When You Need Help…..Who Helps You?

pulling-out-hairAs I read various posts, I rarely see or hear about what a spouse/partner does in the management of a child’s diabetes. 

Let’s face it, sometimes you want to pull your hair out trying to find help but who DOES help you when you need it?

I write often and at her request, I mention Jill rarely in my writings, but let there be no mistake about it; my kids are alive today because of the amount of work their mother puts into this world of diabetes.

Back when Kaitlyn was first diagnosed and we discussed and decided that I would be the one to work and Jill would leave her job to care for Kaitlyn; we had a great foundation for which to move forward. 

We discussed and agreed.

I did not know it at the time but the fact that we discussed, and it was not just ‘assumed’ who-would-do-what, began a healthy foundation for much of the care for our kids.  Now I’m not saying there were not challenges, any marriage has challenges, but when it came to the care of our kids we learned that discussions needed to be crucial for us to understand our roles and also the role of diabetes in our new normal.

There was a mutual respect for the fact that I knew Jill had it no easier than I, and in fact, probably tougher.  It takes a lot to jab your child a million times and watch every step they take at home, at school, and in life.  No one I know is better at this, than Jill.  When I could, I would take the kids and try to get her some space, but her efforts were herculean since day one.

It was difficult to work 16 hour days seven days a week for as long as I did but somehow we made it work.  On many occasions I would come home and find that Jill fell asleep with all sorts of diabetes information all around her.  It was never enough to ‘just do’, it was always about educating ourselves on what was new.

As many of you know, there is a look that glazes over our kids when a hypo/hyper creeps into their active lives; Jill could, and still can, spot it a mile away.  She still reads up on what is new and what is coming and shares that with Kaitlyn (and now Rob also).

I have always stated that I have it easy compared to all that she has done and continues to do.  I know that many ‘go it alone’ and you have tremendous respect from those who know what you are up against.  Hopefully everyone has at least one person to help even if a spouse/partner is no longer present.   Who do you turn to when you need a break or  to those who have help, kindly share how you ‘divide up’ the day-to-day management of diabetes in your household.

I am a diabetes dad.

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4 replies on “When You Need Help…..Who Helps You?”

It’s not easy to manage a child with T1 and work full time. In our case, both of us have to work, so we have a life saving grandma taking care of our 6 yo daughter after school or on sick days. Any other times, nights, weekends, my husband and I take turns to manage that damn disease. It is exhausting for both of us as sleepless nights and stress started to show its effects on our health and performance at work, but diabetes is another full time job 24/7 so juggling two jobs, my husband and I, but grandma is priceless in our case. When it comes to daily diabetes management I am more involved because I’m the one who gets calls multiple times a day from grandma or nurse, I’m the one who set up meal plans every day for home and school, I’m the one who doesn’t need an alarm to wake up at 2, etc. However, when I’m sick or exhausted, my husband picks up and I can trust him. We are all into this and I’m lucky he is not afraid…

For the past 5 years as parents we have shared the responsibilities and will continue to. However with our son turning 13 our focus is now shifting toward his own involvement and management along with ours. I am most challenged by having to remind myself to take a step back and gently remind him to use the carb chart or to physically get the tabs to treat himself. It’s such a fine line of us wanting to do so much for him and us wanting him to be able to manage a bit more each year. For his own good long term. I give him the weekends off ” D duty” to just be a kid and during the week he does everything except he must show us before each injection as there are common mistakes he makes and is learning from. It’s team work for sure. We are so proud of how our family of 5, extended family and friends helps our son manage his Type 1 Diabetes. It’s not always easy but it’s always manageable with shared responsibilities 🙂

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