New Babies, New Technology, New Hope

Before I begin this blog, I should note that I am behind in posting on many topics. I have been so busy (that is a good thing), that I have not had time to address some of the fantastic diabetes events of late. I will soon address the incredible joint work of both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Lilly in hosting the first Type 1 event in Tucson, AZ. The Phoenix ADA held an extremely informative health fair at Scottsdale Community college. It was well attended and had some terrific break out sessions including one about the bionic pancreas! The Diabetes Coach kids and teens event was so much fun at Me The Artist. The Thriving During the Holidays session at Arizona Bridge to Independent Living went well and so much more! I promise to address all of these soon! Back to the blog. . .

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I know someone about my age expecting their first baby. If this newborn arrives on the due date, (which most of us know is not exactly accurate) this new baby will be almost exactly to the day, 13 years younger than my daughter. Not only does it seem surreal that I still know people that are having their first baby, but the changes in technology and life in general are amazing to witness. I have thought a great deal recently about how time has passed and how things change for both the better and worse in so many ways.

A new baby entering the world today vs. 13 years ago leads me to think about life with diabetes. I think about how things have changed. I am approaching 30 years of life with diabetes. I coached several teens this week. They are dealing with the same emotions that I dealt with so many years ago. They will likely face the same emotions that I faced when I decided to try to bring a child into this world. They will most likely experience the same excitement of parenting and the indescribable fear of the possibility of raising a child with a chronic illness. So much of the same emotions, yet such a different world in which we live!

Coaching these teens constantly takes me back to when I was trying to balance diabetes to the best of my ability. The technology is newer. It is better. The types of insulin have improved. I don’t think that they have improved enough to justify their increase in price, but all the same, I am grateful for the new technology that has led up to this. I am grateful for the new technology of insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), and better testing supplies. I am thankful for finer gauge lancets and needles. I am thankful for laws enacted such as the passing of the 504 plans in schools. I am thankful for the countless volunteers and relentless dedicated people that support diabetes on all fronts from awareness and education to advocacy and fundraising.

I should also note that I am thankful for improvements in technology in many areas of health. I am grateful that women my age and older have the potential to have babies with the help of science. I am grateful for the changes in cancer treatments, MS drugs, vision surgeries, and transplants, just to name a few! So much has changed over the past 13 years and even more since I was diagnosed! Although the rollercoaster of emotions remain the same; I can’t help but be more optimistic for children diagnosed in this time period. I do believe that the numbers of people diagnosed with diabetes is increasing, but I must acknowledge that the number of those suffering from the debilitating complications of diabetes is actually decreasing!

I am grateful that my daughter does not live with diabetes. I can’t help but wonder with each passing year if the improvements in technology and life with diabetes would be helpful if my daughter faced a chronic illness. I think that this new baby about to be born is lucky to come into a world with the improvements thus far. WE haven’t found a cure, but each day could provide new technology and new hope for each new generation.

With each new day comes the chance to make a new choice. Each day offers a chance to tackle this beast of a life with diabetes head on. Each day gives the possibility of new direction, new steps in education, and new opportunities for each of us to make attitude adjustments and try harder to fight. A new day, a new baby, a new set of possibilities! Each day we fight, we survive, and we win. It doesn’t matter if you are experiencing the birth of your first child or experiencing the 30th year of BG testing and injections. Each day offers the potential for advancement, technological improvements, new possibilities, and new hope!

With each teen I coach, I am reminded that we can all start anew each and every day. Some days we do this better than others. Some days we are frustrated by our condition and the faults in technology that we experience. Some days we do not experience the joy that science was supposed to bring our way. However, each person, each day, can have new hope! We all have been told that this is the decade of the cure for diabetes. Most of us roll our eyes at this statement. Although we are not there yet, we can still hope. We can help remind each other that there will always be new hope. Reach out to someone that is struggling with their diabetes care, and strengthen them if you can. Remind them that although they may have down days, we can reenergize each other in this battle.

New babies, new technology, and new hope are wonderful things of which to be reminded. I tend to forget this and get bogged down in the hardships. I am reminded to encourage these kids to do their best. There is possibility and hope around every corner! Take advantage of it!

All The Best,

Marianne Tetlow
The Diabetes Coach

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