This week I was going to write about Diabetes Art Day. I actually I planned to participate until I took a look at the amazing creative efforts of people and felt that my stick men would just not cut it (even if I made them out of test strips!) . That was the plan but life seems to change plans.
I was speaking to a friend the other day. His daughter in-law and grand-daughter were returning from the funeral of a young man. I had heard that a friend of this woman’s son had passed away and I felt bad for those who loved him but that was my last thought…until this conversation. That is when I learned a bit more about how he died.
This young man, someones baby, someones son, was just 20 years old. He had Type 1 diabetes. He was active and involved in sports. He went low while playing sports, passed out, seized and never regained consciousness.
My heart stop. I had to remind myself to breathe. My friend said that he really hadn’t wanted to tell me about a diabetes death of a young man but he felt that I would find out anyway. I somehow managed to continue the conversation noting that I sadly am well aware of how deadly diabetes is. We continued to talk and educated. He understood much more about my fears after years of spending time with myself and my son. He knew that this could be my child and that my fears were justified.
I don’t know this young man’s family. I don’t know about his life. I know that he is only just older than my oldest son. I know that his family is now living my worst nightmare. I know that this isn’t right. I know that young children are not to die because of diabetes. It just should not be.
Parents worry about their sons drinking and driving. We worry about them trying drugs. We worry about them getting into bar fights, having an accident at work, or driving too fast. I know…I worry but I don’t obsess.
Last night, my internal alarm went off at 2 am. I rolled over, looked at the clock and before I could groan about how unfair it was that I have been getting out of bed throughout the night for all of these years, I was up. As I walked to my son’s room, I said “Thank you.” I repeated those words as I searched for his meter, strips and lancing device. I said thank you again, when I saw a high reading and reached for his pump to correct. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I realized that as I was standing there testing, another family was waking with no one to test. They were wishing that they were me. They prayed to have their time back to hold their son, to watch him sleep, to be able to test him and see him wake for one more morning.
I headed back to my bed grateful for all that is. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.