Four years today. Over 15,000 finger sticks, 1600 shots, 600 site changes, 180 dexcom insertions, and too many tears to count. And, when I reminded you a few days ago that your four year diaversary was coming up, you replied "dad has had it over 24 years...how does he do it?"
We have come a long way. It is impossible not to feel some sadness today. I had told myself I would not. I mean we are in such a better place, we have so many new friends because of diabetes; you are healthy. But, I was kidding myself. Of course I am sad. And angry. I saw your beautiful little seven year old cousin this weekend. I looked at her tiny hands. I could not help but think of what diabetes has stolen from you. You lost your carefree childhood at age seven. We can tell ourselves and everyone else that we have not let diabetes take your childhood; that it does not stop you. And, it is true to some degree. But, not one day has passed when you have not had to say ouch, or feel a high or low, or think about diabetes. And, I hate that. I hate that I no longer remember what it was like when you didn't have diabetes. Vague memories are the carefree days when I didn't glance many times at my cell phone when you are away from me, when I put you to bed and didn't worry you might not be there in the morning.
The only way to survive is to focus on the positive. You are healthy, and most days happy. We have been enveloped by the Children With Diabetes organization and have found kindred souls who truly understand. I can not imagine going back to the days where we felt so alone. We have met wonderful people who we would love and be friends with even if not for diabetes. But, it is because of diabetes we found them. We have technology. Your dexcom has changed my life. Your pump has changed yours. Hope is here. Ed Daminao is racing the clock to make a bionic pancreas in time for his type 1 son to start college. And many us us believe he may actually do it. I have been given the gift of perspective. Between your sister's unexpected brain surgery and your diabetes, I have learned what is really important in life. I have learned to enjoy the present and to stop fearing the endless possibilities of the future.
And so tonight we will celebrate your four year diaversary. Another year of good health, bravery, and strength. While I can not believe it has been four years, I will give my thanks that you are healthy and keep marching towards a cure.