It’s been a little over 13 years since we started on our type 1 diabetes (T1D) journey together. A journey neither of us wanted to take but one I couldn’t imagine my life without.
It was 13 years ago you and Dad drove me to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. I don’t remember much since I was barely conscious from my high blood sugar, but I do remember you and dad holding my hand as the doctor told us I had T1D. You didn’t leave my side for the next week we spent at the hospital, learning how to prick my finger and practicing giving injections in oranges. I remember sitting in the hospital room with you on New Year’s Eve and watching the ball drop together as we rang in a new year; a year that would be our first living with a complicated, tiring and unpredictable disease.
Looking back, after being diagnosed, what stands out to me is the positive, encouraging attitude you had with my diabetes. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you but that shaped the way I’ve viewed my T1D since then and I’m so thankful. I’ve never been angry or upset at my T1D because you supported me and made sure to never let this disease hold me back. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you, letting a newly diagnosed 9 year old go to sleepovers, birthday parties and play sports, but you did.
Mom, thank you for driving to my sleepovers and giving me my Lantus injection before I went to sleep. Thank you for waiting backstage at my school play with a juice box because I was so nervous my blood sugar went low. Thank you for spending hours with me looking for my insulin pump after I left it behind at a tennis match. Thank you for driving overnight to my Ohio State dorm room and taking me to the hospital because I went into DKA.
Even though I’ve moved out and live on my own, you continue to support me. Whether it’s listening to me complain about my blood sugar, or acknowledging that living with T1D is hard and letting me know I’m doing a good job, you’re always there.
This disease is relentless and difficult. I wouldn’t be able to handle it alone but your support keeps me going. Thank you Mom for being my greatest supporter!
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