I would like to introduce you to my little friend Carter who is living with diabetes. Carter is actually my son’s best friend. He is a typical little boy, full of vim and vigor, energetic, creative, and a bit of a trouble maker from time to time. Carter loves X-Box, the Wii and his DS Lite. He loves Pokemon cards and plays a mean game of baseball. He is a kid, a great kid, a normal kid. Except that Carter is living with Diabetes.
And there is nothing normal about living with Diabetes. Carter was diagnosed when he was 2 years old. He is now almost seven. Sometimes Carter tests his blood sugar 10 times a day. That means he pokes himself in the finger or toe with a blade until he can get a drop of blood to measure his blood sugar. There is nothing normal about that!
Carter wears an insulin pump. It is a small pump that is equipped with a needle that is pushed through the skin in the soft tissue of the buttocks. The pump is primed with insulin and gives small doses throughout the day. Sound complicated? Living with diabetes is complicated. It is a hard life.
Carter wants to find a cure for diabetes. He does his part every year walking in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for the Cure. He walks four miles every May to raise money for JDRF. He has his own team of groupies that like to go with him. We call them “Team Carter”.
Carter’s parents have to count each and every gram of carbohydrates Carter eats. They have to measure his food and deny him a treat from time to time while all the other kids get one. There is simply something wrong about that! It is not a normal lifestyle, not a normal way to live, not normal….but it is. That is what living with diabetes is like.
It is normal for Carter and it is normal for 24 million people in America alone. Further, statistics show that if diabetes continues to escalate at current rates, a child born today has a 1 in 3 chance of getting diabetes during their lifetime. In minority groups the rate bounces to 1 in 2. Suddenly living with diabetes is becoming more and more normal.
Interview With Carter
What is it like living with diabetes: “I don’t like it at all”, “It stinks!”
What is the worst thing about having diabetes. “I don’t like it when I am high because then I don’t get a snack.”
Is there anything that is good about diabetes. “No, there is nothing good about it. Some people think it’s cool but it’s not.”
Is it hard not to have a snack when your blood sugar is high and your friends get one? “I get used to it but I don’t really like it. No, I don’t like it. Can I have some of those fish crackers?”
Fortunately Carter’s blood sugar was only 68 so he got lots of fish crackers and some peanuts to boot!
For more information about living with diabetes please visit the JDRF website by clicking here.