My first born. The first child I have made all the mistakes on. The first pancake, the first crepe, the first experiment. My first born. My first love, my first joy, my first everything. My son. My whole life. My legacy. My world.
Life as we know it changed last week for our family. Alexander was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. A bolt of lightning struck our family and we were completely unaware there was a thunderstorm happening. I have never been struck by lightning, but I can say that’s pretty much what the news felt like.
There were no signs. Just a moan. “Can you take me to the doctors Mom?” “What’s up Bubba?” “It just tingles a little bit.” “Sure thing Bub.” So we went. He did his job and we waited. Diabetes was the next word I heard. Then I heard him crying.
We spent the night in the hospital. Nurses, doctors, nurse assistants, lab technicians and hospital admitting came in to poke and prod at my son. Each one telling him that everything would be okay. Each one telling him that this will be a part of every day life now. Each one telling an eleven year old that his life won’t ever be the same.
Alexander kept a good face. He put on the charm and wowed the staff with his brilliant wit and sense of humor. He answered their questions and endured their pokes. Only when they left the room did his eyes show their fear and his body showed it’s weariness. His ears were hearing the words, INJECTION, CARBOHYDRATE COUNTING, BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS, and DIABETES EDUCATION over and over. Words that will be a part of every day and night for the rest of his life.
So what do we do? We go on. We have to. We change everything we know about eating. We change everything about our lives and our schedule. We poke and check and recheck. We add and divide grams of carbohydrates and units of insulin. We learn from the teachers and we become the teachers. Parent, confidant, best friend, disciplinarian, and now diabetic educator. We teach the grandparents. We teach the friends and the parents of friends. We teach the school. We teach the brother and the sister who want to know why brother doesn’t act or feel sick all the time yet he needs four shots a day. We teach everybody who will stand in the light that radiates from my son.
It will get better. There are new things being discovered all the time. There may be a cure for Type 1 diabetes in Alex’s lifetime. He will live to be one hundred and ten so if it happens sooner than later, it would be a blessing. There may be an insulin pump in the future and more classes to take as a result. There will be decisions made on sleepovers and pizza parties that will make more than one of us sad. For right now and for the next few months normalcy is not in our vocabulary. We will live our lives one blood sugar at a time, knowing that each time will be more normal than the last.
Thank you to all the well-wishers and beautiful souls who have kept a special thought in their hearts for our family. The blog will return soon, I promise. I am going to be including the carbohydrate grams with each recipe I post. Since I have to figure them out, I might as well share them.
Thank- you again,