I have always enjoyed reading posts from around the blogosphere from the parents of people with diabetes. Whether it is someone raising a child with diabetes right now (like Reyna, Joanne, Lorraine, Meri, Alexis, and so many more) or posts from Jess’ or Kerri’s mom posted on their blogs. Every time I see those types of posts it makes me wonder what my mom would say.
As you know, she didn’t grow up with a child with diabetes. I was not diagnosed until my senior year of college, at which point I has been out of the house for four years. Due to the cost of graduate school, I moved home for the next two years. However, the majority of my life with diabetes has been out of her house.
Instead of just continuing to wondering what she thinks, this weekend I decided to ask her. Living across the country, I had to use technology and send her the questions by e-mail. Here are her responses with some of my favorite pictures from past and present mixed in.
What is your favorite thing about having me for a daughter? Now that you are an adult, my favorite things about having you for a daughter have changed. I enjoy your zest for living, your passion to help others and the fact that we enjoy each others company and can laugh together and share on those precious occasions.
What did you know about diabetes before I was diagnosed? Very little. Mostly about type 2 that could be controlled through diet and that it was a pancreas related issue [Her mom has had type 2 diabetes for many years, unfortunately with complications].
What do you remember from my diagnosis? I remember how frustrated we were by the lack of follow-up and straight answers until it was way too late. I remember distinctly your bugging eyes and skinny body weeks before you were hospitalized.
What is the biggest thing you have learned about diabetes in the past 8 years? I have learned how all consuming it can be not just monitoring what food goes in but also activity levels, sleep == everything to stay on an even keel. I’ve learned many little things too regarding technology and advances, but you asked for the biggest.
What do you think about blogging? I think it has a huge value to bring people together for a common interest.
What do you think about the diabetes online community? In reading your entries and the comments of others, you are a huge support system for each other. Then having the privilege to meet some of the people face to face I am convinced they are responsible for your navigating the diabetes experience so successfully. As a type 3 it is helpful for me to read periodically to know where your thoughts are and action steps you are taking; since we don’t get to talk too often — I feel like an eaves dropper but it is all I’ve got.
Most of my diabetes friends were diagnosed when they were little and their parents felt (and still often feel) a great responsibility for their care. How did/does it feel to be the parent of an adult with diabetes? Especially considering I live across the country from you now. I feel very powerless to help except through prayer. When I read about your discouragements or challenges, my heart breaks but I have to trust God to bring you through and to allow you to prosper. I also have to know that you are blessed with an intelligence and determination beyond the norm and you will make the right decisions for your care.
Any specific worries you have related to my diabetes? Living alone and experiencing a low so low that you can’t make the right decision to remedy it. Also I am concerned about the long term effects on your body but the man that is the head of the Disney conference (aka Jeff Hitchcock) was very encouraging in that regard at the last conference [she met him when she came to visit me after Roche].
Have you seen any positive aspects of my life with diabetes? In some respects it has made you more disciplined and definitely more caring for others and aware of giving people grace because we may not know their story.
Any final thoughts? I wish with all my heart that you did not have diabetes but I think it has made you a much stronger person and definitely pushed you outside your comfort zone to connect with a broader base of people as a result of the online community.