Dear parents of a child with type 1 diabetes,
My family's world turned upside down on May 4, 2007, the day our son, Connor, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was just a month before his 8th birthday. Those next few months afterwards for us were filled with fear, anxiety, and grief - grief at losing a very precious thing, our "baby's" good health.
I did not know how I would ever be able to give my son shots or test his blood. How would I ever remember to do everything I needed to keep him healthy - and to do it correctly? I have never felt so alone or scared in my entire life.
I soon realized we may have felt alone, but we really were not. All we had to do, and all you have to do, is to reach out and someone will be there for you. The Endocrinology division at Children's National Medical Center was wonderful to us during those first few months, and is still a great source of comfort, support, and encouragement to us. Talk to everyone you know so they can help you through this time. People from church, school, work, even other moms and dads at the playground can help you during this difficult time. I truly treasure the encouraging words that I get from friends and family.
It has been three years since that diagnosis. Since then, Connor also has been diagnosed with celiac disease, which means he has to eat gluten free foods. It makes life even more complicated, but now whenever we go anywhere, we grab our "diabetes backpack" filled to the brim with diabetic supplies and gluten free food.
When you are newly diagnosed, it is difficult to see beyond the panic, stress, and worry that is a part of every day life. But I want to tell you, it does get better with time. Your worry will still be there (that's part of being a parent after all!) but your family's new "normal" will fall into a routine and things won't seem quite so scary. So give your precious child lots of hugs and kisses and tell him/her they will be fine, you all will be, you have each other and you will get through it together!
Renee, Brad, and Connor