When Logan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January 2018 at the age of six, it kind of felt like “what else is going to happen to us?!” My husband Andrew, who is also Type 1 diabetic, had been involved in a farm accident in December 2014 and lost his left leg. We had been facing one uphill battle after another with his recovery, including 2 battles with MRSA. At the time of Andrew’s accident, we had Logan, who was three, and his sister, Addison, who was just 4-months old. I worked full-time and I was thrust into the role of a full-time caregiver along with the role of wife and mother. Now, just as we felt like we were turning a corner, Andrew just knew something wasn’t right.
So, we traveled that heart-crushing road of tests and diagnosis. We went to the lab for blood work where we had to hold Logan down while he screamed because he was so scared. We spent the night in the hospital and explained to him that he was going to take shots like Daddy did.
Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful that we had as much knowledge as we did about this disease and that Logan has his “role model” of a dad to see that he can do this. But it felt like life was kicking us when we were down. Especially when Logan says, “I don’t want to be diabetic anymore.” I mean, insert the dagger right in Mommy’s heart!
But rather than let this journey of life break me down and define me, I chose to let it empower me. I was not going to allow myself, and my family, to be victims. I chose that these experiences in life, as challenging and mind-blowing as they were, gave me the gift of being a caregiver. And the gift to support and empower other parents and caregivers who are experiencing all of these frightening unknowns and don’t know how to manage it all.
Fast forward to 2020: Logan is eight, he played football for the first time last fall and is just getting started on his Omnipod pump! Andrew has been back to work on the farm. Addison is five and will make a fabulous nurse or doctor some day with all the medical stuff she has seen! And I am driven to empower and educate with our story and my message. No matter how unfair or awful it may seem, let your story empower you.
This blog post is PART ONE of IT TAKES A FAMILY: LIFE WITH TYPE 1, written by Lindsay Dunlap.
The Dunlap family lives with two generations of T1D, and Lindsay is graciously sharing their experience with us. If you’d like to connect with Lindsay, she’d be happy to talk about the highs and lows with you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn more about the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, including support for families through programs such as Camp Hamwi.