Walk of Hope is coming up this Saturday. In my quest to make this disease “real” to people who don’t know much about it, I will be doing a little education also. Because of this, I have been researching statistical information about Type 1. I know the incidence of it, but I also know how many die each year due to Type 1. It’s not put me in such a great place.
I try very hard to not think about what could happen to Riley because of this disease. I try to focus on the good things. He’s healthy. He’s happy. His A1C is in range for his age. But, when I read about the bad things, it’s very hard not to be scared.
Like I said, I’ve been researching statistics. I also received a packet of info in the mail from JDRF about an upcoming walk. In it were sample letters from parents that they had sent to family and friends soliciting donations. These letters shared what they go through on a daily basis. A couple of them recounted recent seizures their children had suffered due to low blood sugars. When Riley was first diagnosed, I worried about seizures a lot. But, as time went on and he had lows in the 30s without a seizure, I kind of just pushed it to the back of my mind. But, now reading about it has made me think about the fact that it could happen to him.
A month or so ago, Michael came home with the news of a sister of one of the students at his high school. She had died from Type 1 diabetes. She was 7 years old. The tears roll down my face as I write that. I can only imagine what the family went through and is going through. It could have been my baby. It could still happen to my baby.
I try to keep these thoughts at bay. Yes, Riley could die from this disease. After all, there is such a thing as dead in bed syndrome. Yes, Riley could have a seizure from a low. Yes, he could end up with kidney failure and blindness. All of these things are a possibility for him.
I feel like I’ve put all those things in a box and I’m sitting on the top of it. The bad things try to pop out every once in a while. It’s really hard sometimes keeping that lid closed. I feel like it is taking all my strength just to keep one of the bad things from coming out. And, every once in a while, I’m not strong enough to keep that lid closed. Sometimes one bad thing will pop out and I’ll quickly stuff it back in and slam the lid shut. Other times the whole box is overturned and it takes me longer to put all the bad things back in.
Eventually I get them back in and instead of sitting on the box to keep it closed, I lock it. I lock it and I keep the key close by. Because, if I learn of another bad thing, I will have to unlock it and throw it into the box too. But, whenever I do this there is always the risk of letting some of the bad stuff out and I end up sitting on the box again for a while.
Today, I'm sitting on the box. It’s one of the bad days. The bad things are struggling to break free and wreak havoc in my life. I’m trying so hard to keep them in. When I feel like they are about to get out, I push down a little harder.
I know I’ll eventually be OK. I know that eventually I will put the lock back on and tuck the key safely in my pocket, just in case.
And, I know, one day, I’m going to lock that box and throw away that key... forever.