For those that have the worry tucked in the back of their mind…for those who think that maybe a second child is on the type 1 road, or even has just had a second child diagnosed…this letter is for you.
I’m already crying.
First, breathe. Everything is going to be just fine. I know the fear of this coming to fruition is consuming, and I don’t want to minimize the gravity of the situation, but let me tell you…100%...all is well.
We have 3 Type 1 children, and people think we are some kind of amazing. They think we have super powers to be able to deal with 3 diabetic children.
“I don’t know how you do it!” They cry.
“I am in awe of your strength!” They cheer.
“How do you stay so positive?” They wonder.
Let me tell you, there is NOTHING extraordinarily special about our family. We are not superhuman. We survive life with 3 T1’s, and through it all we manage to thrive. We are as normal as it gets, and yet we are happy and blessed. Not because we are stronger than other families…just because it is what it is. You will be just as strong. I promise you will.
The initial mourning process is important. I understand that this is not the life you want your child to have to live. I know deep down you feel guilt. I know in some crazy illogical way you feel it is your fault. Maybe you feel like God is punishing you, and your children have to bear the burden. There are many stages to the madness, but eventually the dust will clear and you will feel alive again. Because what gets you through, are your children. Despite what life has thrown at them, their resiliency will be a beacon of light to your family. You will see them happy and full of life and it will fuel the fire of contentment in your heart.
Our family has been living with Type 1 for 12 (UPDATE:16) years now. We have gone through the hard baby times, the impossible growth spurts and have found a plethora of foods that wreak havoc on the boys’ blood sugars. It isn’t always easy…but eventually there is a rhythm…a drum beat that you will follow. Life is very much the same as it is with one Type 1 child. You are already counting carbs for the meals; you just do it for two. You are already checking sugars in the middle of the night…you just do it twice. The worst part is getting over your grief. Young children will get over it almost immediately. Grieve for awhile…as long as you need to! But don’t let the grief eat you alive. It is like acid to your heart.
Breathe, and live. One day at a time at first. Try not to let your brain skip ahead. Live today.
My boys have an incredible bond because of the trials diabetes hands our family. Having a brother or sibling next to you who KNOWS what a low feels like, who KNOWS that when you’re high you just want to punch something, who UNDERSTANDS your deepest thoughts and feelings? Well, that is just a gift.
Love prevails despite diabetes.
Happiness wins despite the daily grind.
The reason I cried at the beginning of this letter is because I know how much you are hurting right now. (Here come the tears again!) I am crying because I have been in the depths of despair…I know the fear, the grief, the terror of it all. But here I am, on the other side telling you that one day you won’t cry anymore. (Well, not everyday anyway.) We have our hard days, but most days…we get through like any normal family would. Sure, we do our blood sugar checks and there are calls from school and extra supplies to pack when we walk out the door…but for the most part we accept our family’s path, and you will too. You will be grateful for the closeness of your family, and the amazing character of your children. Yes, Diabetes changes them, but from what I have seen it only makes them more amazing. We are a pretty normal family yes, but our children...they are the ones everyone should be giving their awe to. They nothing short of incredible!
((HUGS)) to your family.
All is well. All is well.
Meri and Family