What Brings Me Down as a T1 Caregiver

Carter napping on Mothers Day 2014
Carter napping on Mothers Day 2014

When I think about what brings me down when it comes to Diabetes, I think about the challenge of having a toddler with Type 1 Diabetes.   One of the biggest obstacles , is that Carter, not yet being a two-year-old,  is not yet talking.  Trying to manage diabetes in a child who can not communicate is a definite challenge.  Not being able to explain to my son why he has to get poked multiple times a day, or explain that when he has a low blood sugar that he has to drink juice or have carbs in order to make him feel better is frustrating.  There are many days that I feel like I am failing my son.  When I see his frustration mounting and am unable to completely understand how he is feeling, it becomes almost unbearable.

I am thankful for the training we received when my son was diagnosed, it has helped us through many a situation.  But working through the main issues that arise with Type 1 Diabetes with a toddler feels futile some days.  Lately, Carter has become non-helpful when it comes to giving him his insulin.  He seems to have gotten to the point where he is so sick of the shots he won’t even help anymore.  This is extremely discouraging since he was doing so well, and was actually giving himself shots.  Now he runs when he sees the shot and it feels like we have reverted back to day one of his diagnosis.

Watching my son get so frustrated is the biggest emotional hurdle.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do to take this burden from my baby boy, I know my son is strong enough, and I know he is self-aware enough to weather any storm that diabetes throws his way, yet as his mother my heart breaks multiple times a day.  Even when I know we are doing everything right, the worry that accompanies this disease brings me to my knees more often than not.  I check on Carter more often when he is sleeping now, than I did when he was a newborn.  I rely on the information his blood gives us in order to work with his endocrinologist on finding better treatment and insulin to carb ratios.  I hate not having all the answers and muddling through some days,  I look forward to the days which are soon coming, when we can communicate and I can explain the depths of my love for him and my astonishment of his bravery.

I know with the communication and age come different challenges, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it, for now I will welcome his voice so he can share with me his feelings.  Given that May is Mental Health Month, I long for the times we can talk about what Diabetes is doing to Carter, from Carter, and not have only his blood speak for him.  Being able to verbalize how he is feeling and have me there to listen, is going to be the first step in a healthy acceptance of this disease that is relentless and perpetuates the most frustration and anger I have ever felt.  But I have decided that I will use the anguish I feel as the fuel to fan the fire of my persistence, and diabetes will create a bigger bond between me and my son, and will allow Carter to always know how much I love him.  After all, Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t define my son, and diabetes fits into our lives, not the other way around.

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2 thoughts on “What Brings Me Down as a T1 Caregiver”

  1. I just can’t even imagine having a toddler with type 1 when it comes to that communication aspect… I think about how I always have been able to communicate how I feel, and that rug is totally pulled out from under you. But your attitude of persistence is simply amazing and inspiring… thanks for sharing that, and keeping that perspective even in tough times.

    1. Thanks Mike, we try to stay as positive as possible, some days are harder than others. But we focus on the good but don’t ignore the bad. It’s all a process as you know, and I believe in the process in order to move forward! 🙂

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