Last week was the kind of week that beats you up a bit, and throws you off. The one that takes you out of the world as you know it and reminds you that you can lose.
This is another blog on a subject matter many bloggers posted on last week. The death of another young teenager with type 1 diabetes. Commonly referred to as Dead In Bed Syndrome, it means a young woman was here at night and gone in morning. Just like that. It’s hard to comprehend a passing so seemingly sudden, without warning, without treatments for long term complications. She went to sleep and that was it.
Those young adolescents will never have butterflies before a first kiss, will never know the scary free feeling of driving their first car, the feeling of accomplishment by graduating high school, the wonderment of where life will take you that is the college experience, the chance to nail that interview, to take a leap of faith and get married and to raise children of their own. Internalizing this thought is heartbreaking. To try to understand what the feelings of emptiness the family experiences is incomprehensible.
Diabetes isn’t controlled. It is a disease that takes lives, slowly or suddenly. The world as I know it is full of phone calls and emails, event planning, researching, returning phone calls, traveling, asking for donations, meetings, reading about diabetes, writing about diabetes, educating about diabetes, learning about diabetes. For those with type 1, type 2 or type 3, the world is checks, insulin adjustments, carb counting, schedules, fatigue, moments of success, moments of discouragement, moments of confusion, doctors appointments, numbers and measurements. The world as we fear it is the one in which despite all the work, we lose. Diabetes comes back with a final blow in the middle of the night. We are reminded of this threat when we visualize a family donating all the unused supplies, a child free of diabetes, not because we cured, but because we haven’t yet.
This reminder is a slap in the face, a punch in the gut. Parents all over the world could not sleep, worried that the world with normal checks would become the world with no checks.
But, in all the candles lit, in all the blogs and posts, remains a hope. That we will not let go of the children who will not see a cure. We take them with us as we work towards it. The world as we know it still has firsts, still has graduations, still has successes, still has triumph, still has hope. This news binds us together, in a shared fear. It also binds us in a determination to lift up all those threatened, to provide them hope, to share our stories, to advocate for faster progress, to unite in a renewed passion to eradicate this disease. For the parents who stay up at night, for the children in their beds dreaming of dreams coming true, for adults still waiting after decades working against the lows, the highs and the complications, for the newly diagnosed in the hospital handed prescriptions and a new life they never asked for, for the scared, the strong, the confused, the positive, the burnt, the humorous and for the ones we lost. We will honor those taken, those left behind, those living with it and we will work towards a world as we want it – free of diabetes.