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Old School Diabetes: Diagnosis.

I saw my niece over the weekend.  She just turned seven.  She had a bit of a fever and wasn't feeling very well, so when I saw her snuggled up on the couch under a blanket, she looked every bit the little kid she is.  Poor little peanut, hiding out until she felt better.

I remembered that I was about her age when I was diagnosed.

I found an old school photo from second grade, with me sitting next to my friend Bobby (who I still talk to, which is a very surreal experience, hanging out with someone I've known longer than I've known insulin injections).  I was diagnosed in September, right as second grade started.

Second grade, 1986.
I'm in the blue dress, second row from the bottom, third from the left.
Swinging my feet.  Not much for sitting still, even in second grade.

Over the last few days, I've been reading some emails from the CWD parents as they gear up for the Friends for Life conference in Orlando in a few weeks.  These emails are sent out to a whole mailing list of attendees, and somehow I ended up on the list with all the parents.  (Or maybe the list just happens to be mostly parents and I just happen to be an adult "kid" with diabetes.)  These parents are comparing notes and reaching out to one another, looking forward to other parents who understand what they're going through every day as they care for their kid with diabetes.

And I wish that my mother had this kind of support when she was dealing with my diagnosis over twenty years ago.  My mom had a lackluster team of doctors at the Rhode Island Hospital (where I went for a few months before going to Joslin) and Eleanor (the only other mother of a diabetic kid that we knew of in our town and the woman who just happens to be my local Dexcom rep), leaving her with little to manage the enormous learning curve.

This weekend, I went on a bike ride with my sister-in-law, my father-in-law, and my husband.  I had to remember to test beforehand, bring my meter, stash some glucose sources on several people, and monitor as re rode.  A lot of thought for maybe an hour long bike ride.  And it made me wonder what kind of preparation and worry my mother went through when she sent me out to play for a whole Saturday afternoon.  Lot of work on my mom's part just to keep things normal. 

I forget this sometimes, how many people are really involved in keeping me healthy. 

I need to call my mom. 

(Granted, my diabetes diagnosis hasn't kept me from doing much at all.  And it definitely didn't keep me from being ... um, a bit of a goofball.)


Wow. I love how I'm rocking the red turtleneck and white pants. Classy AND stylish.

Nice picture! I like how we both went with old school pictures today!! Maybe it is from getting all those CWD e-mails (I'm on the list too!)

I'm a mom in-between worlds. Son diagnosed at 18. I have one foot in the world where I want to be at CWD where my heart is with the hands-on caring moms, and one foot in the world where my son is a young adult and I'm a supporting cast member or a spectator of sorts.

My mom is trying to find on-line support from other grandparents of CWD and parents of adult T1s...

Here's the link to her blog (Grandma To Candy Hearts)...please ask your mom to stop by :)



Thanks for posting this Kerri. My daughter is 6, diagnosed in January and will turn 7 in July. I think of all the support I have now - the online community, my own local hospital and endos and I think of all the mothers who have come before me and what feelings we both must feel. I would love to go to the CWD conference and meet other parents - my daughter needs to meet other Type 1 little girls desperately! but money is tight right now. I am hoping we can go next year. Thanks for posting and thinking that maybe my daughter will post something like this about her life when she is a young woman your age.

Great post Kerri. Say hi to your Mom from all us Moms who "know".

Oh my gosh!! You look exactly the same -

I know what you mean! I was diagnosed right after my 12th birthday in the 7th grade. Even then I was always pretty independent with my diabetes care, but my mom and identical twin sister did SO much to help me through all the changes that had to be made! And with your bike ride: I just recently completed my 1st half marathon! It was extremely challenging to balance my blood sugars while training and during the race. But all of my friends/running partners helped by carrying mints and having extra juices just in case I needed them. And, just last night, my wonderful, amazing husband of 2 years left the house around 1am to run to the store to get me some more juice just in case I needed it through the night. Sometimes I think we forget to thank all of those who think about us and give us that extra help when we need it! You do such a wonderful job of remembering and thanking your mom! Thanks for reminding me to do the same...

I like how they put me next to the one person who's taller than me, and then seated the row behind us so we wouldn't look so freakin' ginormous.

I just realized I can still name most of the people in that. (I left out last names of those I knew just in case)
back row: Mrs. Lamb (duh), ?, Mike H, Jamie, Megan H, Abigail M, ? Jill S, Ms. Humphrey (totally 80s!)
standing row: ?, ?, David, Erin M, Ernie L, me (wtf did my mom dress me in??), Brian M, Brian??, Jason F
Seated: Joey N, Mr. Robwell, you, Ben N, Jason S, Julie M, Crystal
On floor: Eric A, ? (that's not Steve G, is it?), Owen M, ?

Wow! Krista, you are always so good at remembering names/faces!

Thanks for such an insightful post. It brought tears to my eyes... I cried in fact. Talk about over-reacting huh... Actually its the first time you made me realize how much I lovingly do every day for my son since the day he was diagnosed on Sep/07. Since that day I knew our lives had changed but I have never reflected upon it. We simply accepted the challenge and adjusted our lifestyles and period: we had a happy life while trying to get his diabetes under control. I'm that kind of person: go-get'em of sorts, no questions asked. I'm a techno guy, so carb-counting and everything was relatively easy for me to understand and manage. Yet having his mother and father already living separate lives definitely didn't help him much (as well as the fact that we live in El Salvador and everything regarding diabetes care is at least 10 years behind the american or canadian standards... Up until this month we will be switching from inyections to the minimed system... yay!).

But today this post made me cry for the first time in almost two years. Thinking of everything that my son has yet to live and at the same time knowing that all my daily care and work will be his future as a man, as a dad and as a husband... and in that future one day he will think of everything his dad and mom did for him... I hope he calls me that day as well... Thank you Kerri.

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