Back to Parents' Voices Sue Tremblay
Diabetes - Is there anything funny about it?
by Sue Tremblay

Anyone who has had a child diagnosed with diabetes would think I was crazy to suggest such a thing. However, regardless of the fact that we never wanted this in our lives, we have to live and deal with it as best we can. There does come a point when we have to get on with some kind of normalcy in our lives, and humour is part of it. I will share the moment in our lives when I knew my husband and I would survive this tragedy which had happened to our child and us.

We were sitting at the kitchen table, after the kids had gone to bed, sharing a bottle of wine (something we had not done much for a while after Julie's diagnosis). At that point, we still talked and thought about not much else except the diabetes. My husband suddenly turned to me and, with a horrified look on his face, said: "What would we do if by accident we gave Julie her day needle at night?" And I replied: "Well, I guess we would have to keep her up all night feeding her!"

For some reason -- likely the wine had something to do with it -- this struck the two of us at the same time to be immensely funny, and we laughed hilariously about it. We could just imagine ourselves getting up all night long and taking turns feeding poor Julie her meal plan. It makes me laugh just to think about it again, because at that time, Julie would likely have been happy to get up and eat all night long -- she was always hungry!

Anyway, that was the point that I knew that somehow we were going to survive this and that Julie would not die if we ever did make a mistake in her insulin (although in reality, we would have phoned the hospital to see what to do if that happened). Chances are the doctor on call would have advised a similar course of action, perhaps not feeding her 3 full meals and snacks though! Just the fact that we were able to laugh again, and find something funny even in this horrible thing that had happened to our family, must have been good therapy for us, (although in the back of my mind I was thinking, "what kind of a terrible parent am I to laugh about this?") Of course, if this had really happened, we probably wouldn't have laughed at all (until maybe years later), but we needed the laugh therapy then.

Do you have a funny or amusing story related to diabetes? I am thinking of compiling a newsletter, with humour as a big part of the focus. Send your stories to along with your permission to publish.

About the author: Sue Tremblay lives in the country with a husband, who somehow manages to keep the house from falling apart and two old wrecks of cars on the road, two daughters, one of which has been diabetic for the last two years, one cat which, if you leave a pencil lying around anywhere, chews all the lead off the end of it (until all the pencils in the house are all gnawed up and you can't find anything to write with anywhere), and a yard full of maple trees with branches dangling precariously from the tops (50 feet up) due to the ice storm in January.

Original posting: 5 Mar 98

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