I was reading on my social media group the other day about a family who recently received a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, and the mother in particular is having a really hard time dealing with the entire situation. The circumstances surrounding her daughter’s diagnosis reminded me so much of Kaitlyn’s story that it immediately took me back to the very beginning—and of course I experienced the flood of emotions that went along with it. I remember what it was like to feel how this mom is feeling! It’s so hard! Everyone was so supportive in their comments to her: “It will get better! Hang in there! Call me if you need anything! Pretty soon you’ll be on the other end of it and offering support to some other newly diagnosed family!”
It breaks my heart when I hear these stories, and I wish that I could just take the pain away. I would gladly handle the pricks, pokes, and carb counting so that someone else wouldn’t have to go through it, but of course I can’t. Just like the newborn chick has to struggle out of the eggshell to become strong, we have to live through the first month of diagnosis and learn how to build those emotional muscles we didn’t know we had.
I wish I could pick up the phone and tell her that it might not seem like it right now, but this experience will make her family stronger, and it will make her daughter stronger. Her daughter will become an example of courage for many that know her.
When it comes to a diagnosis with a chronic medical condition, it really could be so much worse. Life has handed our loved ones a challenge, but this challenge can be met, it can be managed. Life can return to “normal.” Not the same normal that we had before diagnosis, but a new normal that has the potential to bring a family closer together and to make your loved one stronger than he or she (or you) could have ever imagined.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.