What is T1D (Type 1 Diabetes)?

I think the worst reaction to us finding out our daughter had T1D was my mother questioning us like we had caused it. Type 1 and Type 2 are pretty different. Type 2 was what I was on the way to being when I didn’t take care of myself and gorged too much on unhealthy foods and sugary drinks. Those with Type 2 can usually still produce some insulin, they just need help.

Type 1, on the other hand, is insulin dependent until someone finds a cure. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where one’s immune system mistakenly attacks the pancreas and destroys what normally produces insulin in the body. The real shitty part about T1D (besides that it exists) is that there’s normally a “honeymoon” period where the body produces the last of its insulin and then things get a little crazy once the pancreas is done.

We were lucky, I guess, that my wife had people in her family that had been diagnosed with T1D. My wife carries it and I think somewhere deep down she knew it was a possibility, but what can you do but hope, right? My mother-in-law saw the first signs and we took our daughter in shortly after. I remember everyone telling us we did good because most kids come in and are diagnosed when they are in really bad shape.

Hearing that never made me feel any better. Thinking about it still makes me sad. Grateful, I guess is the better word for it, but definitely not lucky. But I guess it could be worse, right? It could have been fatal and we could have lost our daughter. That’s something I try to tell myself sometimes when I feel defeated and sad.

There is a lot more about T1D that I could go on about but the JDRF has tons of info and can definitely put it into better words than I can. Please pay attention to the signs, especially if it runs in your family.

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T1D

October 2018 was a rough month. Besides the fact that we were in the middle of buying/selling a house and the fact that I always struggle at the beginning of the month, life changed completely. Our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It sucked, the four days we spent in the hospital were trying on us but especially on our daughter. She was only four and suddenly everything she knew was changing.

It’s been just under a year and although I have learned a lot, I feel like there’s still so much to learn about T1D. Every day is different- some good and some absolutely chaotic. I wish I could tell you I have all the answers, but I don’t. And maybe that’s why I’m here now, writing this. I want others to understand that somedays it’s okay to be mentally and emotionally exhausted. Somedays it is okay to cry and be frustrated about the normalcy your child will probably never know.

Writing helps me personally to work through things and maybe by posting about my daughter and her struggles (and ours), I can help someone else out. Or maybe get some support from someone who has dealt with it longer. I don’t know- I should be asleep but I’ve been trying to figure out how to better deal with the sudden intensity of my daughter’s tantrums. I got lost down a black hole in the Internet and did not end up in a good place. So, any thoughts or ideas anyone?