September 30, 2012

Of Kayla and Chenmistry

Tom Kayla friend and fellow dad of T1D kids has a great post up called, “Parents, Diabetes, IS Not Yours, Give it Back.” In that article he talks about diabetes and families. This is my response, compliment, echo and building from his piece. You should probably read his first so feel free to click over there, this will still be here when you are finished.
http://diabetesdad.org/2012/09/29/parents-diabetes-is-not-yours-give-it-back/ 

Also you should be warned now I like Mr. Wizard, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Magic School BusThrough the Wormhole and many other similar TV shows. (Feel free to suggest  more to the list in comments, riffing on TV shows is fun.) If a tiny amount of science isn't your thing, bail out now.



I have often said Diabetes is a catalyst.  In chemistry that is something that makes reactions happen that would not have happened or makes reaction happen faster. Folks often talk about family chemistry. So it is my bet then is that catalysts are true of families as with petri dishes.

Diabetes, in many ways, makes kids grow up faster and take on responsibilities that parents may not be ready to give up. I think all parents struggle with giving kids appropriate and increasing amounts of independence.

Diabetes is a catalyst for that. More responsibility, sooner is hard. Diabetes often speeds the process of independence. Kids start independently dealing with their day to day diabetes care long before we give them keys to a car and other freedoms in their lives.


In ways that is perverse or at least reveres of what we would want. Think about it. What would you rather see your kid do first; dose and take a lifesaving but potentially fatal drug multiple times a day or drive and be responsible with a curfew? I am willing to take odds on drive and curfew.

So many of us T1d parents have had to do that the other way around. It is hard to believe we are sane. Honestly, I am willing to take odds few of us are sane or at least many are overly cautious.

It is hard to give that independence and maybe see BG rise. Hopefully that is a short term thing that leads to long terms successful self management. We would rather strive for a false perfection reflected in hour to hour numbers than the uncertainty of independence.

Many parents of T1D kids, who share my age and cultural habits, are likely to face diabetes ourselves, T2D. The day to day management of T2D is different than T1D and it is oh so easy to see T2 as less significant for those differences. Diabetes is a rat bastard as well as a catalyst. In my own case that rat bastard, and my parental inclinations are to do for my kids first, meaning I am tempted put aside my own care to worry about the kids’. Again to betting on a false short term misconception and giving T2D odds in the long term.

I am trying to not to let my understanding of T1D be the an inhibitor of T2D care.  That is the opposite of a catalyst. Something that slows down a reaction, my reaction to my own diabetes. I am not doing very well at it.

There is a different diabetes. One that is mine. One I should care as much about it as I do my kids'.