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My Baby is a Diabetic

I think his condition actually hurts us more than it does him. He has adjusted much better than you would think it possible for a two-and-a-half year old.

I'm sure few people realize how much pleasure it gives one to be able to treat a small child with Coca-Cola, ice cream, candy and other sweets, until these things are denied to us. While not vital to our well being they have become so much a part of our life today, it is hard to realize our child cannot have these ordinary pleasures taken so much for granted by children.

However we are fortunate today that there are foods on the market for diabetics - ice cream, candy, cookies and beverages containing no sugar and few calories, which, of course, can be worked into his diet later in life. We are very thankful to even have our child with us today, after coming so close to losing him, and any sacrifice we have to make, will be made gladly with no bitterness.

On the bright side of diabetes is the fact that a diabetic can and should exercise. This means, of course, my son can take part in sports and other activities at school. Exercise helps consume the sugar in the body, and when very active less insulin is required. Every cloud has its silver lining, and we are very grateful that even though Byron does have diabetes, it is a clean, non-contagious disease and can be controlled. A diabetic, who has his disease under control, can live a very full and useful life.

Diabetes, however mild, is a serious disease and if unattended can lead to serious complications and even death. This is not meant to be a medical story, as I am certainly no authority on diabetes. This is simply a story of our experience with diabetes in our child.

The purpose in writing about these experiences is the hope that some mother and child will benefit from same. If your child ever develops these simple symptoms, overeating, loss of weight and energy, and over urinating, insist that a urine test be made at once. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the easier it can be brought under control. And, I feel it can be diagnosed more quickly in children if mothers are more informed about this disease, so rare in children, but so fearful in consequence when it does occur.

We had a terrible experience with our baby. Modern medicine saved him. But the Great Physician, too, stood at the doctors' side and at mine. In the darkest hours of my despair, when I lay in my bed, listening with a breaking heart to the feeble crying of my dying child, He spoke to me in a phrase I still can hear

"Be harsh with fear",
His voice said in my heart.

And from that moment on, I knew my child would live. The next morning, we changed doctors, and the true nature of his illness was discovered.

It is not an easy life for a mother -- or a child -- the inflexible routine of a diabetic's life. In a little poem, which will win no prize for rhyme or meter, I tried to describe it -- the shots, the diet, the tests, the constant care. But the last line sums it up

"Don't ask me if it's all worth while.
Just take one look at my baby's smile".

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