Friday, January 20, 2012
About a week ago I was asked to do a guest spot on this blog. The topic I was given was about being a Step-parent to a child with diabetes. About two years ago when Bridget and I were about a month and a half into our newly rekindled romance Clifford was diagnosed with T1 diabetes. This came as a giant shock to both of us and I spent the weekend sitting in different waiting rooms ( I was chased from waiting area to waiting area by a very disgruntled ex-husband) waiting for updates on Clifford's condition and how our lives and relationship were going to change. My life was in turmoil from my own life going to crap and I did not want to abandon Bridget in her time of need and this disease was not going to scare me off. I'm a combat veteran I've survived scarier!
The hardest part for me in dealing with all of this is that I'm not Clifford's biological father. I have no legal rights to the boy. I am not allowed (by law) to make any of the decisions that concern his diabetic care, even though I know more about T1, I have been to more clinics, and I have taken more classes than his biological father. Although Bridget does allow my input which means a lot to me. It would get very aggravating for me to see him go off to his biological father's place and come back with stories of eating whatever he wanted(this is pre-carb counting)and numbers that were all over the place or high as a kite. It also currently drives me nuts to go to all these classes and do all the leg work only to have this guy come in second guess the directions that we send along and call the hospital to get someone to give him a different easier answer.
In the end I have willingly chosen to have diabetes in my life and I do it happily and lovingly. I love my T1 kid and his incredibly strong mother. Yeah I know he's not MINE, but he IS mine and I layed claim. It's a territorial man thing.
Brace yourself and get your notebook in hand because I'm going to reveal some crazy secrets about diabetes.
I'm sure everyone and their grandma have heard a ton about diabetes on television thanks to the likes of those like Dr. OZ (don't get me started on him). Anyways the secrets revealed may actually surprise you, so take a look.
MYTH: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.
FACT: Diabetes is a killer, it stalks and preys on everyone who suffers with it daily, from children to adults.
MYTH: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
FACT: Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder, basically Clifford's immune system got bored and a wee bit confused and decided to have some fun and go attack his pancreas. Sorry pancreas, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
MYTH: You can catch diabetes from someone else.
FACT: Wow, just wow! Come on we're not talking about the common cold here.
MYTH: You can't eat that, you have diabetes!!
FACT: I'm pretty sure no one has told you that you can't eat that cupcake because you have brown eyes, I mean let's get educated about this.
Just because a person with diabetes has a non working pancreas doesn't mean they can't enjoy the same foods they have before... Just like everyone else in moderation is the best choice. And with the right amount of insulin to cover the carbs, they can enjoy their treats.
The one secret of diabetes that is not as fun to share is this:
The first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning is if Clifford made it through the night. The last thing on my mind when I go to sleep is "I hope Clifford makes it through the night".
When Clifford wakes up later than his sisters and I have to go up to his room to wake him up. That short trip up there feels like a lifetime and my heart beats like crazy just wondering what I'm going to see when I get in there. I stare at him for a moment and when I see he's breathing I breath a little easier. When he moves and wakes up to the sound of his name I breath a lot easier.
So there you have it. I've revealed some of the secrets about diabetes. But unlike other secrets I ask for you to share these ones with everyone you meet, perhaps in time we can squash all these diabetes rumors for good.