Written by Cami Tepper
4/15/11. We’ve celebrated life, courage, strength and resilience on this day for 9 years of living with type 1 diabetes. No cause, no cure, no remission or seasonal vaccine. But this year, I find myself reflecting in a new yet familiar way.
As we entered this pandemic, I was hit with a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) of sorts, as it took me back to a horrific night when I rushed my son to the ER for what I thought was asthma and a bad case of the flu. Instead, he was whisked away from me and surrounded by teams of angels as they fought to save his life from a disease of which I had no knowledge, experience or awareness – type 1 diabetes.
A life they had never met; a life that meant more to me than my own. I could only watch in helplessness and disbelief, relying on those amazing doctors and nurses to do what I could not. Others gathered to comfort and pray with me. They continued even after they had to give me dismal after dismal prognosis when he slipped into a coma. And then different teams came in to teach and support us in our “new life” when he miraculously awoke. So many amazing people – just like the ones who step up for all of us during this pandemic. I thought THAT experience prepared us for this trying time but truthfully it didn’t.
What did prepare us as a family is living with an incurable disease that can take a beloved life at any time. You do whatever you need to do to live and stay healthy….no matter how it alters your daily routine, plans, family, job or vision of the future.
You follow doctors’ and professional’s advice and heed protocols.
You prepare, persevere and have faith.
You pray some more.
You suppress your fear and go about your “new normal” and trust that God leads you all through.
You dig deep inside and you learn so much about yourselves, family and friends.
You appreciate more and accept things that were previously unthinkable.
No, we will not celebrate this pandemic each year, and as with type 1, so many lives have been and will be lost. But we will use the same principals to stay this course – hopefully with the same results. But today- we take the time to celebrate Clay who inspires us every day.