By: Meredeth Aponte
It is what I have to be even though I am not actually the patient.
That’d be my big brother, Daniel. He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes more than 3 years ago, so he’s usually the patient. But since we’re brothers, we’re a team and that means I have to be patient. But I’m still just 4 years old and that can be tough.
Every time we sit down for a meal or grab a snack, I have to wait for Daniel to test his sugar, count his carbs, and dose. I have to wait in the doctor’s office every 3 months while Daniel gets his A1C checked and my mom and dad talk with the endocrinologist about how things are going.
Sometimes when we’re out shopping or at the zoo or an amusement park, I have to stop and wait for Daniel to have a fruit leather and let his blood sugar come back up. Sometimes I get even more frustrated because he gets to have a fruit leather and I don’t.
It can be hard to be patient, but at the same time, I am learning a lot about compassion and how to be loving and supportive.
When Daniel is doing a set change, I try to hold his hand. When he’s afraid that changing his sensor will hurt, I bring him his Lenny buddy to hold and comfort him. I’ve even pricked my finger to test my blood sugar just because I wanted to see what it was like and be brave like my big brother.
My mom and dad worry sometimes if I ask for extra glasses of water or if I wet the bed because that may mean I’m becoming a Type 1 kid, too, but for now, Daniel is still the only patient. And it’s up to our whole family to take care of one another and be patient.
We are a team. We pray together and work together. We pray for a cure. We work for a cure. That is the hardest thing to be patient for.