Parents Talking Type 1: Scott & Arden

We recently asked our Facebook and Twitter communities to send us their stories—specifically, what it’s like to be the parent of a child living with type 1 diabetes. Having received a lot of wonderful stories, we’re excited to present these favorites on the blog every week.

We hope you’re as inspired by these personal stories as we are, and that you’re willing to keep the conversation going. Tell us more in the comments!


Name: Scott and Arden (@ArdensDay)IMG_3166
Location: Central New Jersey

Arden, 11 years old, was diagnosed around her second birthday. No one else in the family has diabetes, but there are other varying endocrine issues with the women on my wife’s side.

My wife and I had children because we wanted to love and care for them, to help them to become happy and healthy adults. We certainly weren’t expecting that type 1 diabetes would be part of our lives as we planned a family. However, it’s here and the pressure, responsibility and burden of parenting with type 1 does not change our desire to be the parents that we imagined we were before Arden was born. We are living the life we have and living it as well as we can.

Arden is about to enter the sixth grade. She wears a Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and I can see the blood glucose readings on my iPhone. Her A1C dropped over a point and a half a few years ago but afterwards we began to handle the school day as if we were together along with school staff. I talk about it on an episode of my Juicebox Podcast titled “Texting Diabetes.” I have worked extensively with the school staff over the years to build a good relationship. This time spent is invaluable.

My daughter’s type 1 diagnosis is, to date, the most terrible thing that has happened to our family. But we didn’t let it affect who we are at our core. Our goals and the way we go about our days, those things remain unchanged. I would do anything for diabetes not to exist, but living with and loving a person who has a chronic illness gives you a perspective that would take two lifetimes to fully understand. This perspective is a gift that will enhance your life in ways that you can’t imagine. It’s not a fair trade by any means, but please don’t let anger and sadness keep you from seeing it. It will carry you a long way.

My advice to other parents with newly diagnosed children would be to find a community. Also know that while living with type 1 diabetes never gets easier, you will get so much better at dealing with it that one day, much sooner than you can imagine right now, it will feel easy (on most days). Hang tough, gain experiences, pay attention to trends and stay fluid.


The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School campaign is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunities as their peers. To learn more, visit http://diabetes.org/sas.

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8 Responses to Parents Talking Type 1: Scott & Arden

  1. Annie Jordan says:

    Great story loved your article! I think it’s awesome that you’re such an involved dad, it is not only “key” but it’s necessity! My daughter Hannah is 11 also and in sixth grade maybe she and Amber should be penpals, have your daughter check out Hannah’s page on our website http://www.carbtcrunchingkids.com and join our Facebook page as well we post healthy recipes and fun stuff! Way to go dad! Gonna look for your podcast!

  2. Jacko says:

    The way that you put yourself in the middle between your child and the school is incredible! When I was in school, I hid my diabetes from EVERYONE as well as humanly possible; often at the expense of my health. But while my health suffered, my confidence did as well. My parents barely ever discussed my diabetes (partially because of my insistence to hide it), and so I never really stopped feeling like a diabetic ‘freak’.

    I can say from my own experiences that if you embrace your daughters’ diabetes as if it was your own (because it really is, isn’t it?) your daughter will have the courage and confidence that comes along with your love.

    I am starting a new blog, attempting to find the humor, irony, and ‘lighter side’ of diabetes at <a href='www.kissmydiabetes.wordpress.com'; check it out and share your thoughts and stories!

  3. I really appreciate this article and the comments alongside it. I do agree wholeheartedly that when this condition is put in the proper context it can fuel and inspire everyone to live more deeply, with greater passion. While I long for the day that my 7 year old(t1d for 5 years) will no longer have to bear with keeping up with all that is involved, I will treasure the person that the condition has helped to create – a strong, intentional, prepared and empathic child. Thanks for the great post.

  4. Pingback: Parents Talking Type 1: Scott and Arden | Gregg's Diabetes

  5. Tish says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your prteinsateon but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  6. Christine says:

    I am a juvenile diabetic of almost 9 years in September which will mark half my life with diabetes. Around the same time I was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease. It’s been the hardest part of my life and makes the lives of my 5 siblings much more difficult. The week I was released from the hospital after my diagnosis was the first time I recall my father crying. Walking with me around the block by my house, tears welled up in his eyes, his face reddened and puffy from the flood of tears that week broke my heart. He is the strongest man I’ve ever met and seeing him cry was when I realized how serious this disease was going to be. Nobody else in my family has diabetes aside from grandparents with type 2 and my aunts and uncles.

    Over the years with diabetes I became unmotivated, and felt hopeless. I gave up on my faith for like a year and my life got even worse. I broke down crying myself to sleep for a while, and when I turned 13 I hated everything. I was constantly sick and not understanding why. I ended up staying home from school one day and right before my mom left for work, she came up to check on me. I was unconscious. I was dying. That morning I had unknowingly been giving my mom false blood sugar readings. My blood sugar was 1,000+ and to this day I don’t know why. I hadn’t been expected to live.

    After quite some time, I turned back to God. I broke down and cried,
    “God, why is this happening? I just want to be healthy! Like a normal teen!”
    I know God had answered me in His way of not speaking directly to me but picking me up. I cried out to Him and my life slowly began to get better. I made new friends at school. I became happier. I wanted to help others.

    This year my life changed for the best. I met a guy that shares values of Christ with me. I asked him to prom (something I wasn’t going to do but I know God wanted me to). I have found Jesus. HE saved my life. And I know that not everyone who reads this will believe in God but He sure is worth it! HE lifts my spirit and makes me feel better living with diabetes.

    From someone who went from this shy girl, getting bullied and being called “contagious” (I kid you not!) to this confident girl, praying to God and loving my life, it is worth it to put faith in God and HIS timing that there will be a cure for these awful illnesses. (Maybe not in this lifetime) but one day when we go to God’s Kingdom, there we will live healthy, and in HIS love forever!

  7. Erika Payne says:

    Your article really touched me. My son was diagnosed just 2 months ago, and I am still in shock. I find it reassuring that others make the same experiences.

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