Saturday, February 5, 2011

Living with Diabetes is hard

No, this is not our mantra. And nor is it something I have ever said to Elise. Tonight she broke my heart with those 5 little words.

She's noticing now. She sees that she's different. And she doesn't like it. On Friday she told me that, "having diabetes makes me sad." Oy.

And I don't know what to do for her, besides sitting her down and letting her talk. The problem is, she doesn't say much. Not with her mouth. I don't think she has the words to adequately describe how she's feeling. But in her eyes I can see all the pain and sadness that is swimming inside of her.

I hug her and tell her that it's okay to be sad. That her Poppa and I will always be there to talk to and help take care of her. That we love her. And her diabetes makes her even more precious to us. I tell her how strong she is. But is she getting it?

As a parent, it is so hard to watch your child struggle with something you cannot fix, and neither can she. We have all said this before, but I would take it from her in a heartbeat if I could.

Yes Elise, living with diabetes is hard... but I've seen you in action. You will not only live with diabetes, but live well with diabetes. The great Nelson Mandela said, "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but rising every time we fall."

And you, my sweet daughter, shall rise.

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher


  1. Oh my goodness, Joanne. Her words break my heart too. These adorable, smart, wise children who endure so much each and every day...if only we could take this disease from them and carry it all on our own shoulders. Like you, I too would take this disease from my girls in a heartbeat without hesitation and carry it with me forever so that they would not have to suffer.

    Sending you and Elise some big(((hugs)))

  2. What a face. What a thing to hear. I think you handled it wonderfully and your quotes are wonderful mantras to live by.. She will be strong as you are setting a wonderful example.


  3. I love both of those quotes and will be sure to keep them in my mind and tell them to Addison.

  4. Sob, sob, sob...I am right there with you. It is so hard to hear these words from our children, yet I am so thankful that they share them. Just yesterday I asked Isaac is he was ready to take the Y swimming class by himself (he'll be 3 soon) and he said, "No, they can't help my lows." I tried to get him to understand that I would be right at the side of the pool, but he wasn't having any of it. I know he's young, but it is hard to hear him feel like he can't or isn't safe because of d. I know eventually he'll feel like he can do these things, but still it's hard to hear.
    I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend.

  5. The quotes are inspirational Jo. Thank you. I think that is the beauty of the DOC ... we all lift each other to help our children live "WELL" with diabetes.

    She is her soulful eyes.

    Please give her a big hug from me and Joe.

  6. She is just so precious Joanne, and so very smart. She is realizing some things about her life, but they do not have to define her life and you are letting her know that D doesn't define her. That she can do everything and all that she wants to do. You are such a good example to her. You are letting her talk and you listen and that's what we can do for our kids. She will grow up strong from all this.

  7. Oh how I adore that Madela quote. So, so true. And now, thanks to you, I have another place to use it! It is such a perfect fit with what our families are genduring.

    Great picture of Elise. I could just stare at it for awhile .... you can just fall into those eyes!! Not creepy, I promise ;)

    Living with Diabetes IS hard. But we refuse to do it alone.

  8. Love those quotes. I wish I had a way to make it so that Justin never noticed the "difference". A way to make it not hard. Sigh*

  9. The quotes are beautiful... just like Elise.

  10. She is such a doll! This post just made me cry too. Natalie has been saying some things along these lines too. We just somehow have to show them that they can live a full life even with D. I find it hard to know exactly the right words to say though. Life with D is hard!

  11. UGH - So Sad! Heartbreaking - big hugs, Elise! Big hugs!

  12. Joanne, with a mother like you Elise is sure to rise above the heartache.

  13. Oh geez. I'm crying. Becaus she's right. It is. And because I'm having some of those same conversations. I don't know what to say either. And it breaks my heart.

  14. I know how you feel. My son (now 8, diagnosed at 3) started crying the other day out of the blue. When I asked him what was wrong he said that he was afraid that someone in his class would make fun of him because of his diabetes. When asked, he said no one had made fun of him. But, he was afraid they would.

    What I drew from it is that he feels different and he thinks everyone else sees him that way too. It does break your heart. But, what can you do? I told