Diabetes is broken?
It’s 5am, pitch black outside, and I’m bumping around, getting ready to head to DC for JDRF’s Government Day – really an extended weekend of workshops, hobnobbing, and meeting legislators from our state to ask for their support. This year, the request is to renew the Special Diabetes Program, which sets aside $150 million/year for diabetes research, and $36 million for Washington state alone. I’m psyched to be going – it’s a great cause and wonderful to hang around other people with Type 1 in their lives.
Luke wakes up, snuffling with a cold, and I shepherd him back into bed. I say he’ll feel better in the morning, and that I’ll see him in a few days.
“Three days is a long, long time. I never see that many.”
“I know, Bud. But I’m going for an important reason” – I pause, trying to distill Government Day into three-year-old terms. “I’m going to ask some very important men and women for money to see if they can make diabetes go away.”
He stares at me blankly. Diabetes has been part of his existence longer than he’s been alive, now, and I’m not sure the concept of it going away makes any sense.
“Uh, I’m asking them for money to see if they can fix diabetes.”
This registers. “Diabetes is broken?” he asks incredulously. “You need to fix it?”
Wow. Didn’t see that one coming. My brain races – do I tell my kid he’s broken? That just a small part of his pancreas is broken (OK, his immune system wiring)? I cop out.
“Uh, get some sleep, and I’ll see you in a few days. I love you, Luke.”
“Bye, Mom. I love you, too.”