I was just on my way to the grocery store, listening to "So this is Christmas/And what have you done?/Another year over/And a new one just begun..."
It's been one year since we started living with diabetes. One year since Samantha went into the ICU and came back out with an insulin prescription. And what have we done? I feel like I've been letting life live me a little too much. It took the upper hand one year ago, and I'm getting ready to take the controls again. No more sitting around stunned, hoping that we just make it through the day ok. No more living from doctor appointment to doctor appointment. I'll even try to get over the feeling that I'm going to burst into tears in the grocery store.
We did make some strides. Participating in the Defend 2 clinical trial has been a lifesaver for us, and maybe it will eventually help others in some way. The best thing about it has been the frequent contact with a doctor who cares. I'd rank that even higher than the possibility that Samantha may have gotten a drug that is extending her honeymoon.
I don't want to sit here and cry, and I don't want to look backward at Samantha Before Diabetes. Everything's changed. Samantha's 15. My daughter Annebelle is 13, with a birthday coming up in December. But that birthday is scaring Annebelle a little. She said, "I hope I don't turn 14 and get diabetes like Samantha." I wish I could say, "Don't worry!" But I can't. I have to say, "We're not sure why Samantha got it, so I can't lie and say it won't happen to you."
My job is to change that for future parents. Diabetes research should lead to an answer to that question. We have to participate in research, we have to support it, or we won't see the benefits. This Diabetes Year, I'm not going to roll with the punches. I'm going to be raising money. I'll be out there walking and talking and whatever it takes. I want progress on all fronts: artificial pancreas, islet cell transplantation, drugs to stop the autoimmune attack. Anything that might make life better for Samantha and everyone else with diabetes.
This year, I bought Samantha a t-shirt to celebrate her first anniversary with Diabetes. We'll probably have an ice cream cake to go with it. Next year ... who knows? Maybe I'll be able to get her something more life-changing.