Seven Years In: Riding Shotgun
I started this blog in December 2009 when Grace was just 11 months into her Type 1 diagnosis. She was 6 years old. At the time, we walked out of Bryn Mawr Hospital, just outside Philadelphia, and I knew not one other soul who had a child with Type 1 diabetes. Think about that, I lived outside the fifth largest city and I knew not one other person who had a child with diabetes.
So I did what every other parent does in 2009, I went online. And I found Kerri at Six Until Me. A woman who had Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed at age 6, just like Grace. It was a window into her world as a grown up. And it connected me. It made me see beyond the 6-year-old Grace, to the young adult Grace, able and well, and yes, still having Type 1. I couldn't see that in the hospital and in the months after it. And then the connections started growing.
And here we are, seven years later. Grace is 13. I still help manage her care, but girlfriend is pretty much on her own most of the time. I check in, adjust rates here and there, handle the insurance and supplies, but I am out of the minutiae of the care. Grace takes care of herself and leads the way in how she wants us all to handle situations and events. She takes control of her care team and lets them know if she needs a nurse for a school trip or not, if she needs to check in at all with the nurse, if she needs to change a pump she decides when and where, she decides all of it. For most of it, I am out of the picture. And if you would have told me that seven years ago, I would have thought you were crazy.
So, why am I here, still blogging after all this time? Cause there is always more to learn I guess. There are conferences to attend (CWD) and Type 1 friends to share it with. There are still connections to be made. There are people advancing the cause of diabetes with the bionic pancreas. There is always more to explore about having a child with a chronic illness. We still have to get through all the teenage years, going off to college and adulthood. I look to those who have come before to get a handle on what I need to know. I'm still riding shotgun here on this journey.