This Is A Love Letter To My Son With Type 1 Diabetes

Courtesy of Julie Calidonio


It’s been 4 years right now that you just had been identified with sort 1 diabetes, a power situation the place your pancreas produces no insulin. I had first seen the burden loss. One pound. Slight, however regarding to me. I had you absolutely labored up. I fought for you. I actually did. I knew in my coronary heart one thing wasn’t proper. Four-year-olds shouldn’t lose any weight. They shouldn’t be fatigued.

But your assessments had all come again regular. Then got here the thirst. Unquenchable. Unrelenting. I can nonetheless keep in mind the pediatrician’s face when the finger prick got here up at 568. You had been 4, tiny and weak. Within two hours, the endocrinologist had seen us, despatched us to nurses for coaching, and I used to be out the door and chargeable for managing you. They defined that with out sufficient insulin to interrupt down the sugar you had been consuming, your little physique had turned to breaking down your fats for gasoline.

Left untreated, you can have died. Died. They stated you’d be insulin dependent for all times.

Courtesy of Julie Calidonio

That evening, I gave you insulin injections and took your blood sugar with my novice fingers. You by no means complained. You by no means cried. Not as soon as. It was a lot to digest so rapidly. Too a lot insulin you can die. Too little and you can additionally die. But we realized the language of sort 1 rapidly, the way to rely carbs; to calculate your carb to insulin ratio; to adapt once you train, once you’re sick, once you develop.

In an prompt, sort 1 turned a relentless in our lives threatening to carry chaos. But we now have tamed the beast, and you’re thriving. It won’t ever relent, and neither lets.

Four years now, I’ve carried you into my room each evening. It took you months earlier than you lastly requested me, “How do I end up here every night?” I stated I carry you right here so you’re near me, so I can catch a low; so I can catch a excessive; so I can hearken to you breathe. I may barely elevate you out of your mattress final evening. You’re nearly eighty kilos now. I do know the day is coming once I gained’t be capable to carry you anymore in any respect.

What will I do then? Will I ever allow you to sleep alone? The one evening I allow you to sleep in your room, I didn’t hear the alarm that your sugar was low. You didn’t wake in any respect. They name it hypoglycemic unawareness. Had I not woken to pee, you can have died.

Courtesy of Julie Calidonio

There are so many sort 1 warriors who dwell full lives. And I by no means need you to make use of this sickness as a crutch, however all the time be aware of its potential. This illness isn’t a demise sentence, besides that it may very well be. We might be on high of all the things 99% of the time, however it is going to solely take that one untreated low or uncorrected excessive to take you from us. We all the time should be aware of that.

Son, I would like you to know I feel you’re so courageous. I do know it’s exhausting to be so little and to be so totally different— to typically not be capable to eat what everybody else is consuming; to have to recollect to hold your bag and to show your pump off earlier than exercising and to bolus twenty minutes earlier than you eat; and to recollect to account for some meals digesting gradual and a few digesting fast once you do your bolus.

I’m making an attempt so exhausting now to handle this for you the most effective that I can, however I do know in the end you could handle your self. And I do know you’ll.

Two years in the past when Pop Pop died and Daddy and I needed to go overseas to El Salvador for his funeral, your pump failed and we panicked. Your grandmas tried, however they couldn’t determine the way to change it. With your sugar climbing, they needed to take you to the endocrinologist’s workplace on the hospital. It was Christmas Eve, and the nurse who modified it was an angel.

But final month, when the pump failed, you walked our pal by way of altering it step-by-step. How to wipe your pores and skin, the way to put together your arm for the insulin pump, how a lot insulin to attract up, the place to place the brand new pump. He stated he couldn’t have performed it with out you. I used to be extremely happy with you. Your resilience. Your energy.

Courtesy of Julie Calidonio

I’ll be sincere, Lukey, it’s exhausting for me to not marvel typically if I did this to you. Was it one thing I ate, or that I didn’t eat? Was it the silver filling I had eliminated within the first trimester of being pregnant? I had insisted on a dental dam, however did they actually use it? Where may this have come from? And now with COVID-19, I’m wondering the identical. Am I doing the best factor holding you dwelling? Your physique has by no means responded nicely to being sick, however will your thoughts get better from being remoted? My lawyer’s thoughts all the time runs the danger profit evaluation, however on this I’m not sure. How do I calculate the stability between your psychological and bodily well being? But I do know doubt is just not a productive language to talk. It gained’t transfer us ahead.

Courtesy of Julie Calidonio

So, Lukey, please proceed to be robust for me as you develop. Don’t be resentful. It won’t appear to be it however there are individuals who have it worse. There are kids with circumstances that aren’t treatable. And you will have entry to so many issues that kids world wide together with your situation don’t have. Be aware of others together with your illness even on this nation who can not afford insulin and insulin pumps and steady glucose screens. Be appreciative.

You have such a tremendous assist system of buddies, household, lecturers, docs and nurses. Remember to thank them on a regular basis and to point out gratitude. I promise to advocate for you all the times of my life, however promise me you’ll all the time advocate for your self. And that you’ll educate others about this illness, and the bodily/psychological/emotional/financial prices it expenses. Last, keep in mind son there are 1.6 million Americans who get up every single day identical to you. You’re not alone.

I actually really feel like you possibly can finish this in case you simply give it some thought lengthy sufficient. I think about you and your brother and sister sitting in your dorm rooms huddled over biochemistry books— you guys bought this; you are able to do something; how exhausting can it’s?



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