Yesterday I wrote about how we are all in this together. I referred to the tear-stained pillow we all have become accustomed, at one point or another. Quite honestly, I was shocked on how many people read it, a chord must have ben struck. We all take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. We have so many who help us…….well…..almost daily. There is a flip-side to that coin…..and that too, should make you ‘take pause’.
Have you stopped and looked at your child in their daily activities? I mean, really looked? Well from an outsider—I have been fortunate to look, to witness, to observe many of your kids. When I see Danny & Paula’s child being thrown around in her activities as a competitive cheerleader, and Howard & Bonnie’s daughter in an ice hockey game, and Scott & Stacey’s son in nursing school, and the so many million more activities of your kids, our kids; I truly smile.
I also see the posting of despair, pain, and defeat. And I’m not referring to the ‘bad days’ we all have, and we do; I am speaking of the ‘our life is ruined’ forever by diabetes. And quite honestly, there is too big a gap between the “I will not stop” and “we are done” attitudes. Clearly……there is a choice here. Which one do you make?
A lot of work? You bet.
But I see adversity in so many lives. I have the honor of knowing so many who share those “tears-on-a-pillow” night………many. My work takes me, literally, across the globe and I have met people who inspire me on a daily basis. If you are feeling down, life is over, diabetes has ruined us……and you see a child that is just excelling in life, reach out to that mom and/or dad and ask them how they got to that point?
Daily we see posts asking so many questions but about “what to do” in a list of diabetes situations………but do you see someone who is just like your daughter, or son, but they seem t be smiling and taking every ounce of gusto out of life and you say to yourself; “How do they do that…..how did they get o that point?” I can tell you two things; one—they work at it and have problems just like you; and two, they will be glad to share with you how to ‘not let’ diabetes beat you.
Now if you are the type that just loves to ‘have a bad day every day’ and dwell on it for the world to see, well THAT is your call. But if you want to live differently and ‘not let diabetes win’…..find someone you see living life to the fullest, and their kids are doing the same, and discuss it with them.
Support is more than what to do when there’s a low or a high or a question about food. It is, “I-just-can’t-shake-this——how-did-you?” That is when real support comes in. Our psyche, if anything, has proven to be just as valuable to tend to as anything else in this diabetes world of ours. My tears on a pillow have surely become much less over the years……..not because I became ‘so used’ to the idea…..but because I have delighted in my children’s success more and more. Your child CAN live with diabetes……..the two key words are ‘can’ and ‘live’. It’s your job to get them there.
How’s that going in your house?
I am a diabetes dad.
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0 thoughts on “Okay……So What’s the Opposite of a Tear-Stained Pillow????”
We always told our daughter, “having diabetes does not change WHO you are, it just changes HOW you take care of yourself.” She was diagnosed at age 10, in October. That next summer (just after she turned 11), we sent her to a one week diabetes camp. It was HARD! She had not really been away from home overnight before that, let alone be away for a week. She got REALLY homesick (she called it “momsick”). She learned to deal with it, how to take care of her diabetes, and dare to dream big. She took over the majority of her own care by age 13 or 14, and by age 15, she was doing it all. She graduated high school, went away to college. She moved back home to complete her degree only because it was more cost effective for her to do so. She is currently a 5th year senior majoring in Communication with an emphasis in public relations. Her public relations advisor has taken my daughter under wing and is mentoring her; telling her that she is capable of “big things” and that she is a “rock star”. I could make a list a mile long of things she’s done, people she’s met, places she’s been. My only “tears on my pillow” moment was when she was first diagnosed. Not because of the diabetes, not because of the things she might “miss out” on. It was because I had been ignorant of the signs and she got REALLY sick before I knew what was wrong. I missed it BIG TIME. BUT, I was determined that having diabetes would NOT be an excuse for her to miss out on anything, ever. Does she do things the way I would? Probably not, but she does very well on her own and I am super proud of her. I agree with Tom, find someone you see living well with their diabetes and ask them how they do it. Although, chances are, they’ve done it so long, they will probably look confused and have to think about it a bit. Encourage your kids to be the best they can be, don’t let diabetes be an excuse for what they think they can’t do. As I said at the beginning, having diabetes doesn’t change WHO you are, it just changes HOW you take care of yourself. My advice? Take care of your diabetes, don’t let it be the deciding factor in your dreams and dare to DREAM BIG! You CAN do and so can they! Our kids need to live the lives they were meant to live–diabetes should not cause them to change their dreams.
Not one word from me on this subject—–I wish I could write as well. Thank you for sharing such a POWERFUL message. Your daughter (and you) are my heroes. 🙂
Thanks Tom! I would be lying if I said I figured out all of this on my own and that everything was “just peachy.” We have good days and bad days. Carol was VERY fortunate when she went away to school. She knew no one there, so was “stuck” with the room mates they gave her. Those room mates were the single biggest blessing that she received while there. They scooped her up, drew her close and the remain fast friends, even though they are now separated by the length of the state. I had determined that my daughter’s life should, could and would be of the same quality as her brother’s (he does not have diabetes). She has grown into a confident, competent woman who knows her own mind and knows NO limits other than those she imposes upon herself. My prayer for those in our diabetes community is that they will seek support early and often, and remember that they gave birth to a CHILD who happens to have diabetes; they did NOT give birth to diabetes. It is easy sometimes to look at our kids and not be able to see beyond the diabetes. That does a dis-service to them. Just as I have tried not to be a “helicopter mom” in other areas of my kids’ lives, I have had to try harder not to be a “helicopter mom” in the extreme when it comes to my daughter and her diabetes. If you ever hear of moms who need encouragement, feel free to direct them to me. Letting go is hard, but necessary (as you know) so that our kids grow up to be the man or woman they were created to be. Having diabetes is only a very small part of that much larger equation. Have a GREAT weekend! Hope to meet you some day. You and your blogs have been an encouragement to me and for that, I am truly grateful.