It Could Be Worse.
"It could be worse; it could be cancer!" So many times, especially right after diagnosis, well-intentioned folks said such things. It could be worse. Worse than Type One Diabetes. Logically, I know this, but to have your situation, your mourning, your struggles downgraded is a bit demeaning. My boys' lives were forever changed in 2012, and that's nothing to downplay.
Fast forward almost four years. 1000s of shots. 1000s of finger sticks. 100s of doctor visits. Way too many venipunctures. Millions of carbs counted. Countless sleepless, sleep-interrupted or sleep-deprived nights. That's a small part of what Type One Diabetes entails. Otherwise, I have happy, healthy, and thriving kids. As long as I do everything right, as long as I teach them right, as long as Diabetes cooperates, it should stay that way. Diligence and Perseverance. I'll sleep when I'm dead.
I took my otherwise very healthy non-T1D son to the Ophthalmologist yesterday to follow up on an eye condition he's had since birth and follow up on his recent surgery. Every time I am here....EVERY. TIME.... I see little preemies following up on possible or diagnosed retinopathy of prematurity. There's no telling what other complications or struggles they're dealing with. It makes me so grateful my twins were born near-term at almost 36 weeks, healthy, never on oxygen. The rest of my children were born healthy and term.
I see other kids with varying forms of cerebral palsy, and I am grateful all of mine were born healthy. I see little angels with different obvious syndromes, and I am grateful that the only negative genetic card we were dealt was the propensity to develop an autoimmune disease....because although it sucks, we can manage that!
Despite and with T1D, they are healthy and happy. They are smart and caring. They play. They read. They fight. They learn and excel in school. Diabetes is a nuisance, scary, an every-day chore, but one day, my boys will be independent. One day they will go to college. They will move out. They will get married and have a family.
Sadly, way too many of the innocent children I see in that office will never have all that my boys have. I am not saying their parents' struggles are worse than mine. They may pity me for all I know. Rather, we have a different kind of complicated to contend with...they have a kind of complicated I'm not sure I am equipped to handle.
So, at times like this, I am reminded...there are worse things than Diabetes.