The Type 1 Diabetes Epidemic

Mommy, Carter, and Daddy - October 2013
Mommy, Carter, and Daddy – October 2013

Seeing that the amount of people who have developed Type 1 Diabetes has increased to more than 3.2 million, it had me wondering about the Type 1 Diabetes epidemic. I find it interesting that with there being absolutely zero family history on mine or my husbands sides, yet our son gets diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he is 17 months old. What went wrong, what happened differently for Carter, though he was raised the same as his older sister and she doesn’t have it.  It’s hard as his mother not to let these thoughts eat at me all day long.  I feel like I rob bits of his childhood away with every poke, and I relentlessly go through how his life was lived for the 17 months prior to his diagnosis.  I breastfed, I ate only organic when pregnant, feed my children only organic and make sure that anything they consume doesn’t have hormones.  I have wondered for the past 2 months if this epidemic was food related.   How could there be such a consistent rise in Juvenile Diabetes and have it not be environmental.  Though I do my best to not dwell too much in it, this is the deepest sorrow I have felt.  Watching your child go through this torment day in and day out, then watching my son reluctantly accept what his life now is, is comforting yet upsetting at the same time.  Though there are quite a few theories about where this is stemming from, I only get discouraged when I research the hopes for cures.  I am praying that a cure is found sooner than later, and as stated before I am so grateful that my son has come to an acceptance of this new regime, yet I am still sick inside that his life is riddled with this turmoil.  I find looking into the research is bitter sweet, it’s fascinating and encouraging to some degree to see where research is headed and that the scientists may be on the cusp of a cure, yet discouraging all in the same moment.  I wonder if a cure is found, will I be able to trust it.  Will I forever give up checking Carter’s A1C, would my life become a different obsession of monitoring and making sure that the cure was consistently working.  I find, at the end of the day, that my greatest disappointment is the feeling of failure I feel.  I am his mother, and I know deep down that there isn’t anything I could have done differently to have stopped the progression of this from taking hold of my son, yet it’s my responsibility to protect him and it feels as though I didn’t do my job.  Yet now, I have the pleasure of being a first hand witness to my sons bravery, and seeing his fighting spirit.  My children through this hard time have been strength personified.  Once I get through my moment of despair, I am left with such enormous feelings of gratitude and pride at my family and how through this, we have bonded closer then I ever imagined.

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