Today’s blog week prompt asks us to talk about the greatest accomplishment you have made in terms of dealing with diabetes–something that I did that made our life better. My first thought was learning how to dose for food. That may sound pretty basic but for some reason, it took a lot for me to get this to sink in.
My son was two years old when he was diagnosed. At that time, he was on a strict meal plan. I would inject him with two types of insulin and then pray he would eat. Most of the time he wouldn’t. He would eat and then vomit. He would chew the food and hold it in his cheek without swallowing. He would pass out from lows. I would cry. He would cry. Our life was filled with stress because he was too young to know that he had to eat to cover the insulin in his system and I was too shell shocked to digest the advice I had been given from our diabetes team on how to dose for meals.
In my mind, he had to have insulin to keep him healthy. He had to have both types of insulin. This was the medicine that would keep him alive. I had learned carb counting. I understood carb to insulin ratios but again, insulin=life and I could not alter that way of thinking. Until I joined the world of the internet.
The best thing I ever did for my son’s diabetes care was dialing up that connection, searching for parents of children with diabetes, joining an email list
, and asking what to do about my son going low and refusing to eat. From those few simple steps, our lives changed forever!
One of the first people who told me to dose for what he ate and inject AFTER he ate onlyIF he did eat remains a dear friend today. For whatever reason, when she sent me those words everything clicked when it hadn’t before. Our lives changed. If my son didn’t eat, I didn’t inject his rapid acting insulin and our day went on without tears or vomiting!
I now had support. I now had a group of people who understood and had been where I was living. I had access to information on the latest technological advances. I had access to the advice of hundreds of endos just by sitting in front of my computer screen and reading. I had new friends that would comfort me after a rough day and kick me in the butt when I needed to get over things.
I now had a family that would be there for me through bittersweet moments like the first time my son tested himself. They would encourage me in my advocacy efforts. This new family would offer support and encouragement as my marriage fell apart. They would be there to share the pride when my oldest son graduated.
The most outstanding thing I ever did for my son’s diabetes care was joining the Children with Diabetes
parents mailing list. Through the guidance and support of many amazing and now dear friends who have become family, I am able to ensure my son has the best diabetes care. I know of the latest breakthroughs in technology and management. I have been able to change federal policy and impact how things are done in a large number of areas. Thanks to finding that one group of incredible people, I have become knowledgeable and strong. My son has been able to be healthy and lead a rich life with the entire world in front of him.
All opinions expressed below are the result of years of sleep deprivation and worry caused by Type 1 diabetes