Alyssa's Journey with Type 1 Diabetes

An outlet, a diary of sorts, a place for thoughts, a place to connect,
an expression of feelings about Juvenile Diabetes......

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Diabetes stinks....

This morning while I was straightening Alyssa’s hair (today is picture day at school), I asked her, “If someone asked you what it was like to have diabetes, what would you say?” She replied simply with, “Diabetes stinks.” Now, for those of you who know Alyssa, you know that she can be quite dramatic. For instance, if she’s has a headache, her head is “killing her to deathhhh” or when she’s told to clean her room, she‘s been known to lay out in the floor explaining she‘s way too exhausted to take on such a task. So, as you can imagine, I was expecting a much more elaborate answer….like “diabetes is horrible!”, or “diabetes is the worst thing ever invented!”

Now most would think that this reply was a good thing. That Alyssa has adjusted to having diabetes, and that although it’s not great, it really isn’t that bad. Instead, her answer saddened me at first. What child should have to endure this? What child should not be able to eat a piece of candy without thinking about it or be able to eat a piece of their friends birthday cake without looking to their mother to be sure it’s ok. (Side note: at a recent birthday party she told me that she wanted to give up eating pizza so that she could have a slice of cake.) What child should have to prick her finger so that it bleeds before each meal, before physical activity, after physical activity, before she goes to bed, in the middle of the night, and every time she doesn’t feel just right. That’s any where from at minimum 4 and up to 8 times a day. What child should have to have 2 SHOTS in her bottom after breakfast, a SHOT in one of her arms after lunch and a SHOT in her other arm after dinner and sometimes a SHOT before bed if her glucose levels are too high.  What child should have to face the risks of heart and kidney disease, blindness, amputations, and early death?  More simply, what child should not be able to go to a sleep over or anywhere without their mom?

I know there are many diseases out there, and each one of them sadden me….especially any disease that robs a kid of the childhood they are entitled to. Diabetes is a disease that can do just that….if its allowed to….. My husband and I refuse to let this happen. The day Alyssa was diagnosed, I prayed that God would let me take this from her. I think in a small way He has because she has no fear or anxiety about the future of her disease.  I think she sees how diligent we are in advocating for her and researching for new treatments as well as preparing her to be able to manage this on her own one day.  She notices all the people who love, support, and push for finding ways to improve her life.  She knows that without research insulin would never have been discovered and meters wouldn’t be improving each time a new one comes out. Without research insulin pumps would not have been invented (We are so excited that Alyssa’s first pump is on the way and how its going to make life a little bit easier. And instead of 4 SHOTS a day, it will be a new infusion site every 3 days!!) Through all of this she believes living with diabetes will get a little bit easier over time. Most importantly, she trusts my words when I say there will be a cure one day.

I’ve said this many times….Diabetes is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep, and I will gladly take that on for her.  In Alyssa’s eyes diabetes is just a small part of her life and I‘m happy in that.

*This year our team, Alyssa's Army, will be walking in JDRF's event, Walk to a Cure at Elon University in Burlington, NC.  If you would like to make a donation to our team, you can do so through the link below.

Alyssa's Army Walk Page 



  1. What a little trooper. It's encouraging and heartbreaking all at the same time.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. This brought me to tears.My daughter, Alyssa also has diabetes . She is 10 and was 17 months when we found out. She has be on a pump for 7 1/2 year.
    Angela, TN.

  3. I can see lots of hard work and passion in this article. Thank you for such an incredible and informative blog. type 2 diabetes