To this day it still happens. The phone rings and we’re informed by a friend/neighbor/colleague/friend-of-a-friend that someone new is diagnosed with T1D and can we find the time to speak to them and/or their family?
Well the answer is…………………..always.
But it’s a fine balance to let them know that they are not about to lay in a bed roses and at the same time share that they should be limited by nothing.
Not everyone stays up all night, but people do.
Not everyone cries every day, but people do.
Not everyone feels as if the wind is sucked out of them forever, but people do.
Not everyone dies from T1D, but people do.
Where is that balance?
I always try to answer the questions they have directly and honestly. I try to show them, by examples we have experienced or people we know, that they are able to grasp the seriousness of this disease, and also the limitless possibilities that are before them.
I try to educate them about social media and help them realize that everyone handles this disease differently, and that their medical professional is their number one partner with this disease, and that education is always the equalizer.
I try to keep it simple in our first phone call. Upon diagnosis, as we all know, they’re not hit by a ripple, they’re hit with a tidal wave and it takes time. They do not need to be fully educated about everything on our first call. I try to explain that what they need to focus on is their child. To stay in tune with their medical professional and although their inclination is to run to the computer, they should do so carefully.
This disease has as many similarities as differences from one family to the next. There is no one solution for everything. I explain this as best I can. But I think the biggest help we can ever be is to just let them know that they are not alone. That they can reach out any time. That we have been where they now stand and we have made it through. I think THAT is the biggest help we can ever provide.
Being newly diagnosed…….well……it sucks. But it’s nice to know that reinventing the wheel is not needed and that a friend is always near by. We didn’t have that in the very beginning and once we had it, those people became some of the closest people to us, and 25 years out; some of those people are now my closest friends.
Those who know need no explanation, those who don’t would never understand. I’m thankful for the peeps who mean so much to us and have been there, for all these years.
I am a diabetes dad.