Adjusting to family life with diabetes
~ 18 November 2009 ~
Last Thursday night we stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico on our cross-country move to Florida. What was supposed to be an overnight stop has turned into a lengthy stay and a permanent change in our family’s lifestyle.
One of our sons fell ill with the flu* soon after leaving Utah on Wednesday. By Thursday the flu had escalated and we found ourselves in the hospital by nightfall. On Friday the diagnosis was clear: Type 1 diabetes.
Our family knows very little about diabetes, but we’re quickly becoming familiar with it. Type 1 is different from Type 2 diabetes in that it’s not acquired through genetics or poor health. In fact, it’s not really known where it comes from and why or how it comes about. Sometimes a virus can help manifest it, and in our case the flu may have been the catalyst.
From what I’m learning, Type 1 diabetes comes about when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to break down sugars in the blood and allow those sugars (glucose) to be captured and used by cells, leaving unsafe levels of glucose in the blood stream.
To balance these levels, finger pricks and insulin shots are required multiple times per day. Short of a cure or alternate method such as an insulin pump, this is a process our son will be going through daily for the rest of his life. In addition, we will need to make some changes to his (our) daily diet.
Whether it was TV personality Art Linkletter or basketball Hall of Famer John Wooden who said it — both have been attributed — it doesn’t matter. The spirit of what was said is what matters:
Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
We’re confident our family can make the best of the way things have turned out for us. I’ve long believed that as parents and professionals, the most important work we’ll ever do will be outside the walls of work and inside the walls of our homes. If anything, this revised lifestyle has encouraged us to place ever greater focus on our children.
We hope to be back on the road in a few days once we’ve completed the requisite treatment and training. I’ve left comments on as those of you more familiar with diabetes than we may be able to provide corrections to what I’ve written or additional resources.
Update: Many of you have left helpful and encouraging comments. Thank you. Suzanne and I really appreciate it.
*For the record, he was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. This the least of our concerns, as H1N1 appears to differ little from the average flu from what we’ve seen in him.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.
Authentic Boredom is the platitudinous web home of Cameron Moll, designer, author, and speaker. More…
Full-time and freelance job opportunities. Post a job...
A selection of fine reading, available for a limited time only: