Where do you fit, as the mother to a Type 1 Diabetic toddler. You don’t have your child to talk with about diabetes, and you don’t relate to the majority of the diabetic community, since you yourself don’t have the autoimmune disease that alters your life. Most days, this can have you feeling out-of-place.
I think it can be hard sometimes, being the parent to find your comfort zone. There is so much ground that is non-relatable, but where do we put our feelings of inadequacy, fear, or pain? For the most part, we are tolerated by the diabetic community, those of whom live this day in and day out. Just as we don’t know what it feels like to change a site, or get poked more than once a day when doing MDI, diabetics also don’t know what it’s like to be the parent who is subjected to watching your child struggle and feel like a failure multiple times throughout the day.
The pressure put on parents in general is unrealistic when you don’t have a child with special needs, then tack on the autoimmune disease and the pressure seems unbearable. You feel like you should be able to fix everything for your child, and when you can’t you have to put your anger and frustration aside for the sake of your child. After all, they are the ones who have the unfair lot in life. I earnestly disagree, we, as parents, have an unfair lot as well. We worry constantly, and for children as young as my son when he was diagnosed, your child’s life, in the literal sense rests on your shoulders.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not going to tit for tat who has it worse, but I believe it’s fair to say that there is a fine line. I haven’t slept through the night in 7 months, I can look in the mirror and see how much I have aged in these past months, some due to lack of sleep, but mostly due to worry. Everything in my power to get my son through each day relatively unscathed, zaps me to the point of complete exhaustion. Then add-on that he is a two-year-old and most days it feels like it’s all too much.
The obvious answer is that those who have the disease have it the hardest, but we should not forget the caretakers who enable the people who need care to make it through each day. For those of us that feel a disconnect of where we actually fit into this support equation. It’s been nice to meet other parents who are in the same boat as me, I find that the majority of them have children who are much older than Carter so it’s been nice to pick their brains about what the future holds for us.
I know, through it all we are all connected by this travesty called Diabetes, it’s an unfortunate club to belong to, but all in all, even though the majority are those who are actual diabetics, the support I have received has been unfounded. I find comfort in knowing I can vent on my blog, or a Facebook page and have a group rally behind me to encourage me through my down times. At least we don’t have to navigate this terrain alone!