Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Beginning . . . .

JoslinBlueI’m excited to be participating in Joslin’s National Diabetes Month Blog Project, along with a great bunch of d-bloggers.  We have been given four topics to post about and we will share our thoughts on each week’s topic on our blogs.  Aside from raising awareness about life with diabetes, we are also pitching in to try to raise some funds for Joslin.  You’ll see a link at the end of this post to their fundraising page, if you’d like to donate.

This week’s topic is: The Beginning: Share a story from when you (or the person you blog for/about) were first diagnosed.

I was diagnosed almost 33 years ago, in December of 1979.  That’s a long time ago, and although I was old enough to remember (11 years old at the time) a lot of it is fuzzy and forgotten.  I remember having to go to the bathroom all the time.  I remember not wanting to eat because I felt nauseated.  I remember my parents making the decision to take me to the ER.  I do know that I was very very close to lapsing into a diabetic coma and that I spent several days in Intensive Care.

But a couple of years ago, my mother filled me in on something I didn’t remember, and on something I never knew.  I didn’t remember that on the morning of my diagnosis, I said I was sick and wanted to stay home from school.  Apparently, my mom thought I would be fine and sent me in to school.  A few hours later, the school nurse called my mom to come pick me up because I was getting worse.  I don’t remember any of that.

But here’s the thing that really sticks with me.  My mom told me that, to this day, she feels very guilty for sending me to school that day.  More than 30 years have passed, and she still feels guilty about it.  And to me, the fact that she has lived with those feeling of guilt all of these years is the worst and saddest thing about my diabetes diagnosis.

If you’d like to donate to the Joslin Diabetes Center High Hopes Fund, you can do so by clicking here.


  1. It's amazing how long mothers can hold on to feelings of guilt when it comes to their kids being sick. I kick myself whenever my girls are 'worse' than I thought they were with just a cold. I can imagine what your mom felt/feels having sent you to school and then you being dx'd T1. Give her a big hug for me the next time you see her!!

  2. i understand completely your mothers feelings of guilt. my youngest daughter has broken both of her legs. the first time she was 7 and we went skating. she fell and i thought she just twisted her ankle. i took her home and put her to bed. the next morning, after her being in pain all night, i took her to the hospital for xrays. turned out her shin was broken in 2 places. the second time she fell of a skateboard and again, we thought it was a sprain. again we waited till the next morning to take her for xrays. broken ankle. i felt like the worst mother in the entire world!! how could a mom let her child suffer with a broken bone TWICE!!! i will likely feel that sense of guilt for ever.
    next time you talk to her Karen, tell her she is not alone, and give her a hug from all of us "guilty moms".

  3. Ditto! Can't stop the tears! If you can, please hug your mom. Tell her someone (another Type 1 someone) read this and my heart goes out to her. A mom's love is so great. She did not do this to you! The most important thing is that 33 years later, you are here sharing this story in a way that was impossible 33 years ago. You are still here ;)

  4. Karen,
    Thanks for this post. We Moms always feel guilty! Such long memories we can have for guilt. I used the topic for my post today and linked to your blog. Thanks for all the help in the last year. Your blog is terrific. I love reading it.

  5. I just discovered your blog, and this wonderful post! I was diagnosed in 1972, and I will never forget my mother sobbing - a few months after my own diagnosis with Type I - when she learned that my brother had just received the same diagnosis. Yes, this disease is really hard on Moms, too!


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