Monday, August 19, 2013

FFL: The Hard Stuff

When J was being born, amid the crazyness of water breaking and contractions and epidurals and hourly blood glucose checks and being dragged off to the OR at 2:30 am for a C-Section,we made sure everyone we came in contact with knew about this kit. Because, you only get one chance to tap this resource, and you better not miss that boat.


Yes, it made for a rather stressful time, but the hospital staff handled things just fine,and hand delivered it (that morning)to the courier person who rushed it off to the depths of some cryogenic safe to be stored, hopefully never to be used, but there, nonetheless.

Primarily, stem cells are being used to treat cancer..but research is being done into other diseases,including diabetes. And maybe one day they can be used to CURE diabetes.

There was a session at Friends for Life that was for parents with diabetes. For me, sitting in that room,surrounded by people on the other side of the parenting/diabetes equation it was kind of bittersweet. Because, while we talked about the day-to-day integration of parenting with diabetes, there were some hard topics discussed, topics that nobody likes to think about much less put out there but the reality was right there. Because the reality is, kids w/parents w/diabetes are much more likely to get diabetes themselves.(and there were parents there,who also had children with diabetes)

Dx'd young. Dx'd slightly older. Which brought up the issue- would you want to know? (ie, have them tested for antibodies) It's impossible to think rationally about this, and much easier to go back into ones comfort zone of trying NOT to think about it but the reality is, you can't hide from reality. Kids get dx'd with diabetes as babies,as toddlers,as school age,etc. They get dx'd on breastfed,they get dx'd as formula fed. They get dx'd on organic diets and they get dx'd on eating junk food. Nothing really "protects" you. (If genetically,you are predisposed)If you are tested,and you have antibodies, there's still no clear cut timeline as to if/when you'll develop diabetes. Some people even test negative and then develop diabetes anyway. (Trial Net does yearly follow up) So the question is, why would you want to put your kid through all that and not know anything anyway?(except a bunch of vague maybes)

And then I read this article, from a dad clearly in the same boat.(in terms of the psychological struggle) Maybe you are helping research, maybe some day they will develop a vaccine that can prevent type 1 diabetes entirely. (I'm game with that. I think any parent would rather have something for the rest of their lives rather then their kid get it. I'd rather see it prevented, then cured.) And maybe they are developing treatments that will prolong the life of the fizzling islet cells. But the bottom line is, knowledge is power, even if that knowledge devastates you. Life isn't meant to be lived in fear of what "might" happen, but neither is it meant to be lived in denial that something could ever happen.(somewhere,somewhere there's a balance)


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