Ever a fount of wisdom, my mother had an interesting suggestion just a few weeks into James’ type 1 diabetes diagnosis. She handed me a file folder and an article about a little boy who was a champion baseball player, despite the fact that he also happened to have diabetes. As she handed me the file, she explained that I could start clipping articles and pictures and information that James could use when he gets older. Upon her suggestion, I did start a file. I call it the “Future File.”
The Future File saw lots of activity in the early days and now gets only an occasional article or clipping. I’ve turned to digital filing in the form of creating on online pin board, and my need for paper files has diminished in the past year or so. But the concept is still awesome, and I’m still gathering.
So it seems like my clippings fall into basically two categories: inspiration and education. Starting with that first newspaper article, I started keeping a collection of amazing things done by people who happen to have type 1 diabetes. Since that first clipping, I’ve had the opportunity to track the progress of all kinds of athletes and academics, explorers and adventurers! Some day James just might want to know what his limitations are. I’m going to whip out the Future File to explain that he has, in fact, very few!
The second portion of the Future File includes articles that might be more applicable to an adult rather than a child. For example, I remember reading a fascinating study that documented a way to possibly decrease blood sugar spikes after high-carb meals. It didn’t sound like something James would be interested in right now, but I knew someday he might consider trying it. When he reaches that point, he’ll be ready for the Future File.
There are lots of other things that I’ve read that sound like wonderful information — for a grownup and not so much for a child. I’m holding on to that info, and when James is ready, he’ll have the Future File for his reference. I suppose, in that way, it fulfills my need to continue to gather the best pieces of information and inspiration — even those that don’t seem to be needed immediately. It also serves as a point of motivation for me. It inspires me to remember that ultimately James will be in charge of his own health. Everything I do now is moving in that direction. I want to give him all the information he could ever want or need to make the best possible decisions!
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.