Thoughts on a Daughter’s Diagnosis

I originally wrote this in January of 2018, on the twentieth anniversary of my daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes.


A week before diagnosis – to remind you how young a 20 month old is.

Twenty years ago today [now twenty-five years ago], everything changed. Not so much for me as for my first born.

In December of 1998, during my winter break from teaching, my 19-month old daughter Emily and I got the flu. It was clearly a particularly bad flu season because I can count the number of times I’ve gotten the flu on one hand, and this was one of them. The two of us snuggled together on the couch for a week as our bodies fought to make us well. Soon enough, I was up and about, feeling much better. But Emily continued to just lay on the couch. For another week. She wouldn’t eat, but she was willing to take formula from a bottle, so I was relieved that at least she was getting some nutrients.

After a week of this and concerned that she wasn’t improving, I took her to urgent care, which was filled with parents and children suffering from that year’s flu bug. 

“She has the flu ma’am. Just take her home and let her sleep,” I was told by an irritated doctor.

So I did.

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