When my daughter was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 1992, it was a game changer to, for, and with our lives as we knew. She was two at the time and both my wife and I worked. Kaitlyn was our second child and whether we wanted to admit or not, the sensible thing was that one of us would stay home. Over the years I surely have envied those families who found the perfect caretaker for their newly diagnosed child so both parents could continue in their jobs. After a discussion, where we weighed everything, I would go to work (and hopefully find a second job) and Jill would stay home.
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This was a big sacrifice as Jill had a very good job and was very good at what she did. Those who know me have heard me say that she is the most organized woman on earth. These skills would be a huge asset to anyone who hired her, and the NY State Senator who did just that came to know what she was capable of undertaking. Jill is a very steady person and it takes much to fluster her…..when Kaitlyn was diagnosed, she was flustered; we both were.
So Jill would deal with the home care and the day-to-day management of our new normal, having diabetes in our household, and I would try to keep us afloat financially.
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The Importance of Backups
One of the first things we learned was that when it came to diabetes supplies, you needed to have back-ups to everything. That point was not good enough for Jill and she also believed that anything could come along and we needed to be ready for anything and she decided that as far as anything diabetes was concerned, the back-ups needed back-ups. It was not enough to have glucometer (tests blood sugar), Jill made sure the back-up glucometer was within reach and another one was in each of our cars and, yet, still another one was both upstairs and downstairs as well. Now, before you roll your eyes and ask if all of this was even necessary, let me share that during Kaitlyn’s earlier years of having diabetes every, and I mean EVERY, glucometer was used more than once. When it comes to diabetes, it’s so smart to have backups of your back-ups.
We learned this more and more as Kaitlyn got older and she attended school. Having enough supplies was monumental in our house. We also learned that life also has much to throw at us during this journey and we need to be ready for it. Mother nature, hurricanes, storms, blackouts, and anything else you can think of, if there was one thing to be sure of, it was that there was nothing to be sure of.