What's With All the Worry?

Heather D. Nelson | 6/12/2013, 6:21 a.m.
As I sit and type this my kiddos are tucked away in bed after another busy Sunday. I will rise, ...

Hi. I’m Heather D. Nelson, and I’m the mother of a Type 1 Diabetic toddler. I say that as a pseudo confessional and it sounds like the beginning of an AA meeting. If you too are a parent of a T1D kid, you understand the mass amounts of subtext behind that statement. However, the majority of people I come across have never been touched by Type 1 Diabetes. In fact, most of them only know Diabetes in its other form because of some relative who acquired it as an adult. I’ll admit I myself was in that category until about two years ago but I digress. My sons are all three vibrant, active, social children and we are a family that is out and about quite often. My T1D son wears his insulin pump in a pack around his waist 24/7 so it’s not at all uncommon for total strangers to comment on it, ask about it, and then learn about his condition. And usually that’s when the questions come around and their lack of awareness begins to show. But even within my own support network…friends and family who know we have Type 1 Diabetes in our lives….don’t often understand the ramifications of how it affects us or frankly…


As I sit and type this my kiddos are tucked away in bed after another busy Sunday. I will rise, up and early, in the morning with the two new puppies, drink my coffee while watching the rain fall and prepare myself mentally for what the day will bring. Those quiet early morning minutes are my sanctuary in life. I have a peaceful moment to reflect, let my mind wander, and enjoy my coffee while it’s still hot. Perhaps I consider the day’s to-do-list, or perhaps I let my mind drift into planning some project for my husband. But that moment, those few precious stolen minutes, are often all I get. Once the first child’s eyes are open, the real work begins and the impact of T1D kicks in.

Children rise and its diaper changes for the twins, but then we check J. Did his bladder hold out thru the night or did he wet the bed. If he wet the bed it’s not only a load of laundry, it’s a pep talk for him and an indicator that his sugar was more unstable than we knew. So we strip the sheets, clean him and change the clothes, explain how accidents happen, check his blood sugar and either dose him some insulin or feed him some quick sugar as needed. Hubby and I often have a sideline discussion of what could be the culprit of instability. I then toss the laundry in the wash and the diapers in the trash. Hubby gets ready for work and I begin breakfast. In our house we don’t do cereal…it’s a carb loaded bowl of quick nothing for my kids and we all need some hefty protein so it’s eggs, toast, milk, vitamins, quick swig of cold coffee for me as I cook, check the blood sugar again, and ring the bell for BREAKFAST TIME and the herd gathers around the table. Typically all before 8am. And that is a fairly good intro into my routine day. Before 8am, I’ve checked blood sugar twice, dosed at least once, and dealt with the fall out of the night before and what T1D has done to my child. Oh and THANKS for the lovely addition of trying to Potty Train a child who can only really half control his bladder thanks to the unstable sugar levels. S W E L L ……Have I mentioned I hate Type 1 Diabetes? Because really, sometimes it can suck it! But here’s the real kicker, the real sucker punch, to what diabetes does to our day to day lives. It layers it in a veil of fear.