11 out of 15

This is where we are today. Eleven years of diabetes out of 15 years of life. Seems daunting when those numbers are laid out there. For 11 years of my son’s 15 years of life he has had to be a pancreas in order to stay alive.

11 years of finger sticks, needles, pump changes, highs, lows, Dexcom alarms, insulin pump failures, and endo visits.

But it’s also 11 years of strength, responsibility, resilience, and friendships.

Strength. My son is the strongest person I know, even if he doesn’t see it. For 11 years now he has been getting shots, finger pokes, insulin pump sight changes, CGMS sensor changes, not to mention dealing with bleeders, infections, lumps, bumps, and bruises. He is tough. Both inside and out. He handles all of this with the strength and grace of the strongest man out there. His life of living with diabetes shows just how no one knows how strong they are until being strong is their only choice.

Responsibility. I mean who can say their 15 year old is responsible? Well, in a lot of instances, I can’t. I find laundry in piles that are bordering on haz mat materials. I find toothpaste in the sink that could fill it’s own tube. I have to remind him to shower and drag him out of bed to cut the lawn. But this boy is the most responsible kid I know. He counts carbs, checks his sugar, changes his POD, changes his Dexcom, carries his supplies, like a freaking champ. He does what he needs to do to stay healthy, happy and ALIVE.

Resilience. The definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness, and that IS my son. That is all kids with diabetes. They take the hits of low blood sugar, high blood sugar, ketones, headaches, thirst, exhaustion and THEY HIT BACK. My son does not ever let diabetes get in his way. He manages and MOVES ON. His bounce back astounds me and I know that will only serve him well as the hits of life continue to come through. Life is tough. Diabetes is tougher. My son is the toughest.

Friendships. This is more on my end than on my son’s, but the friendships I have made over these last 11 years are out of this world. The people that I get to call my tribe from living these 11 years with a son with diabetes are the most supportive, caring, understanding people I have ever met. I know where I can find my back. I know where my son is going to find his support when he is ready (even if it’s through me). The T1 moms and dads that are in my circle are my forever friends and that is a blessing in and of itself.

Oh diabetes. I could do without you, but while you’re here we’ll make the best of you, but when there is finally a cure don’t let the door hit you in the ass.