Parenting a Child with Diabetes: Strong Kids Help

Kim Benjet Health Guide
  • I have yet to meet a mother of a child with diabetes who would not trade places with her child. Most mothers would say they would rather have the disease than have their child live with it every day.


    Of course I would rather have the disease than have my son live with finger sticks, pump site changes and the ups and downs of high and low blood sugars -- let alone the threat of complications! Heck I'd offer my pancreas to my son if it would cure him.


    My son, on the other hand, thought this idea to be strange if not absurd. Our exchange went something like this:


    Josh - "You would want diabetes?"

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    Me - " Well of course I wouldn't want diabetes, but ,yes, if it meant you not having it."

    Josh - "well it would be hard for you. You really like chocolate too much. You wouldn't be good at it."


    Hmm, he might be right. I'm in constant awe of how my son negotiates life with this disease. He says no thanks to some treats, boluses extra for others, deals with high and low blood sugars and keeps plugging along. I eat the ice cream left in the refrigerator without attention to the portion size. I'm impulsive and have a vicious sweet tooth.


    An adult friend whose mother had type 1 gave me some insight about living as a child of someone with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. He's almost 50 so remember his mom did not have the benefit of glucometers, rapid acting insulin and continuous glucose monitors.


    He remembers struggling with her mood swings that were probably due to her blood sugar level. He and his brother would have to remind themselves that it was the diabetes, not mom, talking. Diabetes never physically affected him but it did impact his relationship with his mom.


    Hmm, maybe I should be careful what I wish for. Maybe I would be incredibly difficult to be around if I was not in good control.


    All and all, the trading places conversation is ridiculous. What I really want is a cure for Josh and the millions of others who live with diabetes around the world. And, yes I might not be "good" at having diabetes, but please don't tell Josh that.


    See more of Kim's caregiving blog here

Published On: December 14, 2007