Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Being the parent of a child with diabetes

(The title of this post was originally "Being the parent of a diabetic child" but I changed it. I don't like the word diabetic. Anyone else feel this way? I feel like if I call Riley diabetic then I'm defining him by a disease. Anyway, I digress.)

  • late night and early morning fingers sticks
  • saying "I'm sorry" as you plunge a needle into your child's flesh
  • fear of letting them out of your site to play with friends what if they go low?
  • hoping and praying for a cure
  • feeling like you always have to be strong but never feeling strong enough
  • holding back tears as you see them spill over from your child's eyes
  • letting things go that you usually wouldn't isn't having diabetes enough of a punishment?
  • being jolted awake in the middle of the night with a fear that something is wrong
  • watching every bite of food they eat
  • seeing a tubing stick out of their waistband and feeling sad
  • trying to teach them how to care for themselves when you prefer to do everything yourself so they won't have to
  • holding your breath when they fall down playing sports did he trip or is he low?
  • feeling helpless when they have a sugar that just will not come down
  • feeling helpless when they are low and listless and all you can do is wait
  • feeling guilty because they have your genes
  • waking up a groggy child in the middle of the night to drink juice
  • praying that they will wake up to drink the juice
  • trying to determine if the way your child is acting is part of their personality or a result of their sugars
  • fear that they will have complications later in life resulting from the care they are receiving from you now

These are some things that are running through my mind today. Most days I'm OK. But today I'm acutely aware of how much this disease sucks.

11 comments:

Shannon said...

It's good to purge. The blogs are good for catching it so it doesn't burden you.

((((big hug)))

Vivian said...

Penny, I agree with Shannon. This blogging thing is good therapy. We all love you and are here for you.

Jillian said...

It's definitely much harder to be the parent in this situation. I can't even imagine that "wanting to fix this" feeling when it comes to being someone's mother. I'm glad you can use this blog to share your feelings. You can't hold it in or project them on to Riley, you're ability to share with us will keep him from feeling bad about his diabetes and keep you sane. We love you Penny!

Carey said...

I've also said "I'm sorry" while plunging the needle in. It's just horrible. Sorry if my post made you even more depressed.

Donna said...

Penny,
When my mom had to give me all those shots when I was a child, I'm sure she felt the way you do, too. But as the child, I don't really remember any pain involved.

While it's so difficult to deal with any pain Riley feels now - I don't think he'll remember any pain when he's older. He'll just remember that this is what had to be done & you loved him enough to take care of him in the loving way you do.

I hate that parents of children with diabetes have to go through this. It just stinks.

Major Bedhead said...

I hate the word diabetic, too. I go to great lengths to avoid using it.

Kseniya said...

You just listed every single feeling I have, often...

Hugs your way!
Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

wow! my words exactly! thanks

Kate said...

I go to tremendous lengths to not use the term "My son is a diabetic." Even when I am writing about other people with T1, I will write "****,who has had Type 1 Diabetes for 3 years..."
When a staff member who was making beverages at a cafe nodded towards Lance and said to the waitress, "This is for the diabetic, right?" he looked at me with those blue eyes and said "You know what Mum? She made me feel like I don't have a name." I remained chirpy and upbeatwhilst we both sipped out no-fat-milkshakes-with-diet-choc-flavouring, but innardly I was aware of my heart tugging and my anger building. When you child first discovers that the term, "diabetic" is associated with them,it's the day when their precious childhood is stained permanently. So yeah, I hate that freakin' word too.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Penny, very moving post. Thank you.

TexasNeals said...

penny,
i have a 6 year old daughter that was diagnosed w/ type 1 a year and a half ago. i have been angry this week. i feel so lonely as i deal w/ this b/c it seems like no one understands what i'm going through. you understand. i googled "blog child w/ diabetes" hoping to find someone out there dealing w/ the same garbage. thank you for sharing your feelings...i am not alone.

stacey