Jax May Have Type 1 Diabetes But It Doesn’t Slow Him Down – CMN Child of the Week
The Children’s Miracle Radiothon is this Thursday and Friday and the Mix 94.1 Crew couldn’t be more excited. I would love you to meet a wonderful CMN kiddo who I met when he was just a baby. You see I have known and worked with his mom for years. It was 2 years ago that Jax and his momma Kim stepped into my studio to tell me that Jax has Type 1 diabetes. It was 2 years ago that Jax met Murphy(as in Murphy, Sam and Jodi), who like Jax lives with diabetes. Meet this week’s child of the week Jax May.
Story courtesy of Kim May
2 ½ years ago, I only semi-understood Type 2 Diabetes. Had never even heard anyone discuss Type 1 diabetes. And I lumped them both together by assuming that the “cure” was one or two shots a day and off you go.
Boy, was I wrong. Ignorant. And blindly mistaken.
The truth is, I am still spinning from the stunning impact that Type 1 diabetes has had on our family. One day we had two healthy boys. The next day, we came face to face with the brutal fact that our four year old has a chronic and life threatening disease.
I’ve learned more than I’d like to know about diabetes. About how insulin, the hormone required to keep my child alive, could also kill him. About how it reduces life expectancy by 10 to 15 years. About how running high blood glucose levels increase the risk of blindness, limb amputation, stroke and kidney failure. And about how the body absorbs insulin differently every single injection. So, even if we did everything consistently – ate the same meal at the same time every day, the same amount of exercise and the same amount of insulin – each day would result in very different blood glucose levels.
After two years, things have not returned to normal. Jax no longer looks sick, but diabetes still consumes my life. Diabetes can be isolating, because friends and relatives can’t comprehend the enormous demands diabetes makes upon a family.
While sitting in ICU, those first hours after learning Jax had Juvenile Diabetes, repeatedly I thought, “Four shots per day, how can we do this?” Today, injections are already like brushing your teeth. It’s just something you must do every day.
Now, I spend my time wondering about glucose levels. I’ve been solemnly appointed as Jax’spancreas. And almost as a software program silently running in the background, I think about his numbers constantly. His glood sugar is high. Should we correct? Now he’s low, how many glucose tabs. As life happens, my son’s diabetes runs in the background, never forgotten and always highest priority.
My nights are an endless string of finger pokes, snacks and sleeplessness. Could any parent sleep soundly through the night when faced with the potential of their child dropping into a coma? Every time I wake up before Jax and hear only silence, I wonder if he is still alive.
Jax, so brave and strong, rarely complains. He is amazingly accepting of the
amount of work involved each day, just to keep him alive. But he is still grieves the loss of his normal.
After a bout with the flu I asked Jax if he was glad he wasn’t sick anymore. Those gorgeous brown eyes lit up, a smile radiated his face and he shouted, “I don’t have diabetes anymore?” And recently, while snuggling with me after waking up, he whispered to me that he hates diabetes.
Somewhere, in the middle of all of this, I have found peace about diabetes. I’ve slapped courage like a sticker to my forehead so that I can lead my children by example. I refuse to complain, because it’s not really hard. It’s just work.
Diabetes might consume our life, but we refuse to let it control us. We are moving forward. Life is going on. Like tiny toddlers learning to walk, we are finding our footing in this new life. I can talk business and take a call from the school to discuss blood glucose, almost in the same sentence. I am able to daydream about our next trip to the beach, even if it means a glucometer, insulin and plenty of juice boxes will be there with us.
Faith is still a mystery to me, but I hunger to find the line between having faith that miracles still happen and accepting a disease. Trust remains elusive, but I discovered peace when I put my trust in God.
I find myself thinking about Heaven differently. “No more pain and no more disease” actually mean something to me now. Heaven is the place where Jax will live free from diabetes, finger pokes, injections, carb counting and correction ratios. Heaven is where my child will play freely and as long as he wishes. Heaven is where I’ll curl up with my mom and Jesus on the front porch and watch my babies play. Heaven is where I’ll throw down the burden of diabetes and never think back to what life was like before diabetes.
Heaven is where I’ll never hear my baby boy ask the question, “Momma, do I still have diabetes?”