Sunday, July 18, 2010

A thought to ponder...

I read this post on the Dear Diabetes Facebook page the today: My son doesn't remember a life without type 1 diabetes as he was diagnosed as a baby. For those of you in the same situation, if there is ANYTHING good about having a child with diabetes, would you agree that it's easier to "grow up" with it, rather than developing it as a pre-teen/adolescent

I am sure most of us has pondered this thought in our heads. Or if nothing else... those of us with younger children have been told how "lucky" we are. I mean, if I had a REAL choice in the matter... I would say not at all. But if I only had a choice of age... hmm(?)

Here was my response: "Justin was 7(now 9), I am very lucky that he adjusted well(it took time). If it had to happen; would I have wanted him to be younger? Its hard to answer that, but I am thankful he was not older... I know there are exceptions, but my friends son was dx'd at 15 and has been in the hospital several times... she is in constant worry. Justin may still rebel... only time will give us that answer, but I think I have more of a chance of making it through the teen years because of him being young".

I truly am grateful that Justin was not any older than he was. We had a hard enough time making him understand his new life. At least at 7, I still had/have plenty of time to shape his future... by the teen years... they just do so much on their own it would be hard to keep up. At least that's the way I look at it.

There were several responses to this post... 21 I think. All ranging from one end of the d world to the other... mom's of babies, mom's of teens, moms of young adults, d peeps themselves and even a d mom who had 3 d kids (dx'd at 16months, 9yrs & 20yrs). She hit all 3 stages in one response.
One moms concern was that since her child was so young.... she would have better chance of complications as she has lived with it longer. I can't argue that concern... it's pretty valid.

So what do you think? What would your choice be?


Heidi =) said...

Wow that is tough. I think God timed it right for Bekah. I was just pondering that yesterday. My son was with a couple of friends all day, one who is a T1. This guy was dx less than 2yrs ago so he would have been 12 or 13. My son told me that the kid he was with doesn't carry insulin with him and doesn't bolus for meals when he is with his friends. It was the first time I found my self thankful that Bekah was dx as young as she is. I don't think I would have wanted her to be any younger because there is so much that she understands now and she did get to be a regular kid for a while. Shots aren't as difficult as they might have been had she been younger. Interesting post Lora. I'll be anxious to hear the other responses. In fact I'm going to go track down the FB post and read the responses.

Unknown said...

Lora...this is an AWESOME post and something I have given quite a bit of thought to.

I think no matter at what age a child is diagnosed, we as parents are going to struggle. Each developmental stage of a child's life presents unique challenges when dealing with a diagnosis of this magnitude...and by magnitude I mean the HUGE impact this particular condition has on daily life - there truly is not a higher maintenance disease out there. Management seeps into every aspect of one's life.

Joe was diagnosed at 3 years old...and I do worry about complications due to his body being under the affects of labile BGs for the majority of his life...but am thankful that I have been the primary influence in teaching him how to manage his diabetes to date. He is extremely conscientious about his "D" routine, checking BGs, and carb counting...etc. I know this is a "wishy-washy" answer...


Joanne said...

People tell me all the time how I am so lucky that if Elise had to be diagnosed, at least it was when she was a baby and won't remember anything else. But I too worry about how much longer her body has had to deal with crazy BG numbers, and how that will affect her long term health.

And even though she was dx so young, she's not stupid... she understands even at her age that other kids don't have to do the same things she does. She told me the other day that she hated shots.

Each answer has it's own set of complications and implications and I simply don't believe that one is more advantageous than the other.

phonelady said...

You know I sometimes worry that I will have complications since I have had the big d half my life and then the other thought is that I am grateful for having it in my teens and teaching myself to take care of myself and doing for myself . God bless us all .

Marc said...

We too have been told that we're lucky that Jonathan will not remember pre-D and that good management taught now will be with him for life.

I think the best age to be Dx'd would have been at about 117 years old, but I guess I am thankful that it was not teen years, I think those are hard enough alone on a kid.

No matter what the age though. good management is crucial, and some ages will be harder to do that than others. In the end we can't change what happened, we can only try to influence what comes.

Hallie Addington said...

I've heard that before. Lucky? I don't think so. Nothing about D is lucky.

Avery was diagnosed days after turning 3. A baby.

I'm glad she wasn't a teen. If it had to happen to us, I'm glad it wasnt during teen years.

And there are good points to being so young. Soda never entered the picture and never will. She had hardly tasted candy so that wasnt a big deal either. In fact, we can only use smarties for lows because she won't eat anything else. I think she's learning healthy eating habits that will hopefully stick with her.

BUT... I hate it that she was so young. I worry that she will have more complications because she was dx'd so young. I was just thinking of doing my own blog about this... someone commented about having D for 30 years. When Ave has had D for 30 years.... she'll be 33. Younger than me. And that makes me sad.

I think I need to blog my comment! I'll go get on that! THanks for the thought provoking post!

Pam said...

Grace was also diagnosed at 7. Since I don't know any other age I think this worked for us. I can only imagine a mother's pain of having to give shots to a baby. That would have been much harder for me.

Grace never talks about life before D. I'm sure she thinks about it, though. She's expressed anger and frustration over having to deal with it, but never in terms of wishing she could go back in time.

I've also heard the stories of teens having difficulty adjusting. I don't really know - all I know is what we've lived through. I think everyone deals with the hand they're dealt with.

Amanda said...

Emma was dx one month after her 4th birthday and we get that all the time - it's good, she won't remember anything else. I say it's hogwash! I WANT her to remember carefree, happy, childhood times!

I would say older - I would rather work around teen issues than worry about another year of D wreaking havoc on her little body.

I have a friend who was dx at 13 and she had been sick for so long she said she was just happy to know what was wrong with her. She learned how to do everything and took care of it herself from day one and never used it to rebel and was very responsible. I guess her experience colors my perception...she is pregnant with her 4th child and has had no problems during her pregnancies or after. That's the kind of thing I like to hear!

Meri said...

I would say any year I could have taken away from my boys with this disease would be a blessing. Yes, there are "perks" of only knowing life with diabetes. But if I was given a choice...they could be diagnosed when they were babies...or 10 years later...10 years LESS...I would take 10 years later any day of the week.

Heather said...

I can't think about it. I just have to trust that God's timing was right. (as wrong as that may sound) Not that I don't question it, because I do...but I have to have some hope that He gave her this disease for some reason. (although sometimes I think it was to drive me to insanity) If I don't then I wouldn't ever have any "happy" days and all my days would be doom and gloom. I just have to keep praying for the best.

Wendy said...


I can't even count how many times I've heard how "lucky" we are that Addy was dx so young.

Double Ugh.

I dunno.

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