A Type 1 Parent's Thank You to All Who Support Her Diabetic Son
I’m thankful for a lot this holiday season, but I have some special thank yous to say to all the people who help my ten year old son manage his diabetes. Of course I’m thankful to our incredible medical team: our endocrinologist who is always ready and willing to talk about the latest research and new technologies; our nurse practitioner/diabetes educator who listens as well as she teaches and never forgets that Josh is a kid first and foremost; to our dietician we see once a year who gently reminds us about the increasing appetite of our soon to be pre-teen boy. I remain impressed by the receptionists at our busy hospital practice. They have both been there for the entire time we’ve gone to the practice – they always have a smile on their faces and they often comment on how Josh has grown. It means a lot.
My gratitude is not limited to the medical field. I’m increasingly grateful to my ten year old son’s friends. I watched with great pleasure as my son’s friends looked out for him this year’s JDRF Walk. When Josh put on sweat pants with no pockets, two of his friends stepped up to put snacks in their pockets for Josh. At the midway point, one handed Josh a granola bar and said “you should probably eat this” – and he was right! Diabetes poses many challenges and the developmental ly appropriate desire for more freedom can be hard. With great friends and an openness about his diabetes my son can safely enjoy his new found freedoms, including not walking with his parents in a crowd of 10,000!
I thank my dear neighbor who has a stash of icing in her cabinet to treat low blood sugar and a diabetes fact sheet tacked to her bulletin board. She’s also added to her diabetes emergency snack repertoire so much so that I think Josh actually likes going low at her house!
Thanks to all the parents of Josh’s friends who gave me a heads up when treats were coming into class so we could send in a carb count. I appreciate all the parents who called me before a sleep over to ask if there was anything special we needed them to know or do. And to all those wonderful parents who never thought twice about including Josh in outings, sleepovers and other activities. Thanks for learning the extras about diabetes to keep my son safe.
I’m especially grateful to the generosity of friends and family who donated to our Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk team this past October. In these uncertain economic times when opening a 401K or 529 statement is truly scary, I was so impressed with our friends and family who continued to give to our charity. It meant a lot to Josh to see the thermometer rise on our walk site and it means a lot to our family to have your support.
My most sincere thank you is always reserved for the school nurse who watches out for Josh all day long. I applaud our middle school nurse who between the upper and middle school watches out for seven children with diabetes. She has 15 gram snacks ready and waiting in her office; blood checkers lined up; and an unbelievable ability to keep track of who has P.E. at what time and may be at risk for a low blood sugar.
It truly takes a village to raise a child, and it certainly takes an exceptional village to raise a healthy, confident, independent child with diabetes. Thank you to our village and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!