Lessons Learned from Diabetes

Dear Reader,

I could probably fill a book on this topic and I don’t feel we are very far into it yet though my daughter was diagnosed almost 7 years ago. I have already blogged a little on this and I know I will do much more. This post is mainly about the first big lesson learned.

For us, I think Sparrow’s diagnosis was like our own little 9/11. It didn’t make us more vulnerable but it taught us that we are vulnerable. The diagnosis was a shock. We had no close relatives with type 1 diabetes (my husband’s grandmother’s brother was the only one we knew of who had had it). This is a pretty common state of affairs with type 1.  We didn’t even really know before she was actually diagnosed in the ER that she was very sick (though we should have seen the clues; see our diagnosis story). From those first shocked days, though, I remember thinking that God was in control of this and that we would all be changed by it. I don’t mean the surface changes like knowing how to count carbs and Sparrow becoming a human pincushion. But the deep down changes. It would change who we are.

I hope that dealing with a chronic, life-threatening illness has made us all more compassionate people. I can see how it makes my kids more responsible. But the biggest change from the start is just that it swept the rug out from under us. On some level we all know that we or our kids could get sick (or worse) but you never really believe it will happen in your family. But when it does, then all of a sudden it is easy to believe. My husband is a numbers guy. He is big on statistics and if something is statistically unlikely he doesn’t worry about it. But for me, the odds are against it? Well, the odds were against our little girl getting type 1 but it happened. So all those other bad things could happen too.

Which is not to say that I am a nervous wreck. I think  a lot of parents of cwds (children with diabetes) can be. It is easy to be. But I know that God is in control of all this. Yes, her pancreas just one day decided to up and quit working. Maybe another organ will follow suit. Who knows. Well, God knows. And all those things that I can’t control that I am supposed to control–her blood sugar and all the hormones and carbs and exercise and everything else that affect it–He does control. He controls her blood sugar just as much as He controls the blood sugar of my three non-D kids. I pray almost every night that He will keep her safe overnight (and I still get up and check her bg at least once a night), but often I also pray that He will keep my other kids safe too. Because the truth is, we  are all vulnerable.



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