I will preface this post with the fact that some of you may not like what I have to say, and this is a borderline rant. I will also remind you that this is my personal place for my opinion, and that I know by posting this I give you the ability to respond in whatever way you see fit. Here goes…
As a whole I think I have gained a lot from the various online Diabetes resources. I’ve gotten information about pumps, tricks to fix hyperglycemia, and support from people who have never even met me.
While those are all great things, each time I stumble upon a post in a blog or forum about how much a parent hates diabetes, I feel hurt. Not only for me, but for those parents and children. I know that it’s not an easy disease to live with or manage. I know that it pains a parent to look in the eyes of their child while they are struggling with a low. I certainly know the terror and exhaustion that each shot or infusion set change can bring to everyone involved. But what I don’t know is why every time I read a post like this, I feel like I’m not good enough. I feel like damaged goods. Like we should all be traded in for the new improved functioning islet cell model.
I usually know that I am good enough. I'm healthier and stronger than a lot of people. I'm lucky. These posts break me down, and chip away at my attitude.
I want to scream, “If this is the only thing that’s wrong with your child, it’s not that bad!” I’ll admit that I don’t know what it’s like to be a mother or father and diabetes caregiver. But I do know what it’s like to grow up with this disease and now manage it on my own. There are definitely aspects that are completely terrible, but put that in perspective with the fact that there are so many other things that could be wrong in life. Each person is truly a miracle, there is no other word for it. To make it into the world and only have diabetes be what’s wrong, is quite amazing as far as I’m concerned. I really don’t know where I’m going with this. I just hope that these opinions are not being expressed in front of the children with this disease. I can only imagine how much damage that could cause, because it hurts me to read the words about a disease I also have. I’ve formed my own opinion about living with disease, and I hope that other children out there are able to do to this without the outside influence of their parents or other onlookers.
*2/21/08 2:45 PM Revision. After an email chat with Shannon.*
I know that it's not easy. When you are a parent you only want the best for your children, I get that. I guess what I'm trying to say is that your children should be okay, there are so many examples in the blogging community of happy, healthy adults living successfully with Type 1 Diabetes.
I just hope you can find peace with this disease for your own sake.