Many of the things I choose to write about are inspired from a variety of sources; one being the online community. I see something that triggers something in my head and I’m off to the races as I question what it may or may not mean; and most importantly, how we all may learn from it. Today’s article is a case-in-point.
A mom wrote that she did not let her young child, with diabetes, out of her sight with the exception of when she spent time in school. Here is my BIG DISCLAIMER at the onset. How you choose to do…….well anything…….with your child in dealing with their diabetes…..is your business. I’m not here to tell you what to do, how to do something, or when to do something. But rather, I write to make us think. If anything I say resonates one way or another then I have accomplished my purpose, If you want to comment; I ALWAYS AND IN ALL WAYS welcome your input..
My first thought when I read what the mom wrote was, “how sad.” To think that one needed to be with their child with diabetes every minute, nonstop, would add an enormous amount of stress to an already stressful situation. It’s a REALLY BIG world out there and it would be a shame if we did not find a way for our children to begin to experience LIVING as early as possible. What age to do that; only you can decide.
I know the whole world has changed since I was a kid, or even since my own children were younger. I do not have answers, but I do think we all must look inward and decide how to best allow our children to live in life with as little restrictions as possible; or as safe as they need to be. I don’t have a ‘how-to manual’ and each of us must decide on our own what path to walk. There are dangers ahead, they are real; but the fear—-that is where our power to choose comes into the picture. Fear is a choice.
I have noticed that many parents are living their diabetes world in absolute fear, dare I say paralyzing fear. Steps must be taken, and each family will decide ‘what steps’ are needed, but I do not remember seeing so many posts that appear (note: appear) lately that read as if diabetes is consuming every single second of one’s time and life.
I’m unsure if it’s the ‘instantaneous’ messaging of the online community that shares ‘the bad’ which grips people with a fear like I have not seen before or if it is something else. I used to have a Friday “Diabetes Hero”. I would highlight our young people who do incredible things while managing their diabetes, not necessarily fund-raising, but those who live in the world as an inspiration. I now do it from time-to-time and no longer weekly; want to know why? Readership dropped 50-80% when I highlighted someone.
But if there was a story about a child dying, and I chose to write about it, readership would triple. Why is that?
Lately, I have cut down dramatically on highlighting those type stories unless there may be a different take on it. I have never been able to pinpoint why there was such a difference in the readership of those two types of columns. I certainly welcome any imput.
We, ourselves, are perpetuating a ‘fear’ within our own community. I say that because no one else is responsible. We, ourselves, are the ones sharing with each other. I’m not saying that we should not take every opportunity possible to educate and supply knowledge with each other; and we do that very well.
I’m saying there is something that needs to be address when a community will almost triple to read about the death of a child asking ‘how did they die’, ‘was it dead-in-bed’, ‘where they high’, ‘where they low’, ‘I will not sleep’, ‘it is my worst fear’, ‘can someone find out the specifics’, ‘did the pump malfunction—I bet their pump malfunctioned’, ‘this is why I only do shots’, ‘is anyone friends with the family—-can someone find out XYZ’ and the postings go on and on asking these things which 1-is truly none of our business and
2-would it really make you act any differently in the management of your child if you were given the answers?
Yet each time it happens, the cycle begins.
I have two final thoughts.
1. It is MY belief that we cannot live in a world of paralyzing fear at what will happen to our children with diabetes any more than it makes any sense to have a paralyzing life with any aspect of our children growing up and moving forward. It does no one any good to live that way especially as an example to our children. They sense everything we show. If we are acting in fear, how is one to think our children would ever act any different. DO we want them to live like that?
2. I am not saying YOU are doing anything wrong, I have no right. Ask YOURself the question and if you answer honestly and it is not the answer YOU like—-take the initial baby steps to change it.
I hear from families all the time, sharing how amazing their kids are…….and they are; each and every one. They play sports, they excel in studies, they dance, they act in shows, they are active in karate, they do sleep-overs, they host sleep-overs, they play, they are musicians, THEY DO EVERYTHING TO LIVE.
It is up to each one of us to figure out that balance; many have done it, many have not, and many are looking to figure out how. Which one are you?
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’