Monday, September 26, 2011

There are some things you need to know...

A year ago I wrote a blog post called, "I want you to know something." It is one of Our Diabetic Life's most visited posts, still to this day. I feel strongly I need to add some things to the list. I feel strongly that today, there is something you need to know...

You need to know that when you check your child's blood sugar, no matter what the number...you are winning.

You need to know that the worry you keep in your heart all day long is only proof that you are a good pancreas.

You need to know that when your child lashes out against diabetes, he or she isn't lashing out against you.

You need to know that you can switch endos if your endo isn't listening or if your endo doesn't give you good advice. If your child's A1C stays in the upper stratosphere with no hope of returning to earth...you can move on. It is ok.

You need to know that your child's blood sugars will never be 100% perfect all the time.

You need to know that you are stronger than you think you are.

You need to know that on the hardest of days, the fact that you don't give up counts for more than you know.

You need to know that most people don't know what Type 1 Diabetes is. Please don't take it personally when they confuse it with Type 2.

You need to know that it is ok to cry sometimes.

You need to know that shots, or site changes are not something you are doing to hurt your child, they are something you are doing to help your child.

You need to know that your child loves you more than you think. You need to know your child doesn't blame you for all of this.

You need to know that you can't compare your child's diabetes with another child's diabetes. Everyone treats differently. Everyone's body is different.

You need to know that some children can easily acquire good A1C's, and others can't.

You need to know diabetes is hard. You are amazing for doing as much as you do, as well as you do.

You need to know that restricting portions at a carb-o-polooza buffet is something that all parents should do, not just parents of children with diabetes. Don't feel guilty when you have to say no to that third bowl of ice cream, or that second cookie.

You need to know that picking a pump, or a way to manage your child's diabetes is a very personal choice. Don't let other parents make if for you.

You need to know that it is ok to ask your husband or your family for help. It is ok to expect it.

You need to know that there are angels waiting to help, you just need to listen for their promptings.

You need to know that if today is a bad day, chances are tomorrow, or the next...it will be better.

You need to know that you need to do something for you. You are important...your needs are important too.

You need to know that there isn't a reason for everything. If there is a high blood sugar, and you can't figure out why...it is probably because they have diabetes...not something you did.

You need to know that there is a way to live this life with joy. It is up to you to find it.

You need to know that forgetting something doesn't mean you are an idiot. It means you are human and your swelly brain can't remember everything all the time.

You need to know you are loved.

You need to know I pray for you every night.

You need to know that in time...things will get better.

You need to know you are reading this for a reason. You need to know I mean every word.

You need to know that one day your child will be doing this all on their own, and you find a way to trust their decisions.

You need to know that you aren't alone in all of this. I know there are days when you FEEL alone. I know there are days when you FEEL like you fail. You are not alone...you are not failing.

You are not failing...

You are not failing...

I feel really strongly you just need to know that. You NEED to know...you are NOT failing your child. Your best is good enough. Keep moving forward.

You need to know the best is yet to come.

34 comments:

  1. Thank you Meri. Today is a day that I really need to hear this.

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  2. I needed this too. I think I should print it and put it on my fridge. Love u!

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  3. Would love to frame this. Sitting on a plane it made me have leaky eyes! Beautifully said!

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  4. What a blessing this post truly is for me on this day! I am with Alexis, I am going to print it out and put it on my refrigerator right now so I can read these words to myself everyday.

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  5. great words! managing two of our children w/ type 1, these are wonderful reminders for my wife and I. thank you!

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  6. Beautifully said, Meri! And so very true. Thank you for writing this. You are one amazing woman!

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  7. Now THAT is an amazing blog post. Thank you, Meri. ((hugs))

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  8. beautiful post Meri...sitting here with tears in my eyes and I want to let you know that I appreciate you and all that you share with us. Thank you!

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  9. Meri,
    This was a great post, one that everyone should see! I'm gonna tweet this!

    landileigh

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  10. There are days when you just put your head down and plow through, but then you read something like this, and the tears just start flowing. Thank you so much.

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  11. Thanks for this Meri... especially the failing part. I needed the repeating.

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  12. "You need to know your child doesn't blame you for all of this."

