As the parent of a child with diabetes, I've heard a lot of comments over the last almost-five years regarding the ease with which diabetes should be "managed", and that I am far too wrapped up in trying to care for our daughter. When she was diagnosed, I didn't know much a whole lot about diabetes except what I'd learned in school and from seeing my brother and FIL deal with Type 2. Most comments are well-intentioned, even if they are not particularly knowledgeable. The vast majority of people assume that with Type 1, a shot or two of insulin can be given and everything is just fine (or that it is controllable with diet, or that they will grow out of it, or that some magical elixir sold on the internet at $39 a bottle will cure them - but I digress). Unfortunately, a shot or two is far from being all a person with Type 1 requires on a daily basis to be well.
In the last few weeks, we PoCWDs (parents of children with diabetes) have gotten the devastating news of 2 young men passing away due to complications of Type 1 diabetes. One young man apparently died of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), which develops as a result of very high blood glucose levels. The second went to bed, and sometime during the night his blood glucose went very low. He was gone when his mother went to wake him in the morning.
Both were young men (14) who had been dealing with diabetes for the majority of their life. Both were from families who were knowledgeable in treatment, involved in the diabetes community, and devoted to keeping their boys healthy. The bottom line in these tragedies is that A PARENT IS NOT A PANCREAS. No matter how hard we try, diabetes is not a static condition. There are literally dozens of factors affecting in our childrens' bodies at any given time - growth, illness in various stages, stress, fear, allergies, high fat meals, low fat meals, changes in the weather (heat/cold), amount of activity in a given day, and so many more that aren't even identifiable. We can poke fingers day and night, give shots, give snacks, raise money for research towards a cure.....and they can STILL DIE.
Rest in peace, Jesse and Trent. You will be mourned, and you will be missed.
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