Not a Clue… Much As I Would Like for it to be Different

Do you ever get overwhelmed?  Diabetes.

Sometimes it just kicks us straight in the butt….doesn’t it?

No IdeaJust when we think we have everything under control ( a term in itself that never rings true), something undoubtedly happens that pulls us back to reality.

This happen to me recently and when the episode was over I came to a realization that was like throwing water in my face.  As one of my kids was dealing with a low, I watched and observed and I had this thought:  I absolutely do not have diabetes.

Now that may sound like a ridiculously obvious statement but as parents we sometimes take on the ‘we’ as if we totally get what this diabetes is like.  I have stated on many occasions,  we had a long night due to a low, or we were watching ketones. 

Well the ‘we’ pales significantly to what those who live with diabetes will go through as we observe.  We, surely as the day is born, worry our hearts sick at times…..but imagine worrying your heart-sick and ALSO having to deal with the ailment itself.

That thought in itself is very bothersome to me.  I can never get to the point, even while watching them go through a low or high or whatever they are going through, to ever allow myself the thought  that I understand.  I don’t.  And I won’t.

Here is why this is so important to remember; knowing that I fully do not understand what they go through will always remind me that something will not just go away, merely by my words.

These comforting words, “It’s okay” does not always work; sometimes we have to just be there and hold them and care for them until they get through whatever it is they are dealing with; without words. 

I do not know how it feels.

But given the choice I would take it on double just so they would not.

I am a diabetes dad.

8 replies on “Not a Clue… Much As I Would Like for it to be Different”

Tom, thank you for sharing this. So many of your points echo with this Dad. I really wish I could understand what my daughter is going thru. Just when we think as parents that things are “dialed in” she wakes up in the middle of the night crying out that she has a headache, she tests and her BS is at 58- this after going to bed close to 200.

I always thought I would gladly take my son’s burden if it meant that he would not have to deal with diabetes, but unfortunately, I have learned that it doesn’t work that way. My son was diagnosed with type I in Sept. 1998 at the age of 2, so he has had the disease now for 14 years.

I was diagnosed with type II in Feb 2008, but I knew that I actually had it for a few years earlier, but denial and my wife’s pregnancy meant that I put an official diagnosis on hold until afterwards. I’ve been managing with orals until last year, when I also added an injectible, Victoza, because the orals by themselves were not providing the desired control. The one side effect of the injectible is that lows are more likely.

It’s hard to describe what hyperglycemia feels like. You can feel the pressure in your extremities and it can actually hurt. Hypoglycemia kind of feels like the sensation when you are at the top of a rollercoaster (interesting analogy for blood sugar fluctuations), but it can also feel like you haven’t eaten for some time, but you also feel like you are going to throw up. I can understand why some type II patients actually prefer to have slightly elevated BGs, even though the likelihood of complications is also increased.

I do have type 2 diabetes and unfortunately am on insulin so I do know the feeling of the lows and the highs, BUT it does not make it any easier for me because I do NOT know the fear of dying if I do not have insulin. If I don’t have insulin, my body still makes some insulin and I will not go into DKA. I do not have the overwhelming knowledge that I have an incurable disease. I do have the heartbreak that my son has this incurable disease and I would give anything to take that away from him. My sorrow is so deep that some days it overtakes me, but like every other parent of a child with type 1 diabetes out there, I realize I have to continue on and put on a brave face and stay positive. Because all we have in the end is hope.

Wow! I unfortunately am NOT just a parent of a T1 child. I was diagnosed at the age of 24, just a little over a year before my son, who was 2 @ diagnosis. As a parent I feel the anger at not being able to “FIX” my son. But, there is absolutley no worse feeling then knowing EXACTLY how crappy your child feels, how confused & mad he/she is & how much they long to
be “normal”!! I too would take his
diabetes on top if mine for him to cured!!!

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