Since T1D can be diagnosed at any age, people tend to wonder, what is the “best” age to be diagnosed? Whether it’s your baby, toddler, child, teen, or adult child who is diagnosed, being a parent of someone with T1D is hard. Each stage has aspects that are easier than the other ages, and it also has aspects that are more difficult. With my own son being diagnosed when he was 2, I found this post by another D-Mom to be very reflective of my own feelings in the early days.
“Reflections from a Mother of a Young Child with T1D”
By: Brigid Kunze, T1D Mom
It has been two long years.
You have officially had diabetes for half of your life. You are four years old and you have had it for half of your life!
My heart is still broken – I don’t think that will ever change. I am struggling to hold myself together and it shows.
Whenever I am alone I get suffocated by my emotions and I can not breathe. I cry until I can’t cry anymore.
This disease is all consuming
Sometimes I feel like I forget to enjoy you as the person you are and play with you and be silly because I’m so focused on when did you eat, where is your number, is it going up, is it going down…
Oh, the guilt over the numbers…
I didn’t give enough insulin and now you are too high. I gave too much insulin and now you are too low.
Sometimes I’m eyeballing .25 units, how the hell am I supposed to do that? What damage am I doing to your little body?
We Argue over food and shots and shot placement.
I hate these battles! Some days I let you get away with murder because I’m too tired to fight.
Some days I give in because you are four and you deserve to be a kid.
Some days I dig my heels in and fight right back but end up feeling terrible! Every battle is lose-lose!
You are so strong and so brave.
I say it so much that I don’t think you believe me or that it has meaning. But you need to know just how very strong and brave you are!
I would do anything to take this burden from you! But for now I will pick myself back up- and do it all over again tomorrow and I will try to do better!
No matter what age your child is diagnosed, it’s a difficult road. Whether you’re parenting a toddler who screams and thrashes every time they need a shot, or a teenager who just can’t comprehend how important their D-care is, T1D tests every ounce of strength we have.
And we constantly have to pick ourselves back up and do it all over again. Until we find a cure.
What age was your child diagnosed? Do you feel that age of diagnosis makes a difference in your attitude? Your child’s? The way you manage T1? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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