Monday, May 30, 2011

365 days of diabetes

Today is 1 year.

1 year of living with type 1 diabetes.

Today is 1 year of learning about type 1 diabetes.

Today is Reubens first full year of being a type 1 Diabetic.

It has passed in a flash.    A heart beat ago, he was diagnosed.   The Dr looked me in the eye over the hospital bed in the ER and said, 'Theres something you have to know, your son has Diabetes'....

My mind was truly blank.   I didnt know what that meant.   Shock and ... well ... ignorance.

A nurse came by and gave me a pad and pen.  She said write down any questions you have.  The paper stayed blank.    Instead I asked them for a 'manual'.  Like taking home a new appliance you dont know how to operate.  How could I no longer know how to look after my own son?  But  thats how I learn best.   A highlighter pen.   Post it notes.   Scribbles in the margin.  

While whisking him up to Intensive Care I recall thinking this is bad.  But a blurry bad.    I saw him so sick from high blood sugars that I never want to see him there again.   I saw how he became himself smiling and happy within a week.  DKA a memory.  The contented baby he was, once he got insulin and rehydrated.  

I had to accept it.   The insulin was what he needed.  

Like I said we are learning.   As he grows it all changes.  Almost weekly.   What we thought we knew about his management has been superseded.  Again and again.  When we know better - we do better.

Bringing my newly diagnosed baby home with a bag of needles, insulins, a log book and blood glucose meter was one of the most daunting experiences of my life.  I remember the hurdles. 

At the Diabetes shop, asking for the shopping list of supplies for my newly diagnosed son, eyes stinging with holding back tears.  I have to have a what?   A sharps container?    

And again when the optium exceed errored and I would have to re-prick and re-squeeze to get more blood.   I hated do-overs.  I remember the squirming baby that would try and avoid the needles in his soft bottom.   The awful days when he squirmed so much you could see droplets of insulin all over his bottom and you just KNEW it was going to be a bad day because he didnt get the full dose.   The flailing infant with low blood sugar who refused to take any sugar.  I remember the unsure parent who over treated hypos from fear.   Who rang the endo to see if we should check for ketones.   Who couldnt recall if it was clear or cloudy insulin to be drawn into the syringe first.   Who didnt know the difference between the carbs.

Weve come a long way.   Theres been a huge amount to learn.   Theres still heaps more to learn.

There wasnt any choice but we have to embrace this new life.  

And on into the second year.  Acknowlege the first was hard...yes.  But we've had alot of fun.  Reubens a great kid with awesome siblings.    

These photos were a few months back, Aunty Bernie arranged to take us to an indoor Old McDonalds Farm.   Of course the kids loved it.  

                                        Yes my eyes are shut.   They always are in pics. Sorry.  

                                          Diabetes doesnt stop you trying to ride a goat!!

Another poor goat avoiding a tackle.

My daughter who I think will work with animals one day.

                                                                All 3 of my lovely kids.  
                                                               Thats it, Reuben, gentle!
                                                           Reubs and sheepy action shot.

Happy diaversary my tough little man.
You are calm and peaceful.
You are strong and resilient - you endure without fight. 
You are fun and have a great sense of humour.
You did nothing to deserve this disease and had no choice.
But Im grateful you are such a wonderful patient child.
Wise beyond your years and just a great little person.
Of whom I am terribly proud and protective.
You are teaching us much about family, love and perserverence.
We will manage this fight together until there is a cure.
Love you very much, munchkin xx.


  1. What a cute & sweet family! :) There is SOOO much to learn the first year, but I imagine even more so with a baby. I really admire you D-mamas.

  2. Beautifully written. I swear I'm still learning things about diabetes after almost seventeen years with it. I made soooo many mistakes and wished for a manual soooo many times. I LOVE your line about managing the fight together until there is a cure. :)

  3. Congrats on making it thru the 1st my opinion the 1st year was definitely the hardest. Great job Momma and Rueben!!! You have a beautiful family..:o) HUGS!

  4. What a beautiful post Jules. I hope this weekend has been amazingly refreshing and you feel like it was a bit more of a celebration than a sad time to remember. Thanks for letting us in on this anniversary. ((HUGS))

  5. I LOVE you and your gorgeous fam Jules. The letter to Reubs at the end caused me to tear up a bit. You will perservere through it all... and Reubs will continue to grow and mature at a rapid is bitter~sweet. Sometimes, more bitter than sweet. xoxo


    I had a hard time at the 1 year mark...I remember talking to the endo about it, and she told me it happens to a lot of parents.

    Welcome to Year 2.

    You're doing awesome!

  7. Thanks for sharing.Beautiful post..Beautiful pictures...

  8. Welcome to year 2! From what I have heard it is alot like year 2 of a baby. (not so funny we get to do them at the same time) it is a little easier and you are in a better pattern. Sometimes you will have hicups along the way and sometimes you will still be overwhelmed. But they tell me each year it gets "easier" to manage. Im here with you all the way. Our boys are only a few months dx from eachother and only a little bit in age too... we will do this together!

  9. The photo of Reuben when he was an infant got me!

    This line also got me: "Bringing my newly diagnosed baby home with a bag of needles, insulins, a log book and blood glucose meter was one of the most daunting experiences of my life." The same was true for me! They sent us home on day 1 with all of these supplies that I knew were to keep Jack alive, but I had no idea what to do with it all!

    Here is to a happy, healthy year 2 filled with love, laughter, good times and good numbers!!!


  10. Hi Dude,

    Diabetes 365 focuses on everything a diabetic needs to know to continue to live a healthy, happy, long life. It is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Thanks a lot for sharing with us...