"Daddy, am I going to get diabetes?"

That's the question my son, almost 4-1/2 years old, asked me tonight.

How do you answer that question? My wife and I both responded with "I hope not", but the follow-up question -- the favorite question of all children -- was a familiar "Why?"

An even harder question to answer. Because we want him to be healthy (meaning I'm not)? Because we want him to live for a long time (and I won't)?

In the end, my wife told him that I have to have an insulin pump that gives me medicine all the time, and that I don't eat everything that I would like to. It's easier not to have those restrictions.

And then we went on to discuss something completely different. But I know the topic will re-emerge. Hopefully just in the form of discussions, and not in a diagnosis.

Views: 26

Comment by Anonymous Jim on July 21, 2011 at 7:30pm
Scott I feel for ya Been there a few times with my 4yr old daughter. The one that got me in fact the first real cry I had after getting DXed was "When I grow up I'm going to take shots like Mimi and Daddy". I live in fear of my children developing T-1 but also have made a point of being open with my children. Its amazing whtat a child will understand both of my kids have D-Policed me in amusing ways.(2 Yr old screeching at me to take shot when she caught me eating a doughnut). My 4 yr old understands enough to know that I have diabetes and have to watch what treats I eat, she will at times if she wants a treat bring me my ibag of supplies so we can have a snack together. Just try to keep him educated as much as you can.
Comment by Michelle Forsman on July 21, 2011 at 7:32pm
My daughter asked me that when she was young too. At that time i was on MDI and I didn't want to scare her about the shot because she was already petrified of needles. I just left my answer geberal. Something to the affect that we hoped not because it requires so many things to take care of it. That way, if she did get D, she wouldn't be scared of it ahead of time. She's 18+ now and heading off to college in the fall. She has inherited food allergies and celiac disease from me, but so far, no diabetes yet. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Comment by Theresa on July 21, 2011 at 7:39pm
Tough question and it probably will come up again. Sounds like you and your wife handled it very well.
Comment by Anonymous Jim on July 21, 2011 at 7:55pm
LOL my kids bug me to let them push the plunger on my shots. My 2 yr old gets very upset if I don't let her do it.
Comment by Lila on July 22, 2011 at 5:33am
Genetic risk is a funny thing. I have a strong family history (both sides) of T2 and all my life was told I was at high risk of T2. Then one fine day I collapsed in DKA and I thought my genetic chickens had come home to roost. The doctors were thrilled to slap a T2 label on, wilfully ignoring my off-the-chart positive antibody tests. When my extended family finds out (I am still in the closet about this), I just know they are all going to say, 'oh, you've got the bad kind, you must be in really bad shape to have to take injections. We're all doing fine on diet/exercise/pills.'

My baby's on the way now and I'm told s/he is at the stage when organs are being formed. I wonder if that means that between the two of us, there will be some functioning beta cells. I haven't quite figured out what to tell Junior, when the time comes.

Jim, I like that your kids help out with the shots. It is very good to rotate sites. I will try to train Junior up too!
Comment by Doris D on July 22, 2011 at 6:22pm
Scott there's really nothing you can say but "I hope not" My daughter ask me the samething manytimes and I always answered her with that til the day she became a Type 1 at 11. I felt as though my wole world had jst crashed down then (not only was this child born missing her left hand but now this........not a good time for me then) She came back 2 years ago and told me "Mamma it wasn't your fault" Those were such sweet words to me and I will always hold on to that. She's now the mom of 3 kids (the 4 and under crew) and it's something that you have to hold on to. I got another daughter who never even thought about the d (she's 21 now)

All you can do is hope not but remember your making a good impression on him if this does happen I know it's hard to get your mind around it but it's "just life" a my daughter says.
Comment by Anonymous Jim on July 23, 2011 at 6:58am
@dorris My 2 yrold also likes me to test her blood sugar
Comment by Doris D on July 23, 2011 at 8:56am
You can't get my kids or g-kids to do it b/c it "HURTS" my g-son has decided that his sister's are crazy when we test them he's 20 months old and dosen't cry at all but his sister's......well that's another story there LOL! he's like "and so???" but all the girls (my youngest included) don't like it when you come at them with the machine! LOL! Enjoy it while she does it!
Comment by Scott E on July 24, 2011 at 9:03am
Jim, I've had D long before my son was born (since age 7), but that must be tough on your kids to see the change. Growing up, I always saw my father as all-powerful and invincible (even though he was not), and I feel like my son sees me the same way - despite not being able to eat sugar.and having stuff stuck to me all the time (which doesn't seem odd to him).

Doris, I've always hoped there would be an age when he could be considered "home-free", when he was too old to get diabetes (or, rather, when the probability declined). Since mine came along with a virus -- chicken pox -- hopefully keeping him virus-free will keep him a bit safer. But there's really nothing we can do but hope. Que sera, sera.
Comment by Elizabeth on July 25, 2011 at 7:02pm
My six year old said he wanted to have diabetes like his brother. I started to respond with "God, don't say that!!!" but then stopped myself, not wanting my 4-year-old to hear me say that anything about him is less than perfect. I asked my son why he wanted that and he said, "So I could have a book written about ME." (My book, which features his brother on the cover, had just published.) If that was the problem, it was easily solved -- my earlier book, on high risk pregnancies, had a picture of him as a newborn (and his ultrasound too) on the cover. But for a minute there, I thought I was going to have to walk a pretty nasty tightrope.

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