Today my oldest daughter (“The Kid”) is 3 years, 10 weeks and 2 days old.
That’s how old I was the day I was diagnosed with diabetes.
I hate to consider the possibility that either of my girls will end up with diabetes. I know we could handle it if they did – goodness knows we have plenty of experience with diabetes at our house – but I still shudder to think of the needles, the scary nypos, the parent-free trips to the playground, the sleepovers at a friend’s house, the potential complications…etc, etc. In other words, I don’t want to put myself in my parents’ shoes, even if only in my imagination. And I don’t want to find out how much I’ll blame my own flawed genes if they do.
My understanding is that my girls have a 2% chance of developing Type 1 diabetes since it’s me (i.e. their mother) who has the disease. (The probability is different when the father has it.) That equates to a 98% chance that they will be diabetes-free (Type 1, anyway). Those are good odds. My preference is to take comfort in these numbers rather than dwell on the negative possibilities, but it’s impossible to wipe out that worry entirely. (PS – If I’m wrong about these statistics, please don’t feel the need to correct me. This may be one of those “ignorance is bliss” situations.)
I often see posts written by parents with diabetes about their fears that their children will also end up with the disease. Scott wrote a great post about it just the other day. If you follow Scott, you may have seen my comment. If not (you should), this was my comment:
“I can so totally relate to being scared of this. In fact, I choose not to think about it, and didn’t even read your whole post b/c of it. (I skimmed.) I can’t let these thoughts enter my mind or I’d go crazy. I was 3 when I was diagnosed. The Kid is 3 now…”
I liked his response:
It’s crazy how we tend to fit our own diagnosis ages into the probability equation. I keep telling myself that I was diagnosed at 7, so my kid’s got a couple of “free” years to go before he needs to worry about it. I also think that if he makes it D-free to 8, he’s in the clear. The practical side of me tells me that thinking is absurd (it is), but the thoughts still linger.
He’s right, of course.
But today still gives me the willies.