Our Daughter has Type 1 Diabetes. Usually I don’t think about it that way anymore. We go through the motions, just like doing laundry or making dinner. We test her blood sugar, count carbohydrates and worry about others having to do the same, but we really don’t know any other way. Diabetes has been part of our daughter’s life since she was just 18 months old and most days I don’t think about that being the reason we are doing all of this.
We try not to think about the fact that our little girl has had Diabetes for nearly all of her life. We try not to think about the complications she may have in the future. I already worry about such things as the first time she stays home alone, or the first time she goes on a sleepover. I even think about the first time she encounters a party with alcohol and decides to drink. What if her blood sugar goes low, will she wake up in the morning? I worry about her living alone some day, who will check her during the night? I could really go on and on, but then I work my head and heart into a flurry of anxiety. It is hard to stop these thoughts once they start, but fortunately I have found comfort in the online community of adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon “Six Until Me.” Those of you familiar with Diabetes blogs know of Kerri Marrone Sparling as kind of a super star in that world. Those of you not familiar would probably enjoy her blog even if you are not familiar with Diabetes. She is a great writer, funny and has an excellent perspective on life.
That first day I looked at her blog I read all of her entries and realized “Our little girl would be ok.” Kerri is an adult with Type 1 Diabetes and has it since childhood. She is a successful, healthy woman and mother. She shares her daily life with us, and in doing so, whether intentional or not, she offers parents the peace of knowing that their type 1 kids will be ok. Yes diabetes does weave itself into her life, but she doesn’t let it control her. Kerri sums this up perfectly in one sentence: Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.
That is how we want our little girl to live her life. She may have some challenges, but Diabetes should never stop her from doing anything she wants to do with her life, and just maybe she can take something good from it as well. When our little girl is a bit older I would like her to read Kerri’s posts as well. She is a great role model for people of any age with Type 1 Diabetes.
Kerri, if you are reading this, I am a huge fan and also one of your lurkers! Though I never comment, I love reading your blog. A belated thank you for inspiring this parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.