Another reader question today. This one come from Courtney Grimes. Courtney asks:

“I have 5,000 topics… So many I don’t even know where to begin…. Just tell me it gets easier… From the T-1 side & DAD side… Cause some days I struggle and feel hopeless and somedays I feel incredibly blessed.”

In both diabetes care for a child, and utilizing the services of a DAD (or 2), here are my thoughts on whether it gets any easier.

No. No it doesn’t.

What does happen is you get better at it. You become more knowledgeable. You gain more experience. You learn about new things. You get better at counting carbs. You learn more about diabetes management. You surround yourself with more people that know. That understand. That care. You have your Endo’s phone # on speed dial. You learn to draw on this  knowledge. You make better, more informed decisions. You learn that you are stronger than you ever thought possible. And so is your child.

You understand that the best person for this job, no matter how much is sucks, is you. You learn that you generally know more than most Diabetes experts, not because they haven’t studied and gone to med school, but because they haven’t lived with it. At 2am. When you have the flu. And your child’s BS is 40.

You learn that other immediate family members understand. That your other children (if you have them) know what a combo bolus is at 5 years of age. You know that it is a family disease, that everyone in the household has diabetes so to speak. You learn that regardless of what you do the same, no matter how many times you do it the same way, that just when you think you got it, diabetes changes it. And eventually, you learn to not take it personally.

You learn that 350 and 45 are just numbers. Data points. Information to base decisions on.

Some things do get easier. Carb counting and math and getting out of bed and functioning on 4 hours sleep and site changes and going to a buffet all get easier.

Some things make it a little easier. Pumps. CGM’s. DAD’s.

But knowing that there will be days that you will be at the park on a warm summers day, and your child sees all the other kids running towards the ice cream truck, turns to you and says “can I have an ice cream?” and you have to say no because her blood sugar is 325, she has 6 units of insulin on board, and she’s been high for 4 hours? That never gets easier. Putting your child to sleep at night never gets easier. Listening to people that don’t get the difference between type 1 and type 2? That doesn’t get easier. Knowing the long term effects of high blood sugar? That doesn’t get easier. Knowing that at some point, your child will be going off to college, or heading out on their own? Oh my…

As a runner, we have a saying:  “It never gets easier. You just get better.”

But there is a flip side. My daughter has become my hero. Because of this diagnosis, my family is closer than ever. And healthier than ever. Stronger. More resilient. More compassionate. More tolerant. More loving. We are the scrappiest, toughest, most ass kickenest family you’ll ever want to meet.  And we have some really cool dogs (which, if you’ve been around for a while, also know are hard work and never easy) . We are blessed. We have an amazing support group of families that are right where we are. Sharing this path with us. We are not alone. And we have your back…

Team Blackdogsrule


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  1. Johanna DeGidio Reynolds

    Well said (again)! After 31+ years of living with Type 1, I can honestly say that diabetes doesn’t get easier, but managing it and expecting the unexpected DOES! And of course, having a couple of 4-legged partners helps to make those moments you feel defeated, more bearable. No, diabetes doesn’t get easier, we just get stronger!

  2. I so agree with Johanna. I know that after almost 57 years of living with Type 1, diabetes doesn’t get easier, but with new advancements it does become easier to deal with it. The unexpected does occur, but it does help make you stronger and can be a teaching tool for later. I have been so interested in learning about the dogs that are being able to work with the families to alert to highs and lows. Our first dog taught herself to alert to my lows and she was such a big help to me.

  3. Oh my gosh, this blog entry was a BIG one! Honestly, I just went back to read two of the paragraphs about 7 times! Thank you SO MUCH for saying some of that. We are 2 years in and I couldn’t agree with you more! But what you wrote about “eventually you learn to not take it personally” was so very helpful to me. I am still working on that. Every unexpected high and every trip for the “parent report card” that is the dreaded A1C I still just get sick, then I look at my sweet dau. and want to scream for it all to leave her alone! To Courtney I can tell her that after 2 years in some ways I feel like an expert and can laugh at how at first we carried 3 backpacks (the “medical clinic” my husband called it) and the constant need to freak out. Now we have one small one with all we usually need and carry only anger at the disease. We are indeed so very much better at it now…..and Courtney will be too. Also to Johanna and Connie, thank you so much for sharing! Amid all of those who for some reason unload their horror stories on us, I appreciate you reminding us that it can be done! I am really greatful for You and Black Dogs Rule!