Thursday, January 7, 2010

Facing the Ugly Truth

Type 1 Diabetes sucks! Seriously I want a vacation...a diabetic vacation. My son T is a T1D. It is a relentless beast we wrestle with daily. Managing this disease requires a dizzying array of accouterments: Monitors, lancets, test strips, needles, alcohol pads, insulin, glucose tabs, and a Glucagon emergency kit. Everyday my son literally fights for his life, we are just one cupcake away from death it seems. NPR had a wonderful segment on T1D the other day and one mother coined my biggest fear perfectly "Every night you go to bed in fear of awakening to the dead-in-bed syndrome." Dead-in -bed......shudder........I nearly crashed the car hearing this phrase. The tears instantly welled up as I was once again battered by the enormity of this responsibility. The goal in managing T1D is to keep your blood sugar as normal as possible. In order to achieve "normalcy" an aggressive insulin regime is necessary; the truth is the better you control your blood sugar the greater the risk of death related hypoglycemia. We walk a razors edge it seems: extended periods of high blood sugar lead to a plethora of health complications but keeping your blood sugar "normal" increases your prevalence for hypoglycemic incidents. Hmm...... instant death or life long health problems....
I was thinking of the future the other day and realized the worry will probably only get worse before it gets better. Right now I have complete control over my sons diet and insulin regime. This will not be the case as he ages. He will no doubt be a typical defiant teenager and rebel against the world...his diabetes included. Every time my teenage son drives away I'll worry about him crashing due to a low. I can't even imagine college....he can't drink like a typical co-ed; I sure hope he realizes this without a hospitalization. I try not to focus on the future to much and instead choose to celebrate each day I have with my amazing son. I am blessed to live in a century and a country that enables me to do this. Parents everywhere past and present have had to watch their young children succumb to this beast. This is not meant to be a pity party. I realize each day how lucky I am my son has a disease that is treatable; it could be so much worse. But it still SUCKS!


windingcirclelifeschool said...

Worrying about your kids is what makes you a mum.I am sure that as he gets older he will begin to understand more and more about T1D and hopefully he will respect his limitations.Its so much easier to have it from when you are young...its part of the norm.All teens push the bounderies but if he is well informed about what could happen then the chances are he will make good choices.In the mean time we will keep hoping there will be a cure found.