tumblr page counter
HOME about press book archives+categories contact Chrisy Ross on twitter Chrisy Ross on facebook subscribe by RSS subscribe by email
buy the book
To Mormons, With Love
buy the book
buy now buy now buy now
buy the ebook
iBook Kindle Nook
Chrisy Ross on twitter

Entries in TrialNet (1)



Many of you know that our oldest son, Parke (14), has type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed when he was five-years-old. Our middle son, Duke, entered a clinical trial six years ago after a blood test revealed the presence of autoantibodies that were predictive of the development of type 1.

Duke has willingly participated in semi-annual monitoring, collected $50 from the TrialNet research fund, and surprised a doctor or two by remaining diabetes-free, while other kids sadly had to leave the study upon diagnosis. A few high blood sugars over the years alarmed us. This is it. Diabetes is here. Duke's numbers would resolve and a happy holding pattern resumed.

Call me naive, but I believed Duke was a pancreatic anomaly. They call it practicing medicine for a reason, I snickered to myself. He's been in the study longer than any other child; predictive autoantibodies are not a disease.

On Monday, August 27th, Duke was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

It goes without saying that we're sad, and it also goes without saying that worse things could happen. Duke has watched a brother live with type 1 diabetes for almost ten years. Observing a medical routine, even with a backstage pass, is different than having the disease yourself. Duke's drinking through a fire hose as he learns how to carb count, what the difference is between Lantus and Novolog, how the timing of each drug works, and...how to give himself injections.

A nurse we hadn't worked with prior was educating Duke on Monday. Because Chris and I are experienced parents of a diabetic child, we were able to avoid a hospital stay and manage insulin dose tweaking at home. But Duke needed to begin learning about his self-care immediately. Although he didn't feel great, he felt well enough to plow through a lot of information that day, knowing he'd have to return later in the week.

The last lesson of our very long day was how to inject. The nurse gave Duke a handbook, Diabetes Basics for Kids, Teens, Parents, Families--Things you need to know and do in the first few days after a diagnosis. She turned to page 20, a section titled How to use an insulin pen.

That boy in the book is Duke's brother, Parke. Four years ago Parke modeled for some educational materials. I'd forgotten. So had Duke. We all had.

We got through the lesson. Even the nurse was moved and cried.

I gave Duke his shots for the first few days--seven a day for those who are curious. I don't share that to be dramatic. Some people are simply curious.

August 30th, Duke and I returned to the Primary Children's Diabetes Clinic where he successfully gave himself his first shot. He's got over half a dozen under his belt as of this writing. Literally.

August 30th is also Duke's birthday. He turned turned 13-years-old.

We had a small family celebration for Duke. He requested a Baskin-Robbins Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Cake and enjoyed a huge piece. He then had an insulin reaction and was able to drink some of the Mexican Coca-Cola he asked for and received as a birthday gift...long story.

Duke is hanging tough. He brushes against sadness; his father and I brush against worry. But for the most part, tenacity, gratitude for life's good and healthy parts, and the desire to move forward in a strong and positive way...are the attributes we're embracing.

And? If someone would have told me 20 years ago that I'd be the mother of TWO teenage boys someday...I would have laughed. I was supposed to have girls.