October 14, 2011

The Day Will Come, Will We Be Prepared

I was just reading an article on http://www.diabeteshealth.com/ titled Celebrating Caregivers
It took me back to the week of Ally's diagnosis.  I remember sitting in the hospital room, hanging on every word that the dietician was saying.  I was so scared that I would not be able to take care of Ally once we left the hospital.  Obviously she taught us a lot those couple of days.  But the one story that I can still "hear" her telling us was about a young girl, who she had recently met with, that was getting ready to go away to college.  She said that this girl had been in tears, afraid, overwhelmed.  You see, this young lady had an amazing D Mama.  This Mama had managed her diabetes care for years since her daughter's Type 1 diagnosis.  And this young girl, ready to take on the college world, had no idea how to count carbs or to figure her insulin boluses. 

Ok, so by college, it is hard to believe that she would not have picked up on some of these skills (Yes!  Those who count carbs and bolus insulin are skilled! :)  I remember making a note that day, amidst all of the how-to's of D care, that we should include Ally in her diabetes management - as much as possible, at the appropriate ages, but before its too late!  Ally was in kindergarten then, so even though I "noted" it, I may not have really internalized it.  Over the years, I have.  I get itI know the importance of teaching Ally to be responsible for her own diabetes care one day.  But I still just don't want to imagine it.

I think it is a constant struggle (isn't everything about diabetes?) - How much of her diabetes management should I expect Ally to do at 8 years old?  Will I be able to pull back when it is time to let Ally take the reigns?

This excerpt from the article is still ringing in my ears.
"I resented it, frankly. Why was my mom, the person who was supposed to take care of me, giving me ownership of this daunting disease? The answer, of course, was that the best way she could help me in the long term was by giving me control of my treatment. It stung a little, and I certainly wasn't perfect. But my mom knew I needed a chance to not be perfect, to grapple with diabetes on my own terms."
And also this...
"If I've succeeded so far, it's largely because of the example she set for me in those first 10 years. And where I've fallen short, it's because I've forgotten about or ignored that example."
It is so hard for me to imagine not holding Ally's hand through it all...but this article has reminded me of the importance of her taking on the responsibility of her own D care, eventually.  And also, that in the meantime I am responsible for setting a good example :)



  1. I know! I have trouble imagining me not knowing what is going on D wise. I can see her doing it all- she's so independent I won't be surprised if she just tells me she can handle it an to back off! But still.... When your child was diagnosed so young- at 3- she was a BABY. It's a difficult transition- I am sure. But so very important. Our goal is not take care of them for rest of their lives. It's for them to learn how to do it for themselves.
    Great post!

  2. such a FANTASTIC post Misty! Even though Emma is only 7, in the back of my mind I do worry about whether or not I am doing enough to prepare her to manage things on her own when she's older. Thank you for sharing the article!

  3. Wow - it is so hard for me to think about Nate handling his D care. Hopefully it will all fall into place in due time.

    Yea for me because I have super smart friends like you paving the way. :)

  4. Great post! This is SO important. Vital, really. We can't just manage the D monster for our kids. We must teach them to do it for themselves. We'd do them such a disservice if we were to always do everything for them. It's hard to imagine letting go and relinquishing control, especially when dealing with something as scary as the D monster, but as you said, the day will come... The key is to arm our kids with knowledge and skills as they mature. Along the way, I'll be clinging to my dear D mama friends, like you, for support!

  5. I love this post, I've not read anything like it before, but you make a wonderful point. We need to ease up at some point to allow them to learn what we are learning, for themselves.


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