Adele was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on October 31st, 2002 at the age of 2 1/2 years old. Unlike her parents, she doesn't remember not having Diabetes. Needles, finger pokes, sometimes not being able to eat, sometimes being forced to drink juice and/or eat is really all that she has known.
As soon as we stepped out of the hospital in November, 2002, as parents, Adele's Diabetes has been our disease. She's 8 now (will turn 9 this spring) and it's our duty to teach her how to manage it so that she will one day become independant. She can check her own blood sugar. She can give herself an insulin bolus using her pump. She knows that if her blood sugar is below 4.0 that she is low and needs to drink a juice. And she knows that if her sugar is above 8.0 (or even 9.0 I guess) that she is high and may need an insulin bolus to bring this down.
We can teach her the rest of the theory and even a few of the tricks that we use to maximize our chances of coming out ahead while playing the Type 1 game. But we'll also need to teach her about the long term complications of Type 1 Diabetes - like renal failure requiring dialysis, blindness, amputation, heart disease. Right now she has no idea of what it really, really means to have Type 1. Tonight while changing her infusion site (catheter inserted under the skin) she looked at me and told me that I was lucky to not have Diabetes and that she wished that she was like me and her mom. Ouch. What could I say? I've so often dreamed of being able to transfer the disease onto myself... but I can't.
So I explained to her that this is the reason why we participate in the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes each year, organize and ride in the Mike's Bike Shop Cyclebetes 200 ride for JDRF and why we do everything that we do to promote and support JDRF and help researchers find a cure to end all of this. And then I gave her a great big hug...