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Growing Up With Type 1 Diabetes

In the years I’ve attended CWD’s Friends for Life conference, I always came away with this appreciation for what the conference provides for kids with diabetes, and their parents.  Kids – a whole bunch of them – running amuck and clad in green bracelets with pump tubing flapping from underneath their t-shirts … it’s a place where these families hopefully feel normal, and safe, and understood.

But I’m not a kid with diabetes.  I’m an adult.  (I checked, and it’s true: adult.)  I always felt welcomed at past FFL conferences, but people constantly checked for the kid at my side, because the “child with diabetes” surely couldn’t be me.  (And then there was that time that the registration lady thought Sara(aah) was my child with diabetes, wherein my head exploded.)

Growing up with diabetes isn’t hard.  It isn’t easy.  I can’t assign adjectives to it because it’s all I’ve ever known, so growing up with diabetes is exactly synonymous to “just plain growing up.”  My friends didn’t have to take injections or chase NPH peaks, but we were in the same classes and rode the same bus and went on the same field trips, so we were “the same.”  The difference, at that point in my life, was Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Just A Woman With Diabetes Who Had A Baby

When Jeff Hitchcock approached me last year and asked if I would feel comfortable leading the Pregnancy and Diabetes session at Friends for Life, I was honored.  But also a little confused.  What on earth was I going to tell the session attendees?  I couldn’t spout off medical information.  I am not a licensed medical professional.

“I’m just a person with diabetes who had a baby.  And my pregnancy was a bit of a tangled one, too!”  I remember emailing to Jeff, wondering if they’d be better off with a doctor at the helm of that discussion.

He replied within minutes, telling me that was exactly why they wanted me to lead the session.  And I grinned, but felt nervous.

Before the little bird joined our family, I did a lot of research about pregnancy with diabetes.  Hard facts, statistics, and professional recommendations were available by the fistful.  The problem was finding anecdotal information about managing pregnancy and diabetes at the same time.  Before Chris and I left for Spain that year, knowing we were ready to try for a baby, I felt prepared.  But when we came home and found out I was pregnant, I wanted nothing more than to find a room full of other pregnant women who had diabetes, so I could immerse myself in their support and say, “I have NO CLUE what I’m doing!! HELP!!” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Being A Diabetic Parent Isn’t Easy

Lead by Korey Hood and Stefan Rubin, the Parenting with Type 1 Diabetes session at Friends for Life was aiming to touch upon the different challenges of being a parent with type 1 diabetes, instead of the concentration on parenting a child with type 1 diabetes that Children With Diabetes was once known for.  This was my first year attending this session, and I sat between two of my best friends in the diabetes community – Scott and George.

“So thanks for coming, you guys.  We’re here to talk about parenting with type 1 diabetes,” said Korey.

At this point, people started doing introductions.  “Hi, I’m So-and-So and I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998.”  or “I’ve been diabetic for 16 years and I have three children.”  Only introductions.  That’s it.

So why was I already crying? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

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