I've gotten healthier and started a diabetes walk a couple of years ago. We ended raising a total of over $3,000.00! :]
Diabetes instilled a passion for medicine and has made me a better physician. I'm in it not for money, or intellectual interest, or a "job," but because it is something about which I am passionate. I would even say that it gives me an advantage over the physicians without diabetes because I know what its like to have a "disease."
Its frustrating but never an obstacle to my goals. I road 435 miles over 5 mountain passes, had 2 healthy children during medical school, survived college, and am leading a healthy normal life. I think we have an advantage over many of the "healthy" people around us because we are screened for things so much younger. Physicians keep a closer eye on our kidney function and blood pressure, even though chronic kidney disease, hypertension etc. is an epidemic among both those with and without diabetes. Our pregnancies are scrutinized - with recommendations for pre-conception planning. This does not happen for women without diabetes. One of the perinatologists I've worked with said that diabetes almost is an advantage because everything is monitored so closely.
Anyway, glass is half full for me.
Not that diabetes is a blessing, but I've been so proud of my 10-year-old, who gave his brother injetions for the first time this week. My diabetic son is 6. Because school is out and not life is chaos (I have to work if we want to have a houe and eat), I had a babysitter this week. Kevin took a nap, and when I called to check in, my 10-year-old Paul told me that when Kevin woke up from his nap he was at 64, so he gave him a juice box (15 g sugar). I was so proud that no matter how much they fight, my older son is so vigilant that he knew exactly what to do for a low.
Diabetes is not great, but it can bring out the best, and it can build character. While I'd rather my son not have diabetes, I am very proud of the moments when diabetes brings out the best.
Although I was diagnosed a young age, I think that diabetes has taught me a lot about vigilance, preparation, and responsibility despite imperfection and frustration. On top of that, I have met some amazing people through this disease, and I feel like I ought to do something to help those who are less fortunate. I completely agree with Amanda's post :)
In March of 2009, my son (who was 8 at the time) was diagnosed with Type 1. I was working full time and had a full college schedule. I was an Elementary Education major. Needless to say, our family has undergone major changes in the last year. A few weeks ago, when I was putting my son to bed, we were reading a story about how God can take the mistakes and bad things that happen in ours lives and turn them into something good. I asked him if he could think of an example. I thought he would come up with a Bible story or something...but he made it personal. He told me that his diabetes was a good example. He said that because he has diabetes, I have changed my major to become a nurse and I will be able to help many other people like him.
MJ, I am sure that if we could sit down and have a conversation, I could tell you many other wonderful things that have happened in our family because of diabetes. We all spend more time together (even our extended family). We bought bicycles. We all eat healthier and spend more time exercising. And we realize that diabetes is an inconvenience and a pain (literally), but it is something we can live with. Would I ever wish this on my child or any other? No! Do I wish it had happened to me instead? Yes! But this is what has happened, and I know that we can handle it together!
Ann Marie, this is the first time I have read about a child helping a younger sibling wit a hypo. He gives his brother injections too, WOW! . That is very inspirational! Maybe he will be an endocrinologist some day. Lol!
Rachel, that is a very wonderful message. Your son is a real trooper and wise well beyond his years!! With his attitude he will probably have great control, and live a long. healthy life.
[quote user="Richard Vaughn"]
Ann Marie, this is the first time I have read about a child helping a younger sibling wit a hypo. He gives his brother injections too, WOW! . That is very inspirational! Maybe he will be an endocrinologist some day. Lol![/quote]
My 10-year-old has learned right along with us. We don't let him inject unsupervised, but we see this as a family disease, so we've made sure to educate him on the ratios, corrections, and carb counting from the beginning. If not an endo, maybe he'll work in diabetes research!
I do believe that adversity can bring out the best in people. I have seen this in both of my boys in adjusting to the diagnosis. I guess that's a positive.
I was misdiagnosed for three years before finally getting an endocrinologist who I consider to be my angel. She got me right on track and the nurses who helped I also consider angels.
Before Diabetes, I suffered from chronic pain for years. Since my sugar levels are more controlled the pain is 100% better with only a few flare ups when I do too much. Nobody knows for sure why but I am so grateful to be off pain medication except for an aspirin once a day that I think Diabetes has somehow changed my body chemistry.
I plan to do a 5mile walk for Diabetes that goes across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, something I never would have considered before. So, while I am not thrilled to have Diabetes, ironically I am doing more and meeting great people!!
I am so glad you asked this question. My ten-year old daughter was diagnosed about 3.5 months ago and I can't believe how much our lives have changed in such a short period of time! I sure as heck wish she didn't have diabetes, but she does and we can't change that. So some of the positives?
