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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Was A Kid With A Broken Pancreas, But I Was A Kid None The Less ~

Do you know who this is?

I know!

I know that as parents of children with diabetes, one of your biggest worries is that your children won't have a childhood, and I totally understand why you feel that way.

But as a former child with diabetes, who was diagnosed with diabetes at 8, I'm here to tell you that I absolutely had a childhood.

I played hide -n-seek & flashlight tag, and was usually the last one left standing at dodge ball.  My Malibu Barbie took up with my friend Billy's GI Joe "action figure" in her opulent, kickass Barbie Dream House!

I was a girl who got lost in books by Judy Bloom, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder & L.M Montgomery  - And my imagination ran wild because of their influence.

I took gymnastics three-days a week from fourth grade until sixth - and every summer I still do a roundoff and cartwheel on the front lawn at least once before September rolls around.

I tapped danced on the Steel Pier and was lucky enough to feed one of the last Diving Horses the summer it took its last official dive.

I was one of those kids who spent so much time in the ocean that many assumed I was part fish!

I was a little girl who injected herself without flinching, but was still deathly afraid of going on the Roller Coaster. And if truth be told, I'm still afraid of rollercoasters  today!

I participated in school plays ( making sure I had a snack waiting in the wings) and had sleepovers over at my best friend Jami's house.

I attended diabetes camp for three summers in a row at the now defunct but totally awesome Camp Firelfy in Spring Mount PA, where  I learned how to paddle a canoe, hiked my first mountain, and discovered my fondness for Cinnamon toothpicks & diet fruit punch Koolaide.

A boy named Chip gave me my very first kiss the Summer before I entered 7th grade. He was my friend Beth's cousin and was spending two weeks with her family at the beach. We swam together in the ocean and played Running Bases in the sand. And every afternoon we'd leave the the beach at 4pm to go back to his cousins and watch Batman reruns on TV. And Chip always made sure that his aunt had plenty of Fresca on hand for me. We kissed on the last night of his vacation, during a game of flashlight tag.

I went to the movies on Sunday afternoons and had my first job the summer I turned 12, as a Mother's Helper to two toddlers, 3 days a week. And I became a full fledged babysitter at the age of 13.

In middle school, I became obsessed with Duran Duran and I had visions of marrying each and every one of the boys in the band.

My childhood was just that, my childhood. And yes, it was different because of the whole diabetes thing. But I still don't think it took away my childhood. No, my diabetes was (and is)  a part me, which made it a part of my childhood.

I never even considered the fact that diabetes might have stolen my childhood until some asked me if had, long after I became an "official" adult.

I'm glad no one ever said that about my diabetes when I was growing up, because I have a feeling it would have put a damper on things.

Your children with diabetes are amazing and intuitive, empathic, creative, funny and smart. And while their pancreases are faulty and challenging to say the least, these children will continue to amaze and inspire everyone they meet throughout their childhood and well into adulthood!

Thanks for the incredible encouragement, Kelly!  I hope, one day, my girl can look back, and reflect upon such awesome memories.  Your words mean a lot, my friend.  Much love to you!!!!

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  1. K2...your words here are inspiring. I am starting to "see" this now...finally...almost 5 years into Joe's diagnosis. He is just a kid running around having an AWESOME SUMMER...swimming, playing hide-and-seek, going to camps....he is living life to the fullest. I wish I could have seen this and known this a few years earlier into our diabetes journey. I thank the online community for getting me to this new place of peace.

  2. Wow Kelly. Great description. Really great mental pics! And, you really did sound like you had a beautiful childhood.

  3. I feel the same way about my childhood. My memories are kid memories. Not diabetes memories, though they are sprinkled in there too. I hope parents know that diabetes won't define their kids' childhood.

  4. I love love love Kelly! Our kids childhoods don't need to be defined by diabetes. Well said Kel. Thanks for having her Wendy!

  5. Thanks so much for having Kelly guest post! She's one of my favorite PWDs for sure!! :)

  6. Awesome post Kelly. This was so heartwarming. You are proof that despite D, life can be HAPPY!!! :)

  7. Thanks to both of you for that fantastic post! I hope my 2 year old says this as an adult! :)

  8. I always love hearing from PWD. Thank you Kelly for reminding me to focus on making wonderful memories for Ally so that one day she will describe her childwood with as much enthusiasm as you have.

  9. Beautifully told, thank you Kelly for sharing and Wendy for hosting! :)


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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.