The other night I attended my first ever JDRF Board Meeting/Research Update. I had no idea what to expect, as I’d never been to one before. It was a nice evening, albeit a little slower paced (ironically speaking, seeing as how they FLEW through that agenda it seemed.) But the food was good, and the company was better. So all in all, it was a good night.
I was sitting at the table with my friend, Suzanne (her 11 year old daughter has been T1 for almost 2 yrs now), and another mom (Lisa) of a T1 daughter, who was dx at age 4. And with the Family Team Chair for our local walk (Fred), whose 5 year old daughter was dx 2 days after her 1st birthday. They got the news at the birthday party. I was mesmerized by his story that he has surely shared a million times by now as he is very active in not only our local JDRF chapter, but also in Portugal.
We all talked about our pumps (I’m on Medtronic, 1 was on Animas, the other 2 on OmniPod.) All companies well represented at our small table. 😉
The three parents were going around the table, sharing war stories, if you will, about when their kiddos were diagnosed. I was the only adult Type 1 at the table, so I found this strangely intriguing. At one point, I turned the conversation back to Fred to ask how he knew something was “wrong” with his daughter, when she was not old enough to verbalize the symptoms (also no family history of the disease, but he said his wife has some autoimmune issues and went through a period of blaming herself for her daughter’s dx) 😦 So in my mind, I’m thinking for me at least, I knew that something was off, even if I had no idea at the time what was wrong – I’d been tired, not hungry, seeing things blurry, so incredibly thirsty, going to the bathroom all the time, etc. …. but other than noticing your child may be wetting her diaper more than before — how do you know?
He said that they’d taken her in for her 1 year checkup and something was off with her blood work. So they’d wanted to do more tests … and then they got “the call” during her 1st birthday party. So they packed her things and ended the party soon, and headed to Chilren’s.
I had mentioned that sometimes I was grateful for being 17 when I found out, so at least I had a normal childhood. He said it was no fun having to hold down your 12 month old daugther to prick her finger or give her a shot and there’s no way to explain why mommy and daddy were hurting her. That broke my heart to hear that, even though he wasn’t in any way looking for sympathy.
Sometimes hearing other people’s perspectives on the same disease I live with 24/7 can be eye opening. It’s so easy to live in our own little bubble sometimes. It’s easy to forget the struggles that others face every day, even though they’re going through the same thing(s).