The unthinkable has happened. Again.
The unfathomable has happened and we are all left reeling from the reality of what we face. Every. Single. Day.
The unspeakable has happened and I, along with countless others in the diabetes community weep tears of grief, pain and anger.
The unimaginable has happened and mothers and fathers of type 1 diabetic children are left to hug our children tightly as we are snapped back into the sombre and sobering realization that there, but for the grace of God, go any one of us.
We all say, I can’t imagine what they, the parents, are going through. But the truth is, it is only too easy to imagine the heart-wrenching, oppressive pain and grief they must be feeling. We were faced with the reality of what could happen when we learned about the intricacies of managing our children’s type 1 diabetes. Insulin is a double-edged sword. It gives life but it can just as easily take it away. And we don’t have the luxury of being able to say, it could never happen to us. We know only too well how life has a way of dealing out the unexpected. We have been burned before.
You see, there was a time when most parents of children with type 1 diabetes didn’t believe a serious, life-threatening illness could strike our children without warning. Not our child.
And then one day it happened.
We are too wise to hide our heads under that cover of naiveté.
And so, when we hear of a family who is suffering the worst loss imaginable, we all know it could happen to any one of us. It is what bonds us — perfect strangers — in a very real and profound way.
We understand one another and what we go through every day. The reality of what we all face.
What we need to do is find a way of sharing this reality. We need to figure out how to impress upon the public the urgent need for a cure. Because our children don’t look sick. They look just like every other child. Most days people wouldn’t even know that our children are usually feeling the exhausting effects of erratic blood sugars. People would never guess that they are constantly at risk of overdosing on insulin. People don’t think about the long term complications our children face because of type 1 diabetes such as heart disease, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, limb amputation, neuropathy and the list goes on.
And people aren’t aware of just what is entailed in managing type 1 diabetes and the constant monitoring required, from minute to minute, hour to hour, day and night, to keep our precious children safe. To keep our babies alive.
Blog. Talk. Write. Answer questions. Encourage discussions. Be out there. Test in public. Don’t hide the minutia of diabetes management. Encourage your children to answer questions from their friends. Suggest speech topics that involve diabetes.
Raise money. Raise awareness.
Don’t be quiet about this disease...
We need a cure.
Before another child is lost.