Kid Approved & Diabetic Friendly

21 Months

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My daughter turns 21 months old today. To most people, this isn’t necessarily a noteworthy month (at least not more than any other), but I have found myself a bit emotional as the day approaches as she is now as old as C was when he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Nearly 8 years into this disease I feel like I have largely come to terms with what our life with diabetes looks like, and I am often “numbed out” to that raw emotion that existed for the first couple of years after his diagnosis. Some days are certainly better than others, but for the most part, I have accepted our “normal.”

However, I still have triggers that can take me back to that hospital room with my little toddler, whose only concerns at the time were making sure he had at least 5 trains by his side at all times, and that an episode of Little Einsteins was constantly playing. He had no idea why he was at the hospital, or that there was a war being waged inside his tiny body, why his tiny fingers were now being pricked multiple times a day, or why he was now given shots 4 times a day. He was completely unaware of the gravity of a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. This is something I am thankful for, because by the time he was old enough to understand it, it was already his normal.

Because I am now dealing with a 9 1/2-year-old who is becoming increasingly more in charge of his own diabetes management, it’s easy to forget just how challenging those early days really were. But now that I look at my daughter who is now exactly the same age that he was when he was diagnosed, the memories start flooding back. Memories I have tried hard over the years to suppress.

I went through the same thing when my middle child turned 21 months old, 5 years ago. I know there isn’t a lot of logic to it, because even if my other two children were to become type 1 diabetics as well, the likelihood of that happening at 21 months would be highly unlikely.

Even so, I can’t seem to shake the emotion I am feeling. Sometimes I think I try so hard to put on a brave face, that I forget that it’s OK to feel sad, to feel angry, to feel bitter, to wish with every fiber of my being that this wasn’t C’s reality…our reality.

So instead of trying to suppress that emotion that I’m currently feeling, I’m going to try to just embrace it this month. Feel that sadness, the loss of the innocence and carefree-ness that was stripped of my firstborn at 21 month old. But also knowing, that if my other two children were to be diagnosed that we would be OK. That you can still live a full and happy life even when plagued this awful disease.

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