Friday, February 11, 2011

i wasn't a young CWD, but i'm still someone's child.

there has been a lot of talk lately about a thread on a forum discussion on Children With Diabetes. while i didn't participate, it got pretty heated, opinions from parents whose children have diabetes, opinions from adults who were once these children ... read it if you wish. it might raise your blood pressure a smidgen, no matter which 'side' you are on.

some comments i read made me frustrated, some made me sympathetic. some made me feel like i was reading in circles, like it was a fight back and forth, when really, someone put it best by saying we may be on different sides of the boat - parents of CWD, PWD, but aren't we in the same boat?  agree.

i'm not here to talk about that thread. but it made me think, and reading some other blogs as of late, there is one thing i don't have in common with some of the DOC members. today, jess is talking about some things she remembers from childhood. it made me think.

i didn't have diabetes as a child. i was diagnosed on the cusp of adulthood. i had just graduated from high school, i was about to start a new chapter of life.

reading some things people have said discussing memories of their childhood, i can't relate to. i don't know what it was like to have the nurse at school check my blood sugar or help me figure out how much insulin to take.

i was never in the hospital for an extended period of time when i was diagnosed. i didn't have to have a parent go to a party with me to make sure i was eating what i was supposed to. my parents didn't have to worry about what might blood sugars might do when i had a sleep over with my best friends.

it never crossed my mind, until a conversation with a friend one day who was diagnosed as a child, that going through puberty had an affect on your blood sugars as well as everything else in your life. of course it would, i just never had to think about it, so i didn't.

i didn't have my mom come to class to explain what diabetes was to my classmates. i didn't have to keep snacks in my desk in case my blood sugar was low. i didn't miss a single day of school until i was in 6th grade and got a bad case of strep throat. i didn't worry about getting made fun of for having diabetes (i got made fun of for other typical stupid kid stuff).

i didn't have to worry about forgetting my blood sugar meter in my locker with my homework. i didn't have to make sure i was eating the right things at lunch, or have to learn early in my life how to figure out how much insulin to take with my food. i could buy an extra pudding pop or two and not think a thing about it.

i didn't go to diabetes camp every summer. (although it sounded totally awesome and i'm kinda jealous.)

me, young and worry free

the only memory of diabetes i have from 'childhood' was freshman year of high school. my good friend was having a birthday party at her house, and one of her friends (now my friend!) was checking her blood sugar at the kitchen table before we had cake. i remembered asking her what she was doing, and i was very interested in it, asking lots of questions. (i tend to ask lots of questions about things i don't know much about. it's a good way to learn things, ya know.) when i was diagnosed, i talked to her, and she remembered how interested i was in it, and how ironic it was. HA. oh, the irony. :)

i may not have been a young child when i was diagnosed, but i am still someone's child. my parents still had to deal with it. they had to deal with my diagnosis in a different way, but it is still a part of their life too. it was a new learning experience and expense for all of us. and i can try to imagine how they felt and what they felt, but every person in this world deals with things differently.

so i hope that all PWD and parents of CWD can take that into consideration. every single person may believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong, their way of dealing is right, their opinion is right, their situation is the worst, best, whatever ... but we are all sharing a common thread. whether we were diagnosed at 6 or  26.


  1. Great post Meredith! I was diagnosed when I was 11, so I still remember life before D. But of course I did have to deal with the school nurse checking my blood sugar, and the security guard in Junior High asking me to leave my "pager" at home. Ha. We need to work together, just like you said, Diabetes kinda sucks for everyone involved ;-)

  2. yes :)
    haha, there were a few times in college that i got asked about my 'pager' too!!

  3. Speaking as someone who was diagnosed with T1 at the age of 32, I really appreciate this post. I know my diagnosis and the drama surrounding it had a profound effect on my parents (and husband) that lingers even 2 years later and will probably always linger. Thank you for writing this!

  4. The bomb scare alert in junior high: please evacuate the school, there may be a bomb. Briley Boisvert and *insert other CWD name here* please bring your lunchbox with you."

  5. I appreciate this post too as I was diagnosed my freshmen year of college. I never learned those sneaky tricks to make it look like your D was in more control than it was. Are you still friends with that one girl who has D? Cause that would be awesome.

  6. the one i knew freshman year of high school? i sure am! :)

  7. I didn't read any of that DOC stuff, but you are right, everyone is differnet, and D1 affects the whole family.
    I have 2 kids with T1, and it's different for both of them