“So hows it going with Zach?” …That’s the question I get asked all the time. Such a simple question, too simple really. How can I explain it to someone who doesn’t get it? Well, usually I take the easy way…”Diabetes sucks, but he’s got a great attitude and is doing very well.” How can I convey the seriousness of the diagnosis when Zach looks so healthy, handsome, is a terrific student and athlete?

Let me make this clear: those shots along with my son’s blood glucose meter is very much a life support system. Take it away, and quite frankly my child will be dead in a matter of just a few days. Yes, its that serious. Type 1 Diabetes is an incurable disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that, as of now, no one even knows why it happens.
Zach’s care is complicated, it changes sometimes by the day. It involves needles, and insulin, and blood checks, and carb counting, and mathematical equations…many times per day. Low blood sugar is dangerous and potentially life threatening. High blood sugar does damage to just about every bodily system and organ over time, shaving years off of a full life expectancy. We battle and struggle to keep his blood sugar levels in “range”, in between the high levels and low levels all day, everyday. Weather, exercise, stress, adrenaline, growth, illness – basically every aspect of life can cause changes to blood sugars. His care is a moving target.

Diabetes infiltrates life in every possible way, gone are the spontaneous and care free days. Constant planning and worry go into everything we do… prick his finger, what’s his blood sugar number?, how many carbs is he going to eat?, how much insulin should we give him? I already find myself dreading invites for sleepover birthday parties that will come, hoping events aren’t serving food because it would just be less stressful if we ate at home… Fingers crossed that the bank doesn’t give a lollipop today, or the ice cream truck doesn’t drive by. Little surprises are not what they used to be.

This just scratches the surface of Zach’s daily battle with Type 1 Diabetes. We need a cure! Until then I’ll probably just smile and say “he is good, thanks for asking”

-Zach’s Mom.