My child has Diabetes, now what?

Ashleigh and Carter hug
Ashleigh and Carter, a wonderful sibling moment at our trip to Seattle in December 2013 – 1 month post-diagnosis

My child has Diabetes, now what?  I remember having this question resounding over and over in my head as I walk through the cloud that engulfed me in the Emergency Room after the doctors diagnosed my son.  My mind immediately went to needles, and blood checks and insulin.  I was terrified, and overwhelmed, and watched my life as I knew it come crashing down around me.  After our son was air lifted to a children’s hospital in San Diego, my husband and I had some time to attempt to digest the news we were just given.  I cried more in that 24 hour period as we watched our son struggle in the PICU, then I have in my whole life.  I remember having to leave my 4 year old with one of my sisters in order for us to be there for our son.  I felt no matter what I did I was abandoning someone.  Looking back at it all now, I am amazed at how once we become parents how resilient we really become.  We didn’t crumble, we didn’t run from this like we wanted to, my husband and I dug our heels in and we fought.  We fought for our son, for our family, and to find the strength we needed, to overcome this blow we were just given.  Leaning heavily on my faith, I found peace throughout this experience, I know that I will never be alone.  Though my days are riddled with frustration and anger and when I look at our situation and don’t see one shred of “fair” in it.  I prayed for peace the moment this all began, and I have had just that.  There are days when the struggle is great, but I always seem to find the strength to overcome.  I believe that as parents we all have this magical ability.  The majority of what we deal with as parents isn’t ideal, having a “sick” child is no different.  Once the diagnosis settles in and the despair dissipates, as parents we find our new roles.  All we really do is add to our title, we have always been caregivers, and nurturers, now we add nurse to our job description.  With practice, the terror associated with administering shots disappears, and the strength we always have is pushed to the forefront.  So if you are told that your child has Type 1 Diabetes, find comfort in your ability as a parent to rise above and know that you will find new found confidence in yourself that you never knew was there, and you will prove day by day why your child is lucky to call you Mom or Dad!

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