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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Recently, I have found myself looking at other families and wondering what their world is like.

Sometimes, I feel a pang of jealousy. Usually it's when I see kids eating chips straight from the bag or drinking something that has not been carefully measured.

But mostly, I just wonder what it's like to have a child WITHOUT diabetes.

And I realized that I can't remember life before.

I think the reason I can't imagine what it would be like to have a child WITHOUT diabetes is that I've never had one.

You see, Sweetpea was diagnosed shortly after turning 3. The three years that we had her in our lives before D, she was a baby. I know what it's like to have an infant without diabetes. And a toddler - sort of.

But not a child. Because I've never had a child without D.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't look at other families and get all depressed and "woe is me". It's not like that. It's more just curiosity. Saying to myself, "Hmmm... I wonder what that's like?"

It made me think of a conversation I had with the Hubbs. He has horrible eyesight. I mean REALLY bad. You might think your eyes are bad. I did. Until I met him and realized that my eyes are very good compared to his! He wears the strongest contacts made and then also wears glasses on top of that. He's close to being considered legally blind. And he's been that way for as long as he can remember.

One day we were talking about the stars. And he told me that he's never seen the stars. Not in the sky. Only in pictures or at a planetarium. Never really seen them.

And that made me sad. I just couldn't fathom never being able to see the stars.

But it doesn't bother him. When I asked him if it made him sad, he said, "No. They're just stars."

He's never seen them. He doesn't know what he's missing.

So when I think about what it's like to have a child without diabetes, it's the same thing. I don't get sad or mad. It's just that I've never had one. I don't know what I'm missing.

And, for the record, I'd choose my Sweeptea every day, every time or another child without diabetes. I love HER. I want HER. Diabetes or not.

Sweetpea doesn't know what she's missing either. She can't remember life before. She can't remember a world that didn't include diabetes.

And my hope is, that as Sweetpea gets older, she feels the same way.

I hope that when she sees other children eating without worrying about how many carbs they are consuming, or children who can freely run to their friend's houses, children who don't visit the nurse at school on a daily basis, or children don't have to bleed before they eat....

I hope that if someone asks her if it makes her sad, her answer is "No".

Because she's never known it any other way. And to her, it's just the way it is.



  1. Goose bumps Hallie!! I think Sweetpea is going to grow up with a wonderful sense of herself and how to take care of her health. THAT is what she knows!

  2. Hallie I LOVE this post! I used to do the same thing BEFORE D came into our lives. I would look at other families with only one baby and I would think, "wow - I wonder what its like to have just one baby. To only have to feed and diaper one... to only have one crying at you." Not that I didnt want my twins. Not that I didnt love them more than life itself. Because I do. But I often wonder what it would have been like to just have ONE baby! Then D came into our lives. And I do the same as you... only I kinda know how it feels to have a child w/o D - cuz I do! But I find myself wondering what it would be like if D werent a part of our family at all.
    Sugar Boy is the same way as Sweet Pea - its all he has ever known (dx'd at 27 months old) and like you, I hope that one day when asked that question he, too, will answer "no". =)

  3. My daughter Ryan was diagnosed when she turned 2 and now she's 4.5. She doesn't know her life any different. Honestly, I think that's a benefit believe it or not. This life is normal for her. I completely relate to your post! Thanks Wendy for sharing it so that I could read :)

  4. Hallie, I asked Joe today how he "feels" about "d" and he responded that "it really doesn't get in my way too much or bothers me too much"...he too was diagnosed when he was 3...he is now 7...he knows no different and it NEVER slows him down...the little rascal!

  5. Where's the box of Kleenex? This one got me! Even though Jack was four when he was diagnosed, he remembers what life was like before D. Plus, he sees his sister and brother living D-free lives. He accepts his diabetes and rarely complains, which puts me in awe of him. He's a happy, well-adjusted kid.

    I think our D kids are amazing in the way they roll with the punches and not let their disease get in their way.

    Sweetpea is going to grow up strong, happy and confident. Just you wait and see!

  6. Hallie, this is a beautiful post. It was spot on, I pray for the same thing. ((HUGS)) to you. This will be in the back of my mind for quite a while. and PS I WILL change the URL's on my blog soon...I haven't had much time to sit! Love what you have done with the place!

  7. This post got me too!! I actually have one started about this topic... With Joshua being only 11 months when he was DX he truly has no clue about not haveing D but his 4 year old brother will be a constant reminder that he is different. That makes me sad for sure, I dont want him to feel different. He at just 18 months old knows he has to test before every breaks my heart when he does the sign for test test test... I pray it will be easier for him because he will have always known it but I do wonder how life would be

  8. wonderfully said "written"...great post!!

  9. Just found your blog today and am so glad I did :). I can relate to this post, but in a different way. My daughter, like yours, was diagnosed a few weeks after her third birthday last summer. But we also have an 8 year old son (then 7) and 15 month old daughter (she was just 3 months when Ellie was dx). I see how simple (relatively speaking) meal times can be with my other two and I know Ellie knows she is different. She is currently struggling with having to wash her hands and test before a snack when her brother and sister don't. For a few months, she would remember life before D because she would recall memories and say such and such happened before she got diabetes. But in the last few months, she has not recalled any memories in this way. I don't know if I should be relieved or sad...


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