Over the weekend I got a message on facebook from a friend of mine. One that isn't linked to my "diabetes world." We've known each other for a few years now, and met through mutual friends. He's an awesomely fun person to hang out with, and a person I don't get to see in person near often enough.
This message, however, wasn't a happy message. He sent me a message because his young niece had just been diagnosed with T1 diabetes. She was very sick and in ICU. And he was worried.
As almost all of us know, until T1 enters your life, you have very little need to know anything about it. All my friend knew was that I had diabetes and he had questions.
I did what I could to answer questions. The most heartbreaking and basic questions.
"Will she have to take shots?" "Will she ALWAYS have to take shots?" "What does this mean?" "How will she deal with this in school?"
I answered them the best I could and as his family lives sort of close to me, I told him to pass along my contact information to them in case they needed to talk or had questions. I told him to let me know if HE had questions.
This disease isn't fun. I "meet" people all the time who have fallen into this wild world of diabetes. But it's very, very rare that someone I already know (or know of) gets diagnosed. And for some reason this weekend, it hit me hard.
This disease doesn't pick favorites. It is as likely to happen to someone I know as it is to someone I don't. When it hits this close to home, it hurts my heart a little more.
Do I think this little girl will be okay? Sure. Diabetes isn't a death sentence like it used to be. Do I think she'll live a normal life? Yeah...as normal as our d life gets. It's our normal. But my heart cracks just a little more knowing that another family is going to have to learn to count carbs, bolus, give injections, test at midnight, learn what an A1c is, go for yearly eye exams, learn about basal testing, know what terms like "CGMS" and "D-OC" and "endo" mean.
I'm not sure that this family will ever contact me. If they don't, I hope they do find the D-OC. It's something I wish had been around when I was diagnosed, and I'm very glad is around now. If there's a silver lining to a T1 diagnosis, it has to be the D-OC.