Still Feeling Overwhelmed and Guilty

Hello Everyone!

I'm so glad to have you all to talk to.  While I have great family support and many great friends, no one truly understands unless you live the life of a parent with Type 1.

My daughter was diagnosed at age 7, almost three years ago.  There is no family history of diabetes on either side and we were both shocked when she was diagnosed.  I kept asking if there could be a mistake and was in complete denial, running on auto pilot.  It was like bringing a new baby home, and I was terrified.  

I feel like I still do what is necessary to take care of my daughter and make sure she lives the best life and takes care of her diabetes.  I don't, however, let myself "think" about it.  When I do, l completely break down. Thinking about her diagnosis or what she goes through everyday breaks me down. I don't let her see it, of course, but I feel so riddled with guilt. Here I'm her mom, the woman who promised to protect her from pain, and there isn't one thing I can do to take this away.  I can't tell her I know how she feels, because I don't. All I can do is hold her when she cries and says she doesn't want to do this anymore. She is so amazing, so full of life, so wise beyond her years. She does everything so matter-of-fact and is so strong.  I always question myself, wondering if I'm doing enough, am I doing everything right.  I hate that she has to deal with all of this. I hate that she talks about all the fun memories she has, then follows them with "before I got diabetes" or "after I got diabetes." I hate that she has little calluses on her fingers and bruises on her little belly. I, like all of you, hate diabetes. 

I think the hardest part of being a parent is that you can't protect your child from all trouble.  We all want to, but it's impossible.  

A disease like diabetes isn't anyone's fault.  For whatever reason it's supposed to be a part of your daughter's life.  

If you think it would help you might consider counseling to work through some of the feelings.  For me, as the person with diabetes, it just took time to come to peace with my diabetes. Like most things in life, I've kind of mellowed with age and the things that seemed like the end of the world when I was younger aren't such a big deal now at 40.  I don't hate diabetes.  It's not some devastating loss.  

Know too that diabetes won't keep your daughter from having a good life.  I have a non-diabetic son and a good marriage.  A job that sometimes drives me crazy, but pays the bills.  I have a strong Christian faith and get all sorts of opportunities ot help people.  I love my life.  Diabetes is a part of it.  

Hi jocismommy,

I understand how you feel.  I have many friends and family members who are very supportive (and even sometimes like to give advice on what my son should/should not eat or do)  As well, eventhough I myself am Type 1 diabetic, it is hard to explain it to them how I feel.  My mom was actually the only other parent I knew who had two kids with Type 1 diabetes (my brother and myself) and my dad was as well.  She really understood the sleepless nights and the constant worry.  Sadly, she passed away last year so my best support is gone.  

My son IS GREAT and since, like myself, he was born into a family where a parent had Type 1 diabetes he was actually use to the whole routine and had a greater knowledge than most kids.  He is a trooper and never complains other than sometimes like your daughter he refers to "before I had diabetes" or "since I am diabetic" so of course it is on his mind.  

Children are SO RESILIENT!!!.  My son is my inspiration and he carries himself with grace and dignity and always takes things in stride.

I think because diabetes is 24/7, 365 days a year it can get tiring.  As well, it is a big responsibility to be in charge of your own health or that of your child.  

You should not apologize for your feelings and there may be resources available to you through your hospital or doctor such as a social worker to help you if you feel overwhelmed.

Just know that there are other parents out there who feel exactly like you.  You are NOT ALONE eventhough sometimes it can feel like that.

Lastly, while it can be overwhelming, please note that my dad has been a Type 1 for 72 years and he is still going strong and my brother is a Type 1 for over 34 years and is doing well.  My dad is the longest living Canadian with Type 1 diabetes since he had it since he was 1 years old and he is going on 73 in a few days.

As well, great strides have been made with regards to new types of insulin, insuling pumps, glucometers, etc... and your daughter will be fine and live a long and happy life.  

If you ever need to vent, many moms are here to listen and offer any advice they can.

Good luck and be well.