Living with diabetes has not turned out to be as bad as we feared. Modern medical technology is such a blessing, and the old wisdom about avoiding sweets at all costs has been replaced by carbohydrate counting.
Yes, there have been times when we've merrily dashed off to a Chinese restaurant for dinner only to realize when we arrived that we'd forgotten David's insulin. And yes, there was one time when we accidentally gave him the wrong dose -- requiring us to wake him every two hours for blood checks and snacks during the night. But the routine is now familiar: Three shots and four blood checks a day.
He pricks his finger and tests his blood himself ,and will soon administer his own shots, too. Staying healthy as a diabetic requires just exactly the traits David has in abundance: responsibility, caution and intelligence. And his response to the challenge has made us very proud. Though a robust child, he was never very good about enduring pain and discomfort. That has changed. He does it all without complaint or irritability.
When he was first diagnosed, the doctor told him that there were only two things he could not do because of this disease: become a pilot and serve in the U.S. military. Regarding the latter, she gestured toward me and said, "Your mother might not mind that."
I said nothing, but was hugely gratified when David replied, and with straightforward sincerity, "I will find other ways to serve my country."