The past two years have been full of heartache in your world.
First, you lost your son, Kile, in 2012 after a he was hit by a jet ski while tubing behind a boat on Lake Lanier. Then you nearly lost another son, Usher Raymond V, last summer to pool drain entrapment when his arm got stuck while trying to retrieve a toy.
Now one of your boys has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. (You’ve probably heard by now that Usher mentioned your son’s Type 1 diagnosis on the Today Show yesterday.)
My heart resonates with yours, because I’m also the mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes. Not only that, I lost my older brother to suspected pool drain entrapment when I was a little girl. He was 9, and I was 5.
It’s nowhere near the same…yet very much the same.
Even though I haven’t lost a child of my own, I saw my mother’s struggle with grief as she tried to move forward, creating a sense of “normal” in the wake of my brother’s death. I fully understand the hole left in the family, where a child’s smile and laughter used to dwell…the emptiness that never goes away.
I also understand the moment you stand in shock as someone tells you that your child will die without receiving life-sustaining insulin by injection multiple times a day or via an insulin pump 24/7/365 for the rest. of. their. life. The moment you witness your child having a low blood sugar. Trying to figure out how to count every carbohydrate they eat or drink. The thud in your chest when they cry because they don’t want to be poked again. The seemingly endless pile of manuals attempting to outline how to raise a healthy child with Type 1 Diabetes.
Added to grief and healing over previous tragedies, it must feel downright mind-boggling at times.
I want you to know that there are many people living very fulfilling lives with T1D, along with parents who are raising children with T1D out there, and they’re happy to support you as you navigate the journey ahead. If/when you need a friend, please reach out. (Sidenote: That goes for Usher too!)
Here are some ways you can get connected:
There’s a Tweet Chat every Wednesday night from 9-10 pm EST. Just hop on Twitter and look for the hashtag #DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy). You’ll find a blend of people with all sorts of connections to diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, LADA, and a few others) who share unique insights using a prompt from the moderator.
There are also DSMA live chats, where you can listen to a topic of conversation, submit commentary, and even call in to add your two cents.
There’s a slew of Diabetes Blogs out there, many that talk about life specifically with Type 1. You might be surprised at how connected you feel after reading some of their stories.
Diabetes Art Day is also a popular event in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC).
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you aren’t alone. There’s a lot of people rooting for you, Usher, and your family.
Welcome to Type 1.