Thursday, April 12, 2007

Because I have a four year old

When Katie Couric told me about a “possible new treatment for Type 1 diabetes”, I sat on the edge of my couch wide-eyed with my hand over my mouth. I was in shock. Could this be it? Could this be the cure?

But, now, a few days later, I’m just cautiously optimistic.

I’ve read blog posts covering this. I’ve read some that seemed hopeful and some that seemed very doubtful. At times, I feel like I need to subdue my hope for a cure. Because, I hear many naysayers out there. The ones who say, I’ve had this for too long to hope. Or the ones that say I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. And, I understand where they are coming from. But, I can’t help but believe that one day there will be a cure.

I’ve read as many articles as I could about this “new treatment” the last few days. It’s risky, very risky. I read one article where the guy said it wasn’t as bad as someone being treated for cancer.

But, I’m a nurse. Some times when you wipe out a person’s immune system, they die. If they get a cold, they die. It takes away all of their defenses.

Even though I’m a little mad with Riley’s immune system, I don’t want to see it wiped out.

On the flip side, I think it’s great what these researchers in Brazil have done. They have taken a huge step in finding the key to unlock the cure for this disease.

My hope now is that because of this research, someone else will find an easier, better way to alter the immune response.

After typing that, I feel a little more apprehension. Because, it’s got to be risky messing with someone’s immune system, right? And, if that’s what it takes to get rid of this disease….

Ugh, I hate myself for getting excited. I hate that I cling to every little bit of research that’s out there, hoping it’s going to be the cure. But, I can’t help it.


Because, I have a four year old that I love more than life itself.

I have a four year old that I watch lie on the floor with a blank expression when he gets too low. I have a four year old that gets very cranky because he feels like crap when his sugar is high. I have a four year old that endures needle pricks an average of 10-12 times a day and every three days I watch tears well up in his eyes when it’s time for a site change. I have a four year old, that because of this disease, statistics say that his life span will be 20 years shorter than the average person. I have a four year old that statistics also say will have some form of complication from this disease by the time he’s 23.

I have a four year old that when he talks about playing for the NBA, follows it up with, “But I hope I’ll be cured by then.”

And, a lump forms in my throat, and tears sting my eyes. And, I think, there’s got to be a cure one day. There just has to be.

Because, I can’t stand the thought of my child having this disease forever. I just can’t.

And, that is why when smiling Katie told me of these researchers in Brazil, I did a little happy dance.

Because I have a four year old with diabetes.

It’s as simple as that.


Bernard said...


Please don't get depressed by the statistics.

I've had diabetes for 34 years and have only had minor retinopathy issues so far (which don't seem to affect my eyesight). And my first 10 years were a lot worse than your sons in terms of treatment options.

You're doing a great job taking care of him. And in the meantime folks are working on better treatment and, maybe please God, something that will be a cure.

It's exciting news, there's so much going on in the diabetes space right now that I'm thinking we'll see some big developments in the next five years or so.

Keep up the good work.

MileMasterSarah said...

I never even knew of this most recent story. I’ve had diabetes for 15 years. My peanut for 6 months. And I still don’t have a grain in me that thinks there will ever be a cure. I may have a grain of hope, but hoping for that for my peanut hurts too much. Why does it hurt? Because I don’t believe that the hope is realistic.

Carey said...

Stay strong. I'm sure you will. It will come. It just has to.

Kerri. said...

As the diabetic, I don't harbor much hope for a cure. But my mother does. And so does my fiance. They hope for me and I do my best to stay healthy and happy.

Don't listen to statistics. Just go give him a hug.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Great post Penny.

julia said...

I don't think this is the cure but it's some progress and that's always a good thing.

I refuse to let myself believe there will be a cure. I come from the screw half full, half empty, I'm just glad there's a glass school, though.

Suzanne said...

Well I just found your blog because I, too, have a four year old with diabetes, and I have to tell you, you spoke the words right out of my mouth. It hurts! It is hard. Braden, my boy, was diagnosed a year and two months ago. It has been tough. It has been hard. And it hurts. As a mommy, I want to take it all away. And I know I can't.

It also has made me realize how important it is to enjoy the little things... someone saying there might be a cure someday helps. There is hope and that is huge. I won't completely trust in it until there is legitimate proof, but I will believe and keep praying. I am thankful for the new lenses I now have and for all the smiles and laughs I hear and see from my strong little boy. He and your boy and all those bravely fighting this disease are amazing! I am praying for each and every one of them and for their mommies!

Keep strong!

Anonymous said...

My four year old was diagonised with diabetes in November 2011. He was born with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. He went through four operations and has difficulty in chewing and speech. Everyday I kept hoping he would converse with me just like other kids. And then I found out there is more bad news; he is diabetic. I feel so sad for my boy, he is a very intelligent and smart fellow, and he has gone through a lot of pain, and to think that he has so much more to go through just makes mea feel so helpless. My grandma is trying to persuade me to have another child, but I just can't. My only hope is my son Leem will prove to be equal to five children and I for sure will be a millionare mom to him.

Penny said...


I'm so sorry to hear of your child's recent diagnosis. I know the pain you are going through. I know the confusion, the anger, the grief, the guilt....

But, I want to say that four year old I talked about in this post, he's 9 now. He still talks about playing for the NBA but now he doesn't follow it up with "I hope I'll be cured by then." Because he realizes diabetes won't keep him from doing whatever he wants to do.

Don't get me wrong, we still hope for a cure. A Riley without a pump tethered to his side is something I hope to see one day. Yet, at the same time, he's OK. He really, really, really is. There were a lot of dark days, true. But, they really are a distant memory.

(((Big hug))) to you, mom. I've been there. I'm still there. It gets better. I promise. If you ever need to chat feel free to email me: