It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. I will never forget April 10, 2014 – the day our lives were forever changed…the day MJ was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remember trying to calm myself down while pricking his finger…you are overreacting. The only reason you think he could have diabetes is because you are a doctor. His blood sugar is going to be normal when you check it. We have no family history of type 1. It is going to be fine. Calm down. And then the meter read “HI." I looked at my hands – they were shaking uncontrollably. Tears welled up in my eyes while bile rose into my chest. BREATHE! Maybe the meter is wrong – check it again. “HI.” Shock. Disbelief. Fear. Sadness. All of these emotions wrapped into one as I raced to call Steve. “MJ’s blood sugar is critically high. We have to get him to the ER…he has type 1 diabetes.”
And here we are a year later. I am so proud of how far we have come as a family, and of course even more proud of MJ and how he has dealt with his new reality. There will always be hard days… it breaks my heart to watch his friends run to the concession stand after baseball games and get to pick out anything they want to eat while he looks at me for approval. I see the longing in his eyes, praying that I will say “yes” to his choice of snack. I rarely say no, mainly because I want him to feel like a normal 6 year old boy…he knows we will just need to adjust his insulin accordingly. His finger pricks and insulin shots have become just a part of our normal daily routine and we are acutely aware that any sudden changes in his behavior almost always mean his blood sugar is either too high or too low. We are blessed that MJ has developed very good hypoglycemic awareness (meaning he usually knows when his blood sugar is dropping); the dangers of going low are scary. VERY scary. I remember the first time he told me he felt low and his legs were shaking- Steve ran to get the juice while a “42” registered on his glucometer. It can be frightening but I am glad he knows his symptoms.
We decided to celebrate MJ’s diabetes “birthday” – he got to choose what he wanted to do so we had his two “besties” (ironically both are named Chase) over to spend the night. We took them to dinner at MJ’s favorite Mexican restaurant and then for Italian Ice at Rita’s. They had so much fun playing and laughing that they were up passed midnight! Daddy got MJ a fishing pole and mommy got him a stuffed animal he wanted (yes, he is STILL obsessed with stuffed animals!) It was a wonderful day.
MJ is my hero. Maybe it is weird for a mother to call her young son her hero, but he really is. I am amazed every day at his incredible outlook on life and how his diabetes has become a part of it- a part of him. His acceptance of his condition and his bravery are amazing beyond words. Steve and I are so very proud him. That made the decision to celebrate his diabetes birthday easy- of course we will celebrate. We will celebrate our son and his courage, his optimism, and his love of life.
Happy one year diabetes birthday, MJ. You are our hero.
Mommy and Daddy