I think most parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes would agree that many of the burdens of this disease are carried on the shoulders of the caretakers. We're the ones that have to weigh the food, count the carbs, do the night time checks, etc. Of course, I'm more than willing to take that on. If I could miraculously transfer this crummy disease from his body to mine I would do so in an instant. As AJ gets older he is becoming a more active participant in his own well being. I hope that he will take it all in stride. This is something that I have thought a lot about.
A topic I had previously given less consideration to is the effects of this disease on the silent bystander. In this case AJ's little sister. Now that Funky is 2 1/2 she is quickly becoming her own person. Yet it is still hard to figure out exactly how much she understands about certain things. Obviously, she has never known a time before AJ's diabetes. At the same time there is no way that she really knows what Diabetes is. She must wonder why she doesn't have to get her blood sugar checked or take insulin.
Most of the time her reactions to the disease seem humorous. Bedtime is always a struggle that includes a list of excuses. Lately, she has been adding one more excuse... "I'm low". Today she tried to check my blood sugar with a pen. Of course, both the kids find it amusing when I accidentally measure her food.
I just wonder how she will feel as time goes on; when she does understand the seriousness of this disease. Perhaps I'm projecting my own past onto her. Since birth my brother has had a serious eye condition. Then in college he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. There were many times that I felt very guilty. I wondered why it wasn't me that had the medical problems. On the flip side, I also resented him sometimes. I felt that my parents let him get away with a lot because of their own guilt. There were also things that we didn't do as a family because my brother wasn't able to.
I suppose I can just hope that we make her feel just as special and loved. I also want her to feel that she is a part of AJ's diabetes "team". Families support each other. Plus, when it comes to diabetes you can always use as many people in your corner as you can get.