Type 1 mom with newly diagnosed 8-year-old

Hi, I’m a type 1 (34 years) and my 8-year-old son just got diagnosed last week. I knew he had an increased risk and I’ve been dreading this possibility since he was born. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. It was caught very early by a routine urine test. He had no symptoms and is still producing some insulin so we haven’t had to give him shots yet. I’m already struggling with guilt knowing that I’m the reason he has this. I know I shouldn’t blame myself but it’s so hard not to. He’s a happy, funny, smart, active kid whose life has just been turned upside down because of me. We’re lucky in a way because there’s no learning curve…I know what to feed him, what to expect from a clinical perspective, etc. But, damn, this is so much harder than dealing with my own diabetes. Just wondering how many others out there are in my position.

Hi Audrey @TillieJupiter,

I am not in your exact position, but I am t1 for a long time and I have a 6 turning 7 year old son, and have though about this quite a lot.

your kids life isn’t upside down because of you, your kid is alive because of you. I have brought myself to severe anxiety and depression over thinking about if my son will ever develop diabetes and the only thing that comes back to me is that I am not so powerful to either cause him to have diabetes or prevent it. so I guess in my head, it is whatever it is and I am powerless. If he does end up diabetic, who else on planet earth could take care of him better than me, so if it happens, I’ll just put my back up against his and together we’ll take on whatever comes our way. that’s all I can do anyway not only for disease but for anything and everything.

guilt, when you think about it, is optional. certain thinking, such as “who is responsible for me having diabetes” makes me sad and angry and resentful, and I am the only one that gets hurt, so if I can do anything positive (such as not hurt myself) I try to do that.

I am sorry about your son’s diagnosis, but you need to be emotionally strong now. He’ll look at you and if you seem angry about his diabetes he could mistake that for you being mad at him. That’s a very tough spot for an 8 year old. Take the very best care of yourself that you can, physically and emotionally, because the kids will watch every single thing you do, and listen to only about 10% of what you say, and if you talk a lot then maybe 5%. He’s the one that has to wrap his head around why you can’t fix this thing, because you’ve fixed everything thats ever happened before. the world from his perspective may be very different than the one you see everyday.

I am wishing you the best of luck and strength to carry on

I’m the only child of 2 T1D parents. I was diagnosed at 18 months old (now 32). As you probably know, your son will be just fine. He’ll probably have an even easier time than you did growing up because there will be someone else in his home that can relate to his problems.

Hi Tillie,
I have been T1 for 30 years and my six year old daughter was diagnosed with T1 in July. I was completely devastated (I still am some days). For me, being T1 was just life. But my daughter having it is totally different. We caught it early with her. Her only symptom was excessive thirst.

Life is totally different now. I’ve always counted carbs, but now I’m way more exact. I pack her 4-5 snacks a day (carb counts listed), just in case she needs them. The nurse at school has been amazing. She helps with all the insulin deliveries and carb adding. Everything takes longer and my daughter wasn’t a fast-mover in the first place.

Things have gotten easier. We all know what we have to do, although I still remind her a lot to test.

I can understand your feelings of guilt. Often, I have questioned why?. And when I pack one snack for my non-diabetic daughter and think “Wow, that was easy.”, I feel guilty that I long for easier days, when less thought and time went into everything.

Its tough and I would love to continue ‘chatting’ with you. We can be a support for each other.