1. She's matured a ton in three months and gone from a total needlephobic to giving herself shots every day.
2. We all eat a lot better now. We ate pretty well before, but there were a couple of fast food nights in any week. Those are gone. We mostly eat at home, and if we're too busy to cook, we pick up a nutritious, balanced meal somewhere.
3. It's brought Sarah and her sister closer together. My oldest daughter is 19, and she's taken a special interest in helping with Sarah's diabetes. She goes to most of her appointments and knows how to draw insulin like a champ.
4. Sarah has become a nutritionist and excellent carb counter. We quickly went from mom counting everything and making all the decisions to Sarah counting. Now she decides how much insulin she needs and just confirms it with me before she administers - and she's never been wrong yet.
5. The very best thing about her diabetes diagnoses is the diagnosis itself. For YEARS I was complaining to doctors that Sarah was a) completely obsessed with water (it's all she'd drink, and she'd drink gallons), b) that she had major moodswings around mealtimes, especially if meals were delayed, c) that she kept having these unexplained illnesses - vomiting and near fainting. Finally we know exactly what was going on and Sarah has never been healthier or had more energy than she does now that her diabetes is being well managed.
That is outstanding for a 10 year old Michelle, cnogratulations! I hope she keeps this up during her teen years.
I hope so too, but she's a pretty awesome kid, so I think we'll be okay through the teen years.
Clearly this was a post for positive comments. If you do not have one, I suggest you find another post or get counseling. Your attitude will not help your child.
Keep up the positive attitrude! I have been T1 for 45+ years and life is still good. It's not perfect, but no one's is, diabetic or not. This is the hand I have and I am going to enjoy every minute of it. Without T1 I propbably would be less healthy, active and sensible. I wish we could call it a condition instead of a disease. Nice to meet you and happy holiday weekend!
Hi Barbara, that is a wonderful attitude you have. I agree that "condition" sounds better than "disease", but disease seems to be the tag and we are stuck with it. I see some people call it a condition in their posts on the diabetes websites. Keep doing that, maybe you will get other people to join you.
So many of the things I have read in this thread are true of our family. I posted earlier of how proud I am of my 10-year-old for how he takes care of and looks out for his brother, but I also agree that our family is a lot healthier because of the diagnosis and attention to diet. We try to be healthy anyway, but in a hectic life, we slip from time to time. Diabetes has ensured that we're always paying attention to having a balanced diet. If things are too hectic to cook a veggie, we have natural apple sauce, baby carrots or salad that pull out to have with our meal. In the past we might have just gone without the fruit or veggie.
I have also made a commitment to fitness a priority for me. I had been working out regularly, but again, I'd let myself slip when things get busy. I decided that it's important for Kevin to see that his parents always make time for exercise so that we set an example that he can follow into adulthood. The need to set a positive example has helped me wake up and exercise on mornings where it would be much easier to turn off the alarm and roll over.
Finally, I have made it a priorty to do everything I can do to support a cure. We raised almost $3,000 on our first walk. My children now understand in a way they previously hadn't the importance of volunteerism in making a difference.
A few days ago at the boys' check up with the pediatrician, a young boy came in the waiting room in a wheelchair. His mom pulled out a feeding tube and attached it to his stomach. While most of the children went to their parents sides and acted bashful, my 2 boys walked right up to them. Brandan showed the little boy his infusion site and said, "I have a tube too. Your's bigger than mine." The mother explained what his tube is for. My boys offered to let him play with their toys.
This is a positive from Brandan's diagnosis. My children will be accepting of others, regardless of their differences. They have an understanding of things that many other children don't.
I think having type 1 diabetes definitely made me a stronger person. Being a very busy athlete, yea it has its down side trust me. But i try extra hard at things not just to prove to other people i can do them but also to show myself i can. I'm great at the sports i play and i'm a straight A student. I'm not bragging so i hope you dont think that. i just think me having T1D helped me get to where i am right now, and i'm only 16.
Another thing is that i love people. Having T1D allows me to help other people who also have it whether they're older or younger than me. I love helping people and this is just another way i can.
Very impressed with your outlook. I am an adult, just diagnosed in 2007 and have an Animas pump. I like to be really active also but am having a lot of lows. I try and adjust my basel but still not great. Love to take my two labrador retrievers to the beach, hiking etc. I bring snacks but still not so great.
Do you have any advice as you are a busy athlete about what to do when you know you are going to be very active for over two hours? Do you drink a lot of water, gatorade etc.??
I do not think you are bragging. Be proud of all of your accomplishments big or small and I am sure people enjoy you as much as you do them.
Thanks so much
You can be number one! You sound like an influential guy!