20 years ago today, Mum, younger brother ("A"), and I went to Calais for the day. A started getting incredibly thirsty, and kept drinking and drinking and drinking. It was out of character for him, and when we got home, Mum took him to the hospital. A was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic.
As an 11 year old kid, being diagnosed a diabetic 2 days after Halloween is the highest level of Morissette irony, and my brother loved his candy. It was a bumpy road to get adjusted to that lifestyle at such a young age. He's gone through many trials and tribulations, added some extra diseases along the way, and has had numerous hospital stays, though none directly related to diabetes.
He's had some very positive experiences though. Joslin Diabetes Center is a world-class facility in Boston. They have done more for him than anyone around here, and A is probably at the level where he could teach others. We were so fortunate to have the money to send him there and get the testing and training to better manage his conditions. I wish that could be an option for everyone.
Mum has been instrumental in keeping A on track, her medical background helping immensely. Even now, he and she still discuss his various issues. Mum has spent years helping him learn to take his insulin, regulate his diet, keep records of his blood sugar, tend to him during his hospital stays... I can't possibly total all of the things she's done to help him along the way, but she's an integral part in why he's as healthy as he is today. I hope he fully realizes that.
I hope he can keep up-to-date on the islet transplant trials, and that eventually he may qualify. He was so disappointed when he was told he wasn't going to be part of the trial, but I have hope that they will expand over time.
I'm glad he's still around, and I love him.