My son Matthew was diagnosed with diabetes just before his fourth birthday (2 and 1/2 years ago). I was at the end of an unhappy marriage at the time and had two other children as well. There was no diabetes in either side of the family for at least three generations, so we knew nothing about the disease until we learned in the hospital.
It was quite an adjustment for Matthew as well as the whole family. My eldest daughter was very sympathetic and understanding of the situation and the extra time that is needed to care for her brother. My middle daughter was quite another story. She actually wrote us letters during that time saying that we loved Matthew more than her since we were spending all our time in the hospital with him. She also mentioned that she wished he would die. You can imagine how this made us feel. Matthew's endocrinologist actually asked for a copy of this letter so he could show people how this disease effects the whole family. Counseling has helped, but I still hear how "unfair" it is to my middle daughter to live with this disease.
Now, I have been a single parent for 1 and 1/2 years and Matthew is doing great with his diabetes. He still hides his eyes when he gets his injections and does not always recognize when his is getting "low", but time will change this. He is the only child in a school that goes from pre-K to 12th grade to have diabetes. I have had alot of frustrations concerning schools and teachers. I would love to talk or exchange e-mail with some other single parents about sibling issues, school concerns, diabetic support. I have met several other diabetic children in the surronding areas, but they all come from a two-parent family and have no siblings (one has a younger sibling). Most of them have made it clear that they don't need or want any new friends, so we have never gotten close (believe me, it is not for the lack of trying on my part).
Jolie receives e-mail at JB6197@aol.com.
Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 16:45:00
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