When James was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was pretty overwhelmed with information. I started out completely ignorant of all things diabetes and needed to learn in a few short days how to completely care for a little boy with the condition. It was intense. Those first few days, weeks and even months, I remember the frantic calls that I made to our diabetes team. They were so incredibly patient — I did finally learn the basics, and my midnight calls dwindled a little bit.
Then, when I felt like I’d hit my stride and adjusted to our “new normal,” I became a research fiend. I sought out every source of information about diabetes. I researched the best books, found the most recent studies, interrogated my professional team and joined all the forums I could find. It was my next step in dealing with and getting used to the diabetes diagnosis. I poured the energy I might have spent worrying into knowledge-seeking instead! I was totally dialed in. Improving James’ A1C was a serious focus of my life.
The next phase is the one I’m probably still in. After “figuring it out,” I took a step back. I stopped reading and didn’t post as frequently in online forums. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just another step in the process of dealing with a serious diagnosis. I think this step, to me, represented the fact that I had accepted diabetes as a part of our lives — that it no longer occupied my every waking thought.
It wasn’t something to overcome anymore, but just part of the background noise of dealing with a big and busy family. In that way, it was probably even healthy to take a little break.
That said, lately I feel like it’s a time to brush up on my scope of knowledge! Two things are happening. First, James is growing and changing. When I read books and articles a few years ago, it was through an entirely different lens. I might not have paid attention to an article on puberty or growing independence, but I need to read them now. Also, new studies are coming out all the time and new products too.
Frankly, I’m excited and motivated. I’m going to start online. By connecting with other parents out there, I’m sure to find out about some of the best books, most exciting new studies, and most promising new products. I am also reaching out to the professional team that works with James. We’ve always kept a close connection with our endocrinologist, but I’m going to request a consult with the nutritionist and psychotherapist that work with him too. Not because anything is “wrong,” but because I feel the need to get back into that world; to reexamine where we are; and to put us in the best possible position for James to learn, grow and thrive.
And then, of course, it will be MY turn to be the one to share that information. I’ll share it with my friends and family members with diabetes, and you can bet I’ll share it here. That’s just how it works in the diabetes community.
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.