I have given this a lot of thought, and I have to say that parents of children living with diabetes inspire me to work harder. In my psychotherapy practice, I have watched many parents of children living with diabetes struggle but never give up.
The struggle to raise a child is demanding. Raising a child living with diabetes is filled with exasperated levels of stress, and it takes a lot more work and attention than raising a child without diabetes. It is a physically, emotionally and mentally demanding job, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
At this point, we can’t predict, much less stop Type I Diabetes. If we could, then mothers would be able to protect their child. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and parents can only protect their children up to a point.
Despite this fact, mothers tend to feel a profound level of guilt around their child as though they didn’t protect them or caused their child to have Type 1 diabetes. Hopefully, mothers of children with diabetes find a way to resolve these feeling, as this chronic illness is genetic and can’t be prevented at this time..
In addition to taking care of a relentless chronic illness like diabetes, mothers still have to deal with their needs and feelings. These mothers tend to feel the need to be and stay strong, so their child grows up healthy and in control of their diabetes. As an adult looking back at my childhood, I can’t help but admire their courage and perseverance.
My Experience With Diabetes
I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes back in 1977. I was six years old at the time. I remember and know from my practice that when things get out of control for a child with diabetes, mothers are the ones who have to pick up the pieces.
They have to drop everything, put their fear into the background and take care of their child every time there’s a low blood sugar reaction. Each time the blood glucose meter or pump doesn’t work, Mom goes into action.
They play many roles: parent, advocate, researcher, doctor, nurse and many more. Mom is life for these children and tends to be under-appreciated for the immense job she does, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They are constantly on duty, yet; still seem to do this special job with loving care.
As a Diabetes-Focused psychotherapist, my job is to help others but I get to go home after work and take care of my needs. The job of the parent with a child living with diabetes is never ending. It never stops or turns off. Every time I think of what they have to endure, my admiration for them grows bigger.
When taking care of anything for my clients or myself, I know I can because of how they inspire me. My mother’s drive and dedication, when I was a child, helps me stay motivated to help people living with this relentless illness and their mothers.
By helping others and by taking care of myself, I honor my mother’s dedication to taking care of me. It is a hard job, and to all the mothers doing their best to raise healthy children who are living with diabetes, Thank You.
All the advice is therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Prior to making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.