Category: Parents of Diabetics

type 1 parents

To All The Type 1 Parents Out There

To All The Type 1 Parents Out There

By: Kathryn Julian


I’m a teacher, mother, wife, and daughter. I am also a type 1 diabetic.

For the nearly 30 years I have navigated this disease. I have memories of mixing clear and cloudy, blood drops the size of Antarctica, the fist insulin pump trials, and of course the constant doctors appointments reminding me of all the horrors this disease can cause if gone uncontrolled. Through it all, I had the unwavering support of my two greatest advocates, my parents.

My mom and dad had no idea what this disease was when their baby girl was diagnosed. They always provided me with the best care, the best doctors, the best equipment they could.

When something new came out that could make my life a little easier my dad worked a little harder to get it for me. My mom measured my carbohydrates for every meal and always made sure I had extra snacks.

I remember in 7th grade my dad stayed the night in a hotel near the campground where my 7th grade field trip was just in case I needed him. Just in case something went wrong. But, they let me go….

I remember when I left for college and the excitement that I felt. I couldn’t wait to go. Many years later, I learned the fear my parents had. They weren’t sure if I would be alright. They worried everyday. But they let me go…

I remember when I wanted to move to the big city, work in an inner city school, and get my own apartment without roommates. My parents never discouraged me, never told me the fears they had of me living alone. They let me go….

When I was 24 I wanted to travel the world during summer break. My parents helped gather glucose tablets, extra pump supplies, syringes, and test strips. They were beyond terrified their daughter was traveling to third world countries. They never told me their fears. They let me go…

At 26, when I met an amazing man, he asked me to marry him. My life would now be shared with someone else, and for the first 26 years my parents worried day in and day out about me being alone, I now had someone at my side. The fears they had were still there but the burden was lifted a bit….

That following year my husband and I found out we were pregnant. It was a healthy pregnancy, my daughter was born perfect, without complications. I never knew the burden my mother felt. The fear she had…

A few years later my mom told me how scared she was through the whole pregnancy. She, told me how much she worried. I never knew.

Right after she told me her fears, I told her I was pregnant again. My poor mother smiled through the whole pregnancy, hiding her fears from me. But now, at 33, I knew she was scared. She wasn’t fooling me anymore. But, she never told me. She supported and encouraged me the same way she had my entire life. My second daughter was born this past May. She too, like my first, is perfect.

My mom and dad taught me never to let this disease stop me from doing anything. They provided me with the support, encouragement, love, and strength to endure some very dark days. They have always been there for me.

Now, a mother of two daughters myself, I can’t imagine the fears they had while I grew up. I was three years younger than my oldest daughter when I was diagnosed.

I have thought often about the strength my mom and dad had in raising me before the technology was readily available. How they let me live my life. They taught me that diabetes was just a part of me like the color of my eyes.

I can never thank them enough for the life they have given me. But, I can continue to live my life the way they want me to.

So, to all the type 1 parents out there, who have raised their children to be fearless, strong, and determined. It is because of you this disease won’t stop us. There aren’t words to thank you enough.


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If I'm completely honest - t1d

If I Am Completely Honest –

If I Am Completely Honest –

By: Heather Lyons

Blog: Coffee & Jesus


Type one diabetes (T1D) does not control my family. We control it. Family, friends, doctors, and teachers control it. Jett controls it. Everyday. We fight it. We endure it. We cry about it. We build strength from it. We grow. We learn.

It has molded Jett and I and made us different people. Health, fitness, and faith is my world now. I am more thankful because of it. I realize each day is so precious and yet another amazing gift from God. I am thankful for T1D. And, I hate it! It’s inexplainable. I want to take it away from Jett but then, again, I know he is dominating it and life because of the strength he has built from it.

If I'm completely honest - t1d
I try not to talk about it that much or even write about it. But, please know, that it is a big part of our life and Jett and I are who we are today because of it. I wouldn’t change that. I know that our God knows best.

I try not to talk about it or write about it because:

If I am completely honest, sometimes I feel a little bitter and angry because of it. But, not for the reasons that you would think. I feel angry because I feel like people do not understand it. They don’t understand that the same medicine, insulin, which keeps Jett alive could also kill him. They don’t understand that there are long term side effects.

