Last Friday I took all three of my kids and enrolled them in TrialNet.
TrialNet is a clinical trial that is researching the prevention and early treatment of Type 1 Diabetes.
Because I have Type 1 Diabetes, my children are at higher risk for developing the disease. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
The first step in the study is to screen participants to see if certain autoantibodies are present – if they are, this means the person is at even higher risk for developing the disease. If they test positive, they can move on to the next steps in the study – more testing to determine exactly how high risk they are, and possibly intervention with medicines to try to delay the onset of the disease.
So on Friday the kids got their blood drawn to be screened for the autoantibody.
And I’m wrestling with the question… do I really want to know?
In essence, I’ll be finding out if any of them are at increased risk. I’m not sure I really want to know. It’s really scary to me.
Having their blood drawn Friday was not exactly a walk in the park. Thinking about a future with diabetes in it – regular blood testing, finger pricks, possibly multiple daily injections – is scary. And that’s not even the worst of it – thinking about one of them having a future with a shortened life expectancy, the stress of managing the disease, potential complications – that’s terrifying.
On the other hand, with knowledge can potentially come positive action. Steps that will delay onset. Preparation. A heightened awareness of signs/symptoms that could signal onset of the disease. That’s why I had them tested.
Now we’re waiting for results (I forgot to ask how long!). I’m not really agonizing over it, but it is like a dull ache in the back of my mind.
I keep coming back to the following verse. The knowledge that God knows the future and will be beside me no matter what gives me comfort…
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”