Type 1 Diabetes: A Letter To Myself on Diagnosis Day | Anchors Aweigh

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Type 1 Diabetes: A Letter To Myself on Diagnosis Day


March 23, 2019 will be engrained in my memory as long as I live. As much as I would give anything to turn back time and somehow change the events that unfolded that day, I know it will forever be one of the hardest days of my life. Almost 3 years later, here's what I would say to myself then:


It seems unbearable. It is unbearable. You were just told your child has an incurable disease that could kill them, and you're now expected to pick your jaw up off of the floor and soldier on. You get to learn about insulin, basals, boluses, hypoglycemia, and glucagon- all words that were foreign just 24 hours ago, and you would have been perfectly happy keeping it that way.


Grieve. Grieve for your child. Grieve for the many shots and finger pricks your child is going to endure. Grieve knowing your child may very well feel "different". Grieve for a piece of their childhood innocence being taken from them. Grieve for yourself. Grieve the carefree visits to the swimming pool where you didn't have to worry about your child's blood sugar dropping too much from the activity. Grieve being able to put your child to sleep and not worry about their blood sugar reaching a dangerous level. Grieve sleeping through the night, because you won't be doing that anytime soon. Grieve your peace of mind. Just grieve. 


And now, be thankful. It feels like there is absolutely nothing to be thankful for right now, and that is okay. But hear me out: be thankful. Because there is, in fact, so much gratitude to be had. Your child is in DKA and hooked up to IVs galore, but the diagnosis came just in time. There wasn't much time left to figure out what is wrong, and the doctors caught it in time. Your child is alive. Before 1920, Type 1 Diabetes was a death sentence, but it's not anymore thanks to the discovery of insulin. Inventions like insulin pumps and glucose monitors are luxuries people didn't have fifty years ago. Be thankful, even now. Be thankful. 


It's going to be a long time before life feels okay again. Everything is so scary, and it will continue to be scary in the days and weeks to come. Now, here comes the 60 second pep talk. This awful thing just happened that you have absolutely no control over, and it feels so unfair. But, you have the power to write the narrative from here. You can let this overwhelm you and overtake you, or you can face the challenge head on. You are braver than you know, and so is your sweet, beautiful baby who's life is forever changed. You owe it to him to learn as much as you can about this diagnosis so that you can still give him everything in life you always wanted to. So choose today and every day not to let diabetes win. Acknowledge it. Respect it for the life threatening disease it is, but face it head on and show your son that his circumstances do not define his opportunities. He can still do anything and everything he puts his mind to, and the first person to teach him that is you. Soldier on, and in the words of my Nana, stay strong, little warrior. 




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