Living Positively While Raising a Type One Diabetic

When my son was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of three, my husband and I were devastated. I cried for a week straight thinking of how this would affect my son’s life. Then I snapped out if it.

What would I be teaching my son if I spent my time wallowing away about something I couldn’t change, but something I could make better? I am a go-getter by nature and I dove right in and made the best of that really messed up situation. It was, and still is, extremely important to teach my son how to care for himself so he does not do any longterm damage.

So, I found myself taking classes at the Children’s Hospital. My husband and I needed to know how to care for him the best we could. I also found support through our local chapter of JDRF, which I highly recommend. JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes, Research Foundation, is a non-profit group working toward a cure, but they are so much more than that. They gave my son and I a ton of resources on how to live with diabetes, what the best tools to have are, and other people like us to talk to. They gave my son a diabetic teddy bear that he still cherishes at twelve years old.

Find other parents that are more seasoned and learn from them. They can give you great tips. Learn what type of special accommodations your child will need at school and what daycare centers can care for them. A small child will need supervision from a nurse at meal time to check his or her blood. They will need a 504 plan to ensure their needs are being met.

Teach your child how to care for himself so when they are old enough it is familiar to them. My son, age twelve, wants more responsibility some days and others he wants us to take control. Be prepared for diabetes burnout, which we have not experienced yet, but it happens in their teen years and they rebel against all things diabetes.

Living with diabetes is a way of life for us. My son has never been shy about it or tried to hide it. He wants people, friends, to know so if something goes wrong they can help. Everyone has been very accommodating and helpful and it has made our experience that much easier.

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