They don’t understand that Jett has mood swings because of it and feels like he has the flu when his sugar is high. I feel like people think I make excuses for Jett. The truth is, Jett is fighting an incurable disease that would break most people and he is doing an incredible job. My Jett-Man is a super-hero!

If I am completely honest, sometimes I feel guilty. I feel guilty that it is a lot of work for family members and teachers. He requires so much more attention than most kids. But, he is worth it! I am so thankful for family and friends that ease my anxiety and help take such great care of him. Jett and I are blessed with the best.

I never expected this horrible, life-threatening but yet life-strengthening disease to hit my family. Especially, my precious little, at the time, 6 year old boy that was going to accomplish big things and had his entire life in front of him.

Guess what? Things happen that totally rock our worlds. And, Jett is still going to accomplish more incredible things than I could have ever imagined and he has his entire life ahead of him to inspire people and do amazing things.

I am a firm believer that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react.

One of my favorite bible verses, that my sweet sister Beth shared with me, is:

John 9: 1-3, “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

God will surely use my Jett-Man!

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.


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A Night In The Life Of a Type 1 Diabetic

I wrote this poem last night at 3 a.m. Seems like almost every night I am up at that time. Truth be told though I am not alone. Multitudes of others share a similar experience when caring for someone with this disease. If you know someone with Type 1 Diabetes and they are managing it so well know that there is a whole lot of hard work behind it.


A Night In The Life of a Type 1 Diabetic

By: Mary Williams

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray to God I catch some Zzz’s.
The first alarm goes off at 12
Time to make sure all is still well

A blood sugar reading of 65.
Time to down juice to keep her alive.
“Wake up sleepy head, it’s that time of night
Wake up so momma can make you alright.”

15 minutes later its time to re-poke
A drop of blood reveals its time for some Coke
Still too low to go to bed.
So we patiently wait to lay our weary heads.

15 minutes go by and the Alarm bell rings
Another drop of blood…141 it sings.
Set the alarm to wake up at 3.
My head hits the pillow and my alarm startles me.

Another drop of blood into the machine.
350 is what it now currently screams!
Freakity Frack!
I want our old lives back.

Time for a shot to bring them back down.
Set the alarm for 6 this time around.
My head hits the pillow its time for a snooze.
The alarm interrupts The Rock giving me booze,

On a nice sandy beach, enjoying a walk.
The alarms jolts me back to type 1 diabetes talk.
Another drop of blood says she needs to wake up.
65 again! This royally sucks.

night in the life of a type 1 diabetic

Time to down juice, we know the routine
I hate this disease, it makes me feel mean.
Another drop of blood is what I request
From small little hands that are trying their best

To be brave when the needles cause so much pain
Fingers riddled with scars is what has been gained
And now its time to start a brand new day,
With one step forward, there’s no other way.

Sleep is for the privileged and caffeine is on ice
A cure for type 1 diabetes sure would be nice.
To be rid of the burden that this disease brings
Would ease this mommy’s mind and end my baby’s suffering.


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What I’ve Learned From My Child Who Battles Type 1 Diabetes

By: Kirsten White


I learned how to be brave.
I learned how to stay strong.
I learned how to stare fear in the face with a giggle and a smile.
I learned what life is all about.
I learned what a hero really is.
I learned what a fighter does.
I learned what courage feels like.
I learned what unstoppable means.

I am the mother, I am supposed to teach my son these things.

But this T1D life has brought a new perspective. The long sleepless nights. The math skills I never knew I possessed. The gut wrenching fear of highs and lows, pertaining to both blood glucose readings and the events of the day.

The planning. The prescriptions. The doctors appointments. The technology. The sticks and pokes, and new things to carry on his body. He has faced them all with a smile.

Even on our three day stay in the hospital at diagnosis, he was running and playing with a smile, and singing, his favorite country stars songs, Jamey Johnson to everyone. He was the talk of the hospital wing.

He shows off his gear with pride now everywhere we go. He gets excited to see kids wearing gear like his at all the events we attend to raise money and awareness. He hasn’t let a thing stop him. He even shows off his Tae Kwon Do skills wearing his gear to win his first trophy.

I want him to always have such a bright and happy outlook on life. To grow and learn about his disease and to educate others. I pray nothing in this life will ever put a damper on those big blue eyes, and those dimples.

