This week we traveled the 200 miles for our quarterly endocrinology appointment. We like to add in a little fun to the trips, visiting museums, the zoo, or other interesting local sights. At this point she thinks of her endo appointments as vacation time and I want to keep it that way.
You know how it is with young children: Are we there yet? How much longer? I have to go potty.
So to break up the trip we allow extra time each way to stop at our favorite rest areas that have good playgrounds.
As we were on the last leg of our trip, we stopped at my daughter’s favorite rest area. We popped into the bathroom before hitting the playground.
As she was going, she looked up at me and said the thing that I hate hearing most.
I don’t want to have diabetes.
I want to have the kind of diabetes that you don’t have anymore when you are a grown up.
Honey, you will always have diabetes. We can’t take it away.
I know, but remember when we were at Steak ‘n Shake that one time and we were talking to that lady and she said she had diabetes, but she doesn’t any more?
(Was this person type 2? I couldn’t remember the conversation.)
Well, I don’t know about her diabetes, but the kind of diabetes that kids get they won’t grow out of. Scientists (she has a thing for scientists) are working on ways to make your diabetes better and who knows, maybe the scientists could find a cure someday. (I don’t usually talk about The Cure with her.)
That would be good. As long as the cure doesn’t mean I have to drink 300 bottles of wine each day. I wouldn’t like that.
That made me laugh. I had just bought a couple of bottles of wine at Trader Joe’s and I think she was remembering a conversation from a few days before about wine being a “grown up” drink that she wouldn’t like until she’s old enough.
She finished her business and headed to the playground seemingly unphased by the conversation.
It wasn’t until over an hour later as we were nearing our home town that I realized what she was talking about.
One day last year she had a half day of school. As a treat I took her out for lunch, just the two of us. We went to Steak ‘n Shake and ended up sitting at the counter next to another family from the school.
As she chatted with the mother I checked her blood sugar and gave her insulin. She matter-of-factly told the mom that she has diabetes. Like she always does. (Read my guest post on Lemonade Life today.)
The mom told her that she used to have diabetes. She had gestational diabetes.
Q was excited as always to find a kindred diabetes spirit. She asked if she still has diabetes and the mom said no.
As I remembered this exchange I had a twinge of resentment toward this woman. I understand that she was trying to tell my daughter that she “gets it.” But on the other hand, does my five-year-old really need to know that some people can have diabetes and then not have it, but there is no hope for her?