Sometimes diabetes can seem like a monster to a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. It looks over us at night – and every second of every day.
It’s obviously not only us parents, but the kids themselves that feel like they are being chased by a forever monster. No one likes having type 1 diabetes, but as a kid (especially a teen) it can be very hard. I am writing this, because today a family is sitting in a hospital room praying that their 17-year-old son recovers from a self-inflicted insulin overdose. He’s not an addict, yet is overdosing on the very medication that keeps him alive.
Answering the door at 3:00 AM to find the police there is every parent’s worst nightmare. They asked to talk to their son. Thankfully he sent a text to a friend and that friend (an angel to the family) saved his life by calling 911.
So now the real work begins. Saving his life was a Godsend and now trying to get him to accept the disease is the challenge. He wasn’t diagnosed yesterday, is a good kid and loves his family. They didn’t expect this. NEVER expected this.
Their son’s personality sounds a lot like my son Joey. He is a homebody who loves spending time with his family, yet is at the age where he wants me to cut the ties. He is confident with his type 1 diabetes when he’s with his buddies and around familiar faces. The funny thing is, his message to other kids with type 1 diabetes is, “Don’t be embarrassed by type 1, you didn’t ask for it. Just be yourself and your friends will like you for who you are.”
|Joey Balistrieri has become a role model for other children with type 1 diabetes.
However, I have noticed that when he’s in a situation where there are kids around that aren’t aware he has type 1 diabetes, he becomes reserved. Yet, other times he can be so confident. As an ADA Ambassador, he spoke in front of hundreds this past year.
A radio personality that interviewed Joey told me he was very impressed by him, being such a young man with so much wisdom. I am very proud of Joey’s convictions with raising diabetes awareness. Continue reading