It’s a pleasure to introduce myself to you as the newest member of the T1D Exchange team. My name is Amy Bevan, or GluMom, and I working on the Glu team here at T1D Exchange. I am very excited about this role, as it allows me to combine my personal experience with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and my professional passion for writing and communications to provide information and support to the Glu community. I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you and helping in any way I can.
My Diabetes Story
One year ago this month, just before Halloween, my son Miles was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of six. We were in the midst of fall fun in our home state of Maine, visiting corn mazes and fall festivals and picking apples as a family, when we noticed that Miles was constantly searching for the restroom. When his doctor asked if he was also very hungry or thirsty, we laughed and said, “Of course! He’s a six-year-old boy!” But before the day was over, we were heading to Maine Medical Center with a diagnosis of T1D, and our lives haven’t been the same since.
Miles, his dad, and I spent two days in the hospital learning everything we needed to know about blood glucose, insulin, ketones, carbohydrates, and more. As a parent, it was very difficult to absorb all of this information in such a short period of time, while grasping the concept that this was a life-changing disease for Miles and our family. I remember the first “Aha!” moment came when I realized we would not be able to simply drop him off at a friend’s birthday party that weekend, like all of the other parents. I broke down into tears as the nurse educator gave me a look of relief. I was starting to understand the severity of this diagnosis.
Life As We Know It
People ask me all the time, “How’s Miles doing?” It’s not an easy question to answer. He’s healthy and living with type 1 diabetes, but it’s not a lot of fun when he wants to nosh on snacks at a party or run around the playground with his friends. It’s a 24-hour-per-day illness, even if he feels good and looks like a normal kid.
People don’t often ask T1D parents how they are doing. Parenting is hard work in the best of circumstances. Managing a child with T1D requires constant attention, drains your bank account, causes battles with health insurance companies, keeps you up at night and takes time away from your other children, jobs and interests to attend doctor’s appointments. My husband and I do the very best we can to stay positive, take it all in stride and be grateful that Miles is doing well, overall. But it’s not easy.
My Glu Story
I joined the Glu community several months ago, answering the Questions of the Day and following other members’ discussions. It became very clear to me that, (1) there is no “right answer” when it comes to diabetes, and (2) there is a huge community of people dealing with the same things my family faces every day. I took comfort knowing my family wasn’t alone, and I was thrilled to find other perspectives that my son’s doctors and educators hadn’t offered.
In my new role, I will support the mission of T1D Exchange by writing articles and engaging with members of the Glu Community. I am a nationally published journalist, as well as a copywriter, proposal writer and blogger, but at no time have my professional and personal lives been so closely aligned. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to T1D Exchange in this way and look forward to connecting with you all.