    In general this is true for me, but I'll confess there are moments when I *do* blame my parents for all of this. When I read, for instance, that breastfeeding helps to arm a child against T1, I'm furious with my mother for being too prudish (or whatever) to have breastfed me. I shake my head at my parents for insisting on having their own children (instead of adopting) when diabetes runs rampant in my father's family — even though, paradoxically, the wiser decision would have meant I wouldn't exist now. I'm angry at both of them for encouraging me to figure diabetes out on my own when I was diagnosed as a teenager — because they "didn't want to interfere with my independence." And sometimes I just blame them in a vague, I-need-someone-to-blame sort of way.

    I don't want to undermine the feel-good nature of this post. I guess I just want to say that diabetes (like any chronic illness, I expect) can breed deep resentment and anger, and sometimes that resentment is going to be directed at parents. It doesn't necessarily preclude the existence of love or gratitude or any other more positive emotion. They can all co-exist, in a weird sort of harmony.

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  13. Dear Anon, When you do have those moments please remember that trying to find blame, even a small part, will never bring us peace. Please know that I believe that breast feeding wouldn't have made a difference as I have hundreds of friends that did...they did everything right and diabetes still came, family history or not. Please know that you are of value to this world. Don't sell yourself short. You are amazing, your thoughtful comment shows me that. The parents that read my blog are those that anguish that their children must endure this disease. They scour the internet looking for ways to make their children's lives better. Their children will see their efforts and in the end know that the blame doesn't go to their parents...it goes to diabetes and autoimmunity as a whole. I understand that everyone has their own journey, and I hear your words. I'm sorry your parents left you to your own devices. It sounds like it has been a hard road. I'm so sorry for that. My best to you!

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  14. BEST POST EVER! Just wanted to let you know that I copied it (gave you credit) and sent it to some of my D friends in my community. Very uplifting and much needed lately. It truly does just about sum everything right up.....thank you :)

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  15. I want you to know that I LOVE YOU!!!

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  16. I just came across your blog. Wow, I will never complain again about how hard diabetes can be with my one child! I can't imagine how much harder this is for you, you must be a superwoman. My daughter is 7 years old and was diagnosed 7 months ago, so we are all still learning and adjusting to this life change. But things are getting better! I'm excited to follow your blog. And what handsome boys your have. I have 4 kids as well, 2 boys 2 girls. We are from Utah but currently live in New Mexico for school.

    Thanks again,
    Teri Stowe

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  17. Hi, Meri ... Thanks for your comments and your encouragement, above. Please know that I don't go trying to find blame. My rational mind knows that it serves no purpose. Blame is just one of countless nasty, unbidden emotional mechanisms that come with (my own) D territory. The breastfeeding business isn't something I dwell on — it's just one example of a thing that I happened to read and that briefly became a concrete focus for a whole variety of frustrations and resentments. My rational mind (again) understands that my diabetes would possibly/probably have happened anyway (though it's tough to know that my brother *was* breastfed and doesn't have D ... ugh). Anyway, I believe that being the parent of a young T1 child is in many ways harder than being an adult with the disease. Parenting three such children must be harder in all ways, period. My brother and I have both opted out of being birth parents. The decision (mine anyway) wasn't entirely to do with D, but it did play a role. I don't think I'd have the resources to manage what you do — your boys are clearly thriving, and your obvious commitment to them is fantastic.

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  18. I've had diabetes for 21 years. I'm alive today because my mommy lived your need-to-know list, as hard as it was. I'm now a 32-year-old wife and mommy to one. Your post is an encouragement even to grown diabetics, who have moved on from the daily caregiving of our mommies and have to confront the overwhelming nature of living with this beast of a chronic disease ourselves. Thank you for your loving care.

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  19. Thanks again Meri. I come to your posts every now and then to give me needed "medicine". Hey, any chance you guys want to come to Tokyo? We'll make good tour guides. :)

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  20. Even though I've been doing the diabetes thing with my 12 year old daughter for over 10 years, we are having a REALLY bad week. Thanks sooo much - I really needed to read this.

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  21. I want you to know that I love this. And you!

