Every so often I like to sit James down and get some words of advice from the man himself. I know him so well that I sometimes think I already know how he feels about everything. What I’ve learned from interviewing him is that a lot of times, I’m wrong! It really pays to talk to and listen to our kids! This time around some of James’ statements were awesomely funny and cute. Here, I’m sharing the real, unedited James!
Question: James, what would you tell a kid who was newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
“It’s tough, kid. You might have challenges, but you need to be brave. You will be happy and rewarded and have a good life. One thing you need to know is that you need to persevere, and it will get better.”
(Some of this echoes what we have told him through the years. It’s fun to hear it coming from him!)
Question: What is the best part about having diabetes?
“Best part is the attention and the juice.”
(This is consistent! James used to think that if he didn’t have diabetes, he could drink juice boxes all the time–then a couple years ago we talked about it and he learned that if he didn’t have diabetes, I wouldn’t allow juice in the house at all!)
Question: What is the worst part about having diabetes?
“The worst part is the shots and the blood tests.”
(He means the quarterly blood draws at the doctor’s office.)
Question: Is that because it’s painful?
“Yes, the inside of my arms is the most sensitive part of me, and it just really hurts.”
Question: What would you tell somebody who takes care of kids with diabetes? What do they need to know?
“Sometimes adults are so clueless. I hate it when they give me sugar-free stuff. It doesn’t taste as good as regular stuff, and I still have to bolus myself because it still has carbs.”
(I didn’t anticipate this answer. He has a growing knowledge of diabetes and is usually really patient with caregivers. He’s had a few substitute health techs and adults he’s been working with lately and obviously must have had some recent incidents.)
Question: Do you think diabetes is scary?
(I’m asking this based on a conversation I had with some other kids with type 1.)
“Diabetes is not scary, but it is powerful, and you have to respect it.” (I have never thought of it this way—I loved that he said this!) “I feel safe, because I know all these people love me. I only feel scared when grownups are afraid of lows. That makes me afraid.”
(Here’s more proof we’ve got to learn to keep our emotions muted a bit around kids. James isn’t afraid of lows—he’s afraid of adults who are afraid of lows!)
There we have it folks. I kind of love some of his answers this time around. Unlike earlier interviews, here it’s obvious he knows he has an audience. I think that’s okay. I rather hope that as this blog matures, it becomes more of a partnership between James and me. As he becomes more involved in his own care and the big decisions, I want his voice to be heard here and in our treatment decisions and in his life. The little guy is growing up, and he has some stuff to say!
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.