When my husband and I decided to have children, I never thought that diabetes was going to be a concern. Honestly and truly, I didn't think it would happen to one of my children. The chances of a child of a diabetic mom developing diabetes as well is only 5%. That goes up to 7% if the dad is the diabetic. Not sure-odds by any stretch. Up until the moment I realized that Lily was showing signs of diabetes, it never occurred to me that she would have it. Now, it's all I worry about. Lily was always really tiny. She was in the 8%ile for her weight before she was diagnosed (after diagnosis, she grew 4 inches and several lbs in the first 6 months!). Before she was diagnosed, we'd been worried for months because her lymph nodes were staying swollen. I don't know how much of that to attribute to diabetes and how much of it was just because it was a normally, germy, Minnesota winter.
Jump ahead to post-diagnosis....we have a second child who is not diabetic. Yet. We hope Leo never develops it, but lately, it's all we worry about. At his last well-child check, his weight fell in the 1%ile. Yup, 99% of children his age are bigger than he is. Maybe my husband and I just grow them small. But for months, we've been worrying about his swollen lymph nodes. Yes, it was during winter in Minnesota, and it seemed to have been a particularly germy winter. But you can't help wondering if it's all connected. You worry. Maybe Lily was small because her body was too busy fighting itself to grow properly. Maybe her lymph nodes were swollen because her immune system was busy attacking her pancreas. How do you know what's just "normal" and what's a sign that you're leading up to a diagnosis for your second child?
It's hard sometimes to not let that worry drive your life. I have to make a conscious effort to not dwell on that worry. My husband and I have decided to develop the view that Leo will most likely be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in the future. We check his blood sugar randomly. He's surprisingly not bothered by finger-pokes. Doesn't even make a peep! It kind of feels sometimes like we're taking a defeatist view, but really, what can you do? There's no way to prevent diabetes and no way to predict it. Maybe Leo will get it. Maybe he won't. We're choosing to accept the probability that he will develop it and if he doesn't, we'll be pleasantly surprised.
Do other parents of diabetic children deal with this worry too?