Monday, November 17, 2008

The Meaning of a Cure

Diabetes is a disease of "right now", and "what may come". "Right now" I have the painful tasks of giving my 14 month old daughter daily injections, and poking her finger to check her blood sugar. I diligently count her carb intake and walk that frustrating tightrope of her blood sugar being too high or too low. But that's not what scares me. That I can handle. I mostly fear the "what may come" part of this disease. The inability to manage diabetes brings risks of kidney failure (requiring lifetime dialysis), blindness, strokes, and amputation. Just having the disease means that Elise is expected to live 14 years shorter than average life expectancy. And perhaps most heartbreaking, any inattention to her treatment could mean that she may never be able to bear children.

There is some good news, though. For the first time, scientists are predicting that we CAN expect to see a cure well within our lifetime. It's something I dream about for my daughter, a hope so tangible that my heart races with excitement when I think about it. I don't think I've ever wanted anything so badly. I do not dare despair that it might never happen for her, for that would be admitting victory for diabetes.

So for now, I'll hold onto the hope for a cure, praying that "what may come" never will. For Elise, or anyone else.


Kim said...

Inspiring words! They give me hope, too.

Amber S. said...

I'll start praying specifically for a cure when you, Fred, and Elise pop into my mind. Oh, and I'll keep the usual "keeping your sanity" and "low-but-not-too-low blood sugars" stuff in there too. ;-)

You are such a great mom, Joanne. So engaged in your daughter's life. Definitely a woman to be respected.

Hang in there,