Yes, my three year old has been the tough one, the strong one, the brave one.

He has taught my family how life should be faced no matter what is thrown at you. He is my hero, better than Batman. For the rest of my life I will fight along side him until there is a cure! 



 

dear brand new d mom

Dear Brand New D Mom,

Dear Brand New D Mom,

I know when you looked at your child for the very first time the day they were born you never expected a day like the day they told you your child was sick and they’d never get better. I know you had hopes and dreams and Type 1 Diabetes has seemingly taken away all the aspirations you had for your child.

I know you are scared.

You feel like you no longer have control of your life. You can’t take away the pain that is inflicted daily to your child. You in no way can make this better.

You didn’t cause it, but you can’t fix it. That in itself has left you feeling broken and useless.

You feel weak because you are broken, but I’d like to tell you that it’s just simply not the case. You have a strength in you that you didn’t know was there. Type 1 Diabetes isn’t who your child is and they will continue to amaze you daily.

 

You will begin to realize your child will be as amazing as you’d always dreamed WITH Type 1 Diabetes.

You are a fighter and so is your child. Type 1 is a diagnosis that breaks you in a way no one but D parents understand. I am now a year into the fight that you are just beginning. I remember being glued to Google and Calorie King, logging endlessly doses and carb intakes and feeling like that was the most control I had at the time.

My heart ached with every dose of insulin I put into my child.

I spent countless nights sobbing into my pillow, hiding in the bathroom letting the water run to mask the my broken cries. We all go through those nights. We all sleep with our newly diagnosed child close by just to make sure we don’t miss a low, to try and protect them from the demons that cloud our ever waking and sleeping moments.

Let me be one of the people who tell you that YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT.

This is hard, but you are a Warrior Mom alongside your Warrior Child. You don’t see it in yourself right now, but its there and when the dust settles you will see that this fight never became easier,

YOU BECAME STRONGER. From one D Mom to another, YOU GOT THIS!

– Ashlea Mello

Also Written: The “D” World and What It Means To Be a Mother Of a Child With Diabetes


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Diabetes Is There Every Step Of The Way

Diabetes Is There Every Step Of The Way

By: Angela Ameno


Dear Diabetes,

I can sit here and write a novel about how much I hate you.

How you’ve crept into every aspect of my boy’s life and made yourself at home. You, the unwelcome guest, the burden he will carry as of now, forever.

You are there when he’s happy or excited. You are there in his dark moments. You are there when he’s taking an exam. You are there running beside him on the basketball court. You have graced us with your presence at his tender age of 8 so most likely you will be there for many firsts; first kiss, first time he drives, first job.

Needless to say I hate you for everything you do, the highs and the lows you bring. The constant 24-hour battle you wage inside my son’s body. The calculations, the guessing, the needles. The freedom sucker… that’s how I see you. Every thought has you in it. Every step has you behind it.

I also hate you because you confuse people. My son will forever feel the need to tell people he did not cause this. He did not eat too much sugar. It will not get better with time. It cannot be controlled by a pill.

What’s sad is that after only three short years, my son is already growing weary of explaining, but he remains strong. He is surrounded by family and friends who love and support him and never make him feel like he’s different. We will all continue to advocate and educate.  You will not win.

So guess what diabetes?

I may have this all wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t despise you. My son still smiles his amazing smile even though you are constantly around. And although you were there during his exams he still has a 99 average.

And despite your presence on the basketball court, he can still play a full game and maybe even nail some three-pointers while he’s at it. He enthusiastically speaks of his future and his goals and will surely succeed in everything he does regardless of your existence.

So let’s try this again.

Dear diabetes,

I still hate you but I thank you. I thank you for bringing out the courage and strength in my boy to face each day with a smile. I thank you for showing my son what true love and friendship means because he always has someone to turn to.

I thank you for teaching him not to judge others because we may never know what battle they are fighting.  I thank you for allowing him to have empathy and know that it could always be worse. And mostly I thank you for making him realize you will not stop him, you will not be the reason he doesn’t try.

You will not hinder him on his journey in life. You can just come along for the ride.



 

Mother Shares What It's Like To Battle Type 1 Diabetes Alongside Her Son

Mother Shares What It’s Like To Battle Type 1 Diabetes Alongside Her Son

Dear Type 1 Diabetes,

You arrived completely out of nowhere. A horrible monster that has taken up residence with my son. You’re aggressive and harmful and you won’t go away. You follow my son everywhere. You’re there when he eats, you’re there when he plays, when he goes to school, and even while he sleeps.

I can’t control you monster, I can only adapt everything in my life to cater for you and “manage” your existence.

Why couldn’t you have chosen me instead of my sweet innocent child?

I wish I could take you from my son but I can’t. Instead, I watch your every move. I anticipate your next attack, and prepare to manage your fury.

We feed you insulin several times a day. Sometimes that’s enough but sometimes there’s no telling what you will do next. There are no rules. You keep quiet for a while and just as I think I have got some kind of control you will strike!

Mother Shares What It's Like To Battle Type 1 Diabetes Alongside Her Son

We have a machine that makes the balance between life and monster less painful but it’s still there, forever waiting.

I pray that you will leave and never come back. The new machine allows me days where I can almost forget that you’re here, and then other days where I catch myself looking at my beautiful boy carrying this heavy monster on his back and it makes me weep. I almost mourn the past. The freedom and innocence that have gone will never return.

I check my son regularly to see what damage has been caused by the monster who chose to live with us. Daily we prepare for battle. Daily we pray for an antidote that will kill the monster and free my son of its burden.

For now, my son is strong and wise but I fear the day he leaves our home to live on his own with the monster.

Mother Shares What It's Like To Battle Type 1 Diabetes Alongside Her Son

A parent wants to protect their child, but I have to watch as my son battles 24-hours-a-day. This is his life. I can only stand on the sidelines and offer my support and my love. I wish I could offer a cure and rid my baby of this horrible monster.

I wish it had chosen me.

 

—Angie Alexander

 


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Raising a teen with type 1 diabetes

Raising a Teen With Type 1 Diabetes

Raising a Teen With Type 1 Diabetes

Raising Ezra, Our T1D

By: Christie Meyers

Who knew that day at the pediatrician, we would be admitted to the hospital a few hours later.

My little boy, 5 years old, bravely getting insulin injections and checking blood sugars fearlessly. He said to his Endo, “okay I eat, my mom gives me a shot and I check my blood sugars. Can I go home now? My sisters miss me”. I was amazed as his ability to accept this new way of life. I thought “we’ve got this!”.

That continued for quite some time. Ezra, my “z man” as we call him, took diabetes head on. He began using an insulin pump at age 6. This allowed for more freedom as he went to play dates and played sports. I could administer a bolus by his meter and he wasn’t interrupted.

We both were feeling so confident; so optimistic.

I read about complications and about kids and adults with Type 1 diabetes refusing to care for themselves. I thought “thank God he is responsible. We’ll never have that problem”.


Now we’re here.

Age 12. Puberty. Entering the teen years. And it’s been a rough two years. He eats and doesn’t bolus. He lies about blood sugars. He doesn’t want to carry his meter when he goes outside. Ezra is tired of having diabetes.

He’s embarrassed of always having supplies with him. He’s overwhelmed by the process and never ending responsibility. And I now think, who can blame him? I’m his mother. I don’t have diabetes. And I hate it. The worrying. The midnight checks. The extra prep that goes into everyday. Counting every carb he eats. Measuring food. Packing supplies.

Watching him go through something that I can’t take away from him. I tell him to be positive. That it’s not a choice he has to neglect his health. But ultimately it is his choice. He’s growing up. I can’t be everywhere and I can’t make all his choices.

I believe in him.

I believe he’s going to be okay. He’s going to find a way to find his focus and to be successful mentally, physically and emotionally. What I see is diabetes affects so much more than the physical. And I’m so proud of my son for being who he is and being able to talk to me about how he feels.

It’s been almost 7 years since our lives completely changed. My Zman is my hero. He’s my little lion. Fearless and brave. And diabetes will not beat him down. He’s going to conquer before it has the chance.



The "D" World and What It Means To Be a Mother of a Child With Diabetes

The “D” World and What It Means To Be a Mother Of a Child With Diabetes

The “D” World and What It Means To Be a Mother Of a Child With Diabetes

By: Ashlea Mello

When my son Landen was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I had a predisposed idea of what type of people were affected by diabetes and why they were diagnosed. I mean if you look around in America, everything we read is in regards to Type 2 diabetes. Along with ways to help prevent which include dieting and exercising.

Type 1 is the darkest corner of diabetes and when it becomes your life you become a passenger or a spectator in your own life; controlled by the darkness and fear that is Type 1 diabetes. And when it takes your child it is consuming and crippling.

Your whole life begins to revolve around caring for that child. Every waking moment with Type 1 Diabetes is consumed with my need to control, to manage, and to not feel what this diagnosis has done to my perception of myself in the walk of motherhood.

I went 10 years without so much as an emergency ER visit. Both of my children totaled maybe 5 antibiotics together in their lifetime and one day we woke up to a new reality. The reality that Landen’s body waged war on itself and he was no longer healthy.

He now had to inject into his body a man made insulin to stay alive because his body could no longer do its job to keep him alive. No one understands this loneliness like fellow D Moms.

They can look at this photo and see in their own life the depth of what I see and feel in this photo.

When I had this made it was to commemorate the closing on our new home. But Sarah happened to capture so much more. She captured how I have felt this entire year. I know I’m not alone in this fight against this disease, but the fight is isolating.

It consumes you and makes you question your capabilities, but everyday you prove to yourself again that you are capable. The fight is ever going, even when you close your eyes it doesn’t stop. Diabetes becomes more aggressive at night. While your guard is down it lurks in the shadows threatening the thing you hold most dear.

This photo represents so much to me. Calmness, loneliness, fear, separation, darkness… but there is light. Somedays I feel like all I’m doing is chasing the light. I feel I see it only to be drained from trying to obtain it. It slips my grasp and I am left exhausted and defeated.

Somedays I am there looking out the window of my life feeling the warmth of the light. Only to not fully be able to obtain it because we are trapped by the “D” world.


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What It's Really Like To Have a Child With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Really Like To Have a Child With Type 1 Diabetes

What It’s Really Like To Have a Child With Type 1 Diabetes

By: Angela Ameno


The last thing a parent wants is for their child to experience any pain. When they do, as this can often be inevitable in life, you help them up, dust them off and move on looking ahead to better days.

As the parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes –

There is no bandaid, no kissing the pain away, no moving on without this disease in tow. That is hardest part of this.  You can tell them they will be ok, tomorrow will be better but the truth is life is completely changed and there are no days off from this battle.

I will do anything for my child and have done everything I could to ease this burden since his diagnosis three years ago at the age of 9. I count carbs, weigh foods, make sure he always has his meter, snacks, and juice. The days march on without much thought to the routine of it all.

Your child looks normal to the outside world even though every second is consumed by this lurking burden.

Will his sugar be too high for test taking? Will it be too low for gym? Did I count lunch carbs correctly? It really can be a guessing game most of the time.

Then the night comes.

The nights are dark and it’s not always just because the sun has set.  I still check his blood sugar while he’s asleep. Stumbling, trying not to wake him. 2 A.M. or 3 A.M…sometimes every few hours. Sometimes his tiny fingers poke through blankets as if he knows I’m coming and will keep him safe.

Other times I work to gently pry his arm from under his cocoon. Nights when he’s high he doesn’t even flinch as I find an open spot of skin for his insulin needle. There are nights when he’s low and the juice goes down quickly and others when he fights to suck on the straw and begs to go back to sleep.

It’s also in these quiet moments that it can hit me all over again. The uncertainty of it all. The forever of it all as I look at the hardened tiny fingertips spotted black from the thousands of needle pokes.  I’m ok for now because I know I’ve got this, I’m somewhat in control.

But what happens when he’s grown and off on his own? Did I teach him enough about management? Will he wake up to check his own blood sugar? Where will the juice boxes or chocolate milk be? Would he know that although this is hard and constant that it should never stop him from anything?

This is probably the scariest part of it all.  Teaching my child with type 1 diabetes to live with it and be healthy and confident will be my greatest accomplishment and give me peace.

However, my worry will never fade.

I have some more time for that so for now I’ll continue to find his little fingers under his covers and kiss him on the head a few extra times a night.


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