So you have a child diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, where does that leave you with wanting future children? Do you go on with family planning and hope for the best? Do you not have any more children, and be blessed with the 1 that you have? What if your child already has siblings, do we as parents overreact to normal, kid like symptoms, because we are always in high alert for the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes?
For me, this was a particularly hard subject to face. I had my daughter at the young age of 20 years old, and then we got the diabetes diagnosis when she was 2.5 years old, I was 22. This threw my already crazy world into an even crazier roller coaster. We embraced the diagnosis though, and have ran with it ever since, doing all we can to help educate other families and the general community about Type 1 Diabetes. It made me slow down and think about any future children that my husband and I may choose to have. I knew that I wanted Aly to have at least 1 sibling, I always knew that I wanted 2 children, but Aly’s diagnosis really made me reconsider this “want”, because I did not know if I could deal with another child’s diagnosis. It took us 5 years to finally make the decision that we will leave it in God’s hands, if he had it in my deck of cards to be the mother of more than 1 diabetic child, then bring it!! I CAN DO THIS!!!
My son is now 2.5 years old, the same age Aly was when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and the emotions that surround Joel being 2.5 hit me more than I ever thought it would. I look at him, and remember my little princess being SO sick, frail, and all the other crap that goes along with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, but also praying to God that we do not get another diagnosis. I know many parents out there in the D.O.C. who have multiple children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and they manage to do it every day and kick diabetes tooshie. I fear every time that he drinks more than he normally does, every time he may pee more often than usual, when he doesn’t want to eat, I pretty much fear all the time, of my son having to be on this crazy roller coaster ride that his strong bigger sister is on. I know that we would rock it just like we do daily with Aly, but selfishly for him and I, I do not want to deal with diabetes anymore than I already do.
We had Joel tested in November 2011 with the Trial Net study, and thank the Lord it came back negative, but he will continue to be tested yearly as we all know that the antibodies can show up at any time. I truly believe that we will be watched over, and just continue to take each day for the blessing that it is with Joel not being diagnosed, and should that day ever come (fingers crossed it never does) we will do the same thing as we did with Aly, and roll with it.
I do have to say that the D.O.C. has been a life saver while making the decision to continue with family planning, and having more children. It was amazing to see these other families that had 2-5 children all diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and them managing just like the rest of the diabetes community. They helped me realize that I could do it too, and that Aly’s life would be even more blessed because she will always have her brother right there to back her up, catch her when she falls, and help her fight kicking diabetes tooshie!!
I advise any and all of you, that if you have not found the diabetes community to do so! You can contact me at our website www.hopeforaly.weebly.com and I can get you in contact with thousands of other parents, people with diabetes, caregivers around the world. You can also get in touch with the Blue Heel Society http://blueheelsociety.org and they will gladly take your hand and walk you through this journey as well.
Just don’t forget to remember that “I CAN DO THIS!!”
Type 1 diabetes tends to have less tendency to have other family members affected with diabetes than type 2 diabetes. In the first large family study of diabetes, less than 4% of parents and 6% of siblings of a person with diabetes also had diabetes.
In studies with identical twins, less than 50% of the siblings of a person with diabetes also had diabetes versus almost 100% of siblings of people with type 2 diabetes. Children of fathers with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than children of mothers with type 1 diabetes.