Where do I start? It must be with thanks.

Thank you to everyone who emailed or called after I shared the news last month that my son’s been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. They used to call it Juvenile Diabetes and it doesn’t get more juvenile than Benny. The doctors gave us the news December 2nd, just one month shy of his second birthday. It means his pancreas doesn’t work and never will. His body doesn’t make insulin and he needs injections to stay alive.

Thank you to the incredible doctors and nurses at Carolinas Medical Center – especially our overnight nurse who is a Type I diabetic herself. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that first night just to meet a successful, healthy, adult living with Type I (and she’s a mom! and she’s expecting!).

Thanks to our pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Mark Vanderwel, who made me feel perfectly normal every time I called him with another question. When you’ve never, ever given a shot and suddenly your two year old needs 4 or 5 a day, trust me there’s a lot to ask. He moved! Did he get all the insulin? I pricked my finger (again)! I may have mixed up the long-acting and short acting insulin vials! No wait, I didn’t. Will Tylenol make his blood sugar go up? Does running around and falling down laughing, as only a two year old can, bring his blood sugar down? I love Dr. Vanderwel. He’s got patience and a sense of humor (he needs both to deal with me) and he’s a great doctor.

Thanks to my amazing husband, Slade. When we got home from the hospital, he threw open the cupboards and sprang into action. He set up “diabetes central” with all our supplies, everything organized, in our kitchen. We have a chart now that shows the carb count of all our kids’ favorite foods. Pizza goldfish? 15 carbs per 40 fishes. Three cheese tortellini? 33 grams in 19. String cheese? Less than one carb per. Slade’s set up a whole system to keep track of Benny’s food, blood sugar, his shots. My Excel hero.

Thanks to my friends at WBT who didn’t blink when I needed some time off. To Al Gardner who came over to play with Lea & Benny. And only Jim Szoke could make me laugh about the challenge of holiday parties by making it sound as if I threw myself onto the cupcakes like they were grenades.

Thank you to every parent of a child with diabetes who emailed me to tell me that while things will never be the same, we will be okay. Thank you to all the grown-ups, diagnosed with Type I as kids, who shared stories of how far treatment has come.

This blog will be a place to talk about my family’s experience with diabetes, but also, I hope, a chance to share a little bit more about myself and about Charlotte’s Morning News. Let me know what you think.

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