about blood sugar/ketones/dka/ will lessen. What paralyzed me a year ago is just another part of life today. And our life is good.
- Don't think about forever. Think about this week, or this month, or until the next Endo visit, or whatever you can mentally handle. Nothing is forever. Maybe our children will never see a cure but I know they will see improvements in technology for managing this disease, and for improving their quality of life. Right now, I can totally handle another year... no sweat. I'm not going to think about Kindergarten, Sleepovers, drivers licenses, just say no, college, or any of the other things I can't imagine doing with T1d... but I can handle this next year so my focus stays there.
- Practice your answers to dumb questions/statements about T1D. (And remember how not so long ago you may have thought/said the same dumb things!) It will make you feel better if instead of constantly getting frustrated by how misunderstood this disease is and being mad at people, you educate them on the facts. Cinnamon is not insulin; our highly educated specialist who dedicates her/his professional life to children with D wants our son/daughter to eat carbohydrates like any other child; No he will not grow out of it this is an lifelong autoimmune disease, and lastly the favorite "there are only TWO things my child can not eat: poison, and cookies.... made with poison." (I have no idea who to credit that to but it wasn't me.)
- Reach out! Find other parents in the same boat as you. Read T1 Blogs. Go to T1 conferences. Read books. Meet people just like you. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Support is a must!
|Morning of March 7th, 2012 - A few hours before diagnosis.|
|Morning of March 7th, 2013 - 1st Diaversary|
(Yes.... he has his iPad in both pictures.)