The honeymoon is over

Two posts this week…the video was something that showed up in my inbox, so I thought I’d share. This post is what’s been on my mind since Monday. 

So there is a curious thing that sometimes happens when children are first diagnosed with T1D: The Honeymoon.  

The honeymoon describes a period of time immediately following a Dx:T1D (see? there are those letters creeping their way in) when the pancreas actually starts doing what it is supposed to do! Medical thinking is that when children are young, they exhibit symptoms of T1D (frequent urination and excessive thirst) much sooner than if diagnosed as young adults. So the symptoms show up before the autoimmune disorder that is killing off insulin-producing cells has run its course. And since the pancreas is still producing a bit of insulin–likely kicked back into action by a few injections of synthetic insulin–that means…No injections! Yep. You heard me right. It is rather common for children who are diagnosed with T1D to be able to go off insulin for a few weeks immediately following diagnosis. 

My son’s honeymoon started in September, two months after being diagnosed. And his honeymoon has lasted much longer than most–almost five worry-free months. Five months of continuous sleep. Five months of not being tethered to an emergency kit. Five months of freedom.

But this past Monday evening, my husband and I accepted the inevitable. We could no longer ignore the BG readings in the low 200s, and so we injected a half unit of insulin into my son’s arm (his preferred site). He cried…and so I cried because there was nothing else to do. 

As happens with many children my son’s age–children who are old enough to understand what is going on, but too young to be jaded–Cole had been hoping the diagnosis was all a mistake, that he really didn’t have T1D. Monday night’s injection shattered his hopes and thrust him back into a world he thought he had escaped. 

Since he’s only getting one injection a day, at dinner time when his pancreas is exhausted from a hard day’s work, my son is technically still honeymooning. But I know it won’t be long before that one injection turns into four–one with every meal and one at bedtime.

Secretly, I want that day to come now. Today. I’m tired of waiting, anticipating, dreading. It may seem like I am being cruel or heartless, but I see the anxiety in my son’s expression every time he pricks his finger. And it breaks my heart.

Sometimes, the only way to move forward is to admit defeat. And this thing has beaten us down. 

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