What will Diabetes mean to my Daughter?

August 13, 2013By 2 Comments

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Heads up, this one may be a tear jerker for somesort of a ‘Beaches‘ moment.  As my daughter turns 6 months old this week, I can’t help but brush the cob webs out of my eyes and wonder where in the heck these past 6 months have gone.  I am sure that every parent understands how I feel… and I can only imagine how I will feel when she turns 1, 18 months, 2 and so on.  What makes my overly analytical and emotional brain a bit different than most parents is that I just don’t say ‘geez, where does the time go’, or ‘gosh they grow so fast‘, I think ‘god I hope I am here for a very very long time to enjoy every moment with her’.  I have always told people that one of the most difficult things about living with Type 1 diabetes is that not only do I look perfectly healthy on the outside, but that my outcome, my future, my health is 100% UP TO ME.  I am the only one who can control as much of this disease that is controllable.

Let me preface the rest of this piece by saying that I am a positive person (for the most part), but I have a tendency to be overly realistic, and realism doesn’t always play nice with optimism.  I always joke with my husband and tell him that I hope I am around to enjoy all the things he is constantly talking about doing during retirement.  I joke, “that beach house may be quite lonely honey… can we please enjoy this moment now?” Now, know that I do not plan on letting diabetes get me any time soon, and who knows what is in store for the future, it’s anyone’s guess (for example I believe we need to be much kinder to our environment or else we won’t have anyone around to find a cure for diabetes let alone diabetics!).  However, time is just that, time, and there is no denying that looking out 30 years from now, and knowing I will have lived with this disease for over 50 years, I can’t help but imagine it will have sucker-punched me at some point along the way.

Some people may think that I am selfish or obsessive at the amount of time I want to spend with my daughter.  I suppose every parent is different, and some are just more emotional about it then others; everyone loves deeply differently.  But I worked SO damn hard for this baby, so hard, and because I always have a neon glowing/buzzing question mark in my brain about what the future holds, I choose to spend every waking moment sucking in all those smiles and coos and call me selfish…I don’t care, but I don’t want to share her.  Anyone who has ever had to fight in any way to get pregnant or have a healthy baby may understand how I feel.  So as I hold my baby girl, during what I believe to be the best age so far, where she is cuddly, smiley, sleeping amazing, and bursting with personality, I wonder to myself what diabetes will mean to her, to her world, years to come…

Age 6 months… Drooling as she ponders my juice box and tries to reach for it.  Unknowingly getting her tiny foot caught in my pump tubing

Age 18 months…mommy has a boo boo on her finger all the time

Age 2 years…mommy sometimes needs me to sit down with her at the park while she eats, why can’t I go run off?

Age 5 years… my mommy has diabetes (I don’t really know what that means)

Age 10 years…my mommy sometimes needs my help getting her juice if she doesn’t feel good

Age 17 years… good thing I have my license, as my mom can’t feel her lows anymore and I need to drive

Age 25 years… Help me fight to cure Type 1 diabetes so that I can have my mom around for a long time…. (*If she is anything like me… she will be standing on top of a ladder in the middle of the highway with a sign asking people for donations)

Age 30 years… “Mom, will my baby get diabetes because you have it?”

Age 35 years… “Mom I love you…thank you for taking such good care of yourself so that you can be the best grandmother you can be to my little ones.  And so that you can take care of dad…since he is very needy!” ha ha.

My hope is that any complications that do arise from years and years with diabetes will be minimal.  My hope is that if there isn’t a full-blown cure, that technology will allow me to not even need to worry if I’ve forgotten a juice box or glucose tabs on my trips to the park or to a high school graduation.  My hope is that there continues to be hope.

Thank you to ALL my friends in the diabetes community who continue to put their pride aside to ask for countless donations for JDRF and our Fight for the CURE!!! Please, if you are reading this and are looking for a cause that will effect more than just the people living with this disease, but also our families, please consider donating, as the JDRF Walk season is upon us.

…Oh, and if there ever is a worse-case Beaches scenario, I can imagine my oldest dearest friend Danielle (playing the Bette Midler role of course), who travels the world and is the official social butterfly of the Northeast…standing in front of my daughter holding a tiny suitcase, and saying “Okay kid, your stuck with me, I think we can get along, now you need to keep up with me….”

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  1. Emilee says:

    again I am so happy to see that someone else has my fears and anxieties about type 1 diabetes. My daughter will turn four this year and already is wondering why she can’t eat all my snacks and why I have to change my infusion! I too think about what she will see and have to live through because of my diabetes. I get nervous that she will feel like my protecter when she is young and will be nervous for me while she is at school. I hate all the commercials on tv and it terrifies me when she will start noticing them as I have taken well enough care that I do not have many of the complications that are advertised. I also get nervous for the day that she decides to be a mom and has to consider that they may have the disease or other auto immune diseases. Sorry for spilling my guts on your blog but I just wanted to say how it is such a relief to find a blog that isn’t about masking the truth and not negative that every person will end up completely defeated by type 1!

    • Diabetes says:

      Your fears and thoughts ring so true and I know we can all relate! It is the reality of being a mom with diabetes. What about the day when they have their own children but may be fearful about leaving us to babysit because at that point we will have had diabetes for over fifty years and may not be able to feel our lows. We could drive ourselves crazy with the what ifs, but right now all we can do is do our best to treat our diabetes as if it were another child and take the best care of it we possibly can…. And try not to allow our little munchkins to steal our juice boxes or rip out our pump tubing 🙂

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