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  22. Beautiful post Meri! Always a good reminder, but especially needed for this D-mama today!

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  23. I have to say that I appreciate your post Meri, but the anonymous comments above break my heart. Oh, lord do they ever. My husband has diabetes and we have had many conversations over our guilt for choosing to have children despite knowing the risks...however, and this is a big however, we both know that with EVERYTHING comes risks. We know that no matter what our son's life is worth it all, we know that despite diabetes he will live an amazing life and thrive in the knowledge that he has always been wanted. I don't know if he'll ever go through the moments searching for blame, but he won't have to go far...and yes, he was breastfed (still is darn it!), wasn't introduced to solids until 9 months, was frequently tested for vitamin d deficiencies...etc, etc, etc. I guess the point I hope that the anonymous commenter above should know is that the "why" doesn't matter - but what you do with "it" does. The anonymous commenter is loved, wanted and needed, whether they know it or not they are special because of who they are not because they have diabetes. And if they ever choose to have children they should do so because they want to, rather than choosing not to just because they fear another diabetes diagnosis. Raising a young child with diabetes is hard, but given the other option of not having him I'd choose this life with him over and over again. I hope he'll agree with me one day that we made a wonderful choice and I hope one day he feels free to make that choice for himself, too.

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  24. Thank you for this post, Meri. This is my first time finding your blog and I'm so glad I did. I have 2 daughters with T1 and it gets so frustrating some days! I find comfort in your words and thank you for that. And to the Anonymous writer, I breastfed all 5 of my children and still 2 of them ended up with diabetes, even though it does not run in our family on either side. The Lord gives all of us trials to help us to learn and grow and become better people. He will not give us more than we can bear and it is so comforting to know that we are not alone in this. And although I am always saddened to hear of another person diagnosed with T1, it does ease my burden a little to have others out there who understand what our family is going through. Thanks again, Meri!

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  25. Hello Meri,

    I came across your blog today and I have not been able to stop reading it. It is inspiring to read how you are able to stay on top of such a difficult challenge.

    I am 32 and 1 of 3 siblings in my family who is a Type 1 diabetic. I have always wondered how many families share this unique situation. Now I know there is at least 1 more out there. I think the blog is awesome and it is an excellent way to promote awareness. So many people think of this as a disease that only affects the elderly. Teling people of the daily struggles of children with type 1 diabetes is a great way to draw attention to it.

    Best wishes and all the best to you and your family,

    Trevor
    tcswenson@me.com

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  26. You know how I feel. :) I already messaged you. You have some great posts and I thank you for sharing them.

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  27. Sitting here in Starbucks with tears rolling! Well said, my friend! <3 LOVE YOU!!!

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  28. Thanks, Meri - Just what I needed to hear! You ROCK!

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  29. meri, you need to know that i think you're amazing and i so appreciate your words of encouragement and support. <3

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  30. You are wonderful, Meri. I'm just catching up-and I love your additions. We aren't crazy, and we aren't failing. We made it this far! I pray for you and THREE with diabetes, and M and Ryan too. God bless you. Love you!
    Guess what my word verification is? fight. Makes me cry. We have to fight for them!

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  31. You're good! Just what I needed! Thank YOU!

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  32. My son was just diagnosed last Thursday. I really really needed this today. It was a bad day. Thank you so much.

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  33. I'm late to post this response, but I keep coming back to the response of Annon. I've actually thought about it for several weeks and it keeps kicking around in my head. I have T1 and so does my daughter. Prior to dx, diabetes does not run in my family or in my husband's. However, after my daughter was dx, I worried if she would hate me. My husband said "Maybe that's why God gave you diabetes, so she wouldn't be alone." Maybe that is self-serving or an easy out. Maybe she will hate me and maybe she won't. I hope she will know I loved her. All the time and with my every breath. I know that despite my own dx, I am blessed with every minute of every day. "Just to be is a blessing."

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  34. I've never written on a blog or felt compelled too. But sitting here crying reading your beautiful words knowing that they are all true and yet I still try to fight them. Today is a day that I needed your words. I found you whilst idoly searching for an answer to the question none of us can explain. Why does my 3 year old son have T1. Here's hoping tomorow is a new day

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