Today, ok World Diabetes Day, I thought it would be fitting to talk about how many people help us make it work. I often hear stories of other PWDs and parents of T1 kids feeling alone. I am beyond grateful that from the moment V got diagnosed, we never felt alone or isolated.
When V was diagnosed and hospitalized, our friends and her friends came to visit and cheer her up.
Before she was even discharged, our amazing school nurse called us and helped us formulate a game plan. She was our strongest advocate and supporter as we learned to navigate how to manage T1D in school.
V’s teachers showed nothing but care and support and tried their best to accommodate her needs.
V’s friends are her cheerleaders and advocates. She is loved and accepted for who she is, with all of her dietary needs, medical supplies and robotic parts. They don’t flinch when she has to poke her fingers or do a shot. And their parents are also very supportive and accommodating. Many of them even welcome her for overnights, which includes helping her manage things at times, even at night.
Soon after V’s discharge I got a phone call from JDRF parent volunteer who checked in with me and connected us to a local network of T1D families. This gave us an opportunity to connect to others in real life and online. The group had been a tremendous source of support for our entire family. And V got to meet many other kids with T1D.
Then we discovered DOC – Diabetes Online Community – where we learned so much more and met amazing people.
V’s endocrinologist rocks. Every single visit she takes time to address our questions and concerns without judgment and with lots of care and consideration.
We are so fortunate to have two local diabetes camps. V had been attending one or both every year since diagnosis.
Our family and friends have stood by us from day one. They may not understand all the intricacies of T1D management but they sincerely try. Many of them go out of their way to make sure V is always included and her needs are taken into consideration.
V’s swim coaches take great care of her. They remind her to test during practice, are calm and supportive is she has a bad hypo (like a 29!), and otherwise treat her no differently than any other teammate.
Living with T1D can be a lonely experience. We are so grateful for our village. Our hope is that as V is gets older she will continue to surround herself with supportive people. No one should go it alone.