Last year after J's diagnosis we found out about the TrialNet Study. This is a study where they take a blood sample and are able to see if you have the autoantibodies present that cause Type 1 Diabetes. They recommend that any person with direct relation to a T1D get tested. If you are an adult it is a one time test, but if you are a child then you are screened annually to see if or when your body begins the process and then how long it takes for that to develop into T1D. TrialNet also offers prevention trials for those who screen positive and are at a higher risk for the development of T1D, and for this reason we decided to have E and ourselves tested.
We decided that if E were to ever develop T1D and we knew about the prevention trials but never screened for it, we would never forgive ourselves that we could have potentially prevented it from happening. So we scheduled our appointments with the lab and gave a sample of blood to be analyzed. After we submitted our samples we of course had to wait until the lab notified us of the results......pure torture! Not so much for myself, but to learn of E's fate. My worst fear is for him to also develop this disease. I see so many T1D families with multiple children affected by this disease and I am not quite sure that I could handle it! While certain aspects of another diagnosis would be easier a second time around, (we know how to manage the disease) I just can't wrap my brain around actually managing and worrying for two Type 1 Diabetic children.
Last year thankfully all of our tests came back negative and we could breathe a sigh of relief for the moment. They say that even with a negative result E could still develop T1D between screenings because the process happens so quickly in small children. We were told at J's diagnosis that it probably took a short 3 months from the start to when his body had killed off enough islet cells in his pancreas and his body finally couldn't keep up with the insulin demand needed! 3 months! Naturally, now any time E shows even the slightest symptom, the first thing that pops up in the back of our head "is it T1D?" While it is completely out of our control whether or not he develops the disease, the only thing we can do is get him screened and if GOD FORBID his body is in the process then we can attempt prevention trials to prolong and even maybe, just maybe, prevent it from happening at all!
This week we got the notification.....it is time for E's annual screening! While I know deep down that we have to do the screening, the anticipation of the results is just almost too much to bear. We pray for the test to be negative but like everything else in this unpredictable life, we will take the results as they come and deal with it the best that we can.
If you have a family member with T1D and you haven't been screened, you can use the link below to set up a screening in your area and it's FREE, so there is no excuse :)
Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet