Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Taking the Plunge

Since we have diabetes in the family, my husband and I have decided to take our two children, ages 4 and 9, to the TrialNet event here in San Diego tomorrow, where they will be screened for the antibodies responsible for the development of type 1. Not only will we be contributing to a very important study on how to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes, we will be finding out some critical information on our own kids' likelihood to develop the disease.

But I'm petrified.

It's not logical, I know ... but as a mother I am terrified to find out whether one of my beautiful children has the markers that mean they will develop type 1 diabetes in the next 5 or so years. Sometimes the fear takes over rational thought... the idea of such little people having to deal with this disease on an hourly basis makes me want to weep. And I know that my husband feels the same way... and even moreso, because if one of our kids does test positive, then somehow he feels it is "his fault", since his genes are the ones bringing diabetes into their lives...

However, my husband and I are choosing not to stay in the fear, not to bury our heads in the sand, thinking that
not knowing is better than knowing. Five years ago perhaps - when there wasn't anything out there to DO with the knowledge ... then yes, we would have had a reason to avoid the information. But now, with the advances in research and the clinical trials out there that are helping if not to completely prevent the onset of type 1, to postpone it by a number of years, we have no excuse not to do this.

And so it is time to face the fear ... to take the plunge. Hopefully our children will be one of the 96% of family members of people with type 1 who do not test positive for the antibodies (96 people out of 100 test negative), and all this fear will be a moot point.

But if they do test positive, or one of them does, we will face it the same way that we faced my husband's original diagnosis 15 years ago - together, with strength, and with positive action.