You can’t separate diabetes from your life. You have to weave the diabetes into your routine and make it part of your life, just like brushing your teeth or getting up to go to work in the morning. It’s just part of the fabric of what you do and who you are. I think if you take that attitude, it’s much easier to live with.
It’s ok if it’s not perfect
It’s ok if it’s not perfect. Just keep trying to achieve what your objective is and don’t let it get you down if your A1 C’s don’t test out well. Try to assess the reason why, correct it, and keep going forward.
You learn as you go
I wish I knew everything that I know now when she was diagnosed. It would be that much easier. You learn as you go. You know, she has her up and downs on days. She has her good days. She’s been having lows everyday for the past week. No explanation of why. Because the day before she was going low, she was really high. But you just learn as you go and you just take it all in as you go. Everybody’s different. And now that’s she’s growing up, her hormones and puberty are going to come in and everything, and that’s a whole other story.
Knowledge is power
Diabetes is a way of life for us. Don’t try to withhold any information from them or pretend that the diabetes is not there. I think knowledge is power. That should be true for a child with diabetes as much as it is for anyone else.
Encouraging improvements in diabetes management
My grandmother died of diabetes when she was 57, and she had Type I diabetes since she was 17. She was using glass syringes, bovine insulin, and she was doing a urine test once a day to try to figure out how much insulin to take. She tried to manage it as best she could, but it wasn’t all that long ago when I was teenager and I saw that happen, to the treatments that they have today. They are just centuries apart in terms of the capabilities to manage diabetes, so it’s very encouraging.
Live your life
One of the things that I’ve learned from the past year and half is that if the blood sugars go up once–as long as it’s not a pattern–don’t worry about it. Just live your life. Just think that that blood sugar is going to be better next time. And if it gets bad next time, then call the nurses and the doctors and then they will help you with that. But never, never, ever worry too much about it and live your life.
It’s not the end of the world
It’s not the end of the world. I guess that’s kind of how I felt. Like, things are going to suck. It’s the end of the world, but it’s not. Kids with diabetes can still live a pretty normal life. Immanuel still plays sports. They can still do stuff like that.
Know that the diabetes is going to be there forever, first of all. And then it’s not like you have to worry forever because if you do the treatments good and you’re working with your child, your life is going to be normal, very normal.
Everybody is different
Everybody is different and it’s not going to be 100% everyday. Expecting your child to be a certain number everyday, all day, everyday, when it’s not going to be you get stressed out. There is variation.
The learning curve is steep
For the whole first year I felt very inadequate, like “Why am I finding it this hard when everyone else can just do it?” And then you come to find out that people just are afraid to say how hard it is. They’re ashamed and so they deal with a lot of the fear, anxiety, or sadness by themselves. So I also wish for people to be easy on themselves, and to understand that the learning curve is steep, but once you get it, it gets so much easier.
Diabetes care: An evolving process
One of the things that happens is that you learn a lot at the beginning of the diagnosis and then you kind of get into a rhythm, and you find that you’ve perhaps have fallen into negative patterns, where you’re not fixing things and you’re not continually changing. I believe that diabetes care, especially if your child is growing and aging, is an evolving process.
You are not alone
It’s okay and it could be worse. Your kid is going to get through it, and you’re going to get through it. Everybody is going to be happy, healthy and normal having gone through it. Just hang in there. There are people going through exactly what you’re going through, and every once in a while, I’ve had to hear that echoed back to me to realize that I’m not doing this in a vacuum–that I’m not the only one out there.