Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Diabetes Time Warp

Yesterday my mom sent one of those texts that gets you nervous, "Call when you can." Even though we were in the middle of baby bedtime ops I was immediately worried it was something serious. A couple of texts later she reassured me it could wait until the baby was put to sleep.

When I called her later she recounted her day to me which included a coincidental meeting between her and a friend's friend whose daughter had recently been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She was the same age I was when I was diagnosed and my mom made an instant connection with this worried father.

It got me thinking about what I would tell my 11-year-old, newly diagnosed, self.

"You probably already know this, but you are going places kid! Soak up these moments when someone else has to deal with insurance companies and doctors appointments. Don't be afraid to tell your friends about Diabetes and make sure you never give up on your dreams."

"College will be an adventure - a challenging one. No one said rocket science was easy, but you will do just fine. There will be hard days or weeks with Diabetes, but sometimes you have to be a bit rebellious to wake yourself up."

"You will start a little blog to document all of your adventures. Diabetes will be present there, but not the main focus, and you will have an entire online support group to interact with."

"It won't be easy - you will face roadblocks associated with this disease, but you will overcome them. You will be given the opportunity to fly on experimental Army helicopters and you will take it, eagerly. This job will take you many places, including Navy Test Pilot School, and you will work to overcome many Diabetes related obstacles. You will come out shining with a greater sense of self confidence, some amazing life-long friends, and a Master's Degree with a special Diabetes twist."

"April, you are going to meet and marry the most caring man. He will support you and learn about Diabetes and push you to push yourself. You will lean on him when Diabetes gets you down and he will always know how to build you back up."

"When the time is right, you will transition to NASA to work your dream job in mission control. Girl, you are going to fly the freaking International Space Station!!! Diabetes aside you pinch yourself everyday to make sure you aren't dreaming. Diabetes can't hold you back from these things."

"It may not be on your radar screen now, but you will be able to have a child. She will be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, even if that is the most cliche thing you have ever heard. She will fill your heart up and [almost] make you forget about that Diabetes thing. The pregnancy will be challenging but seeing her face and smelling her smell and feeling her warmth will overshadow those months of extremely tight Diabetes control."

"Your life will be an incredible adventure and having Type 1 Diabetes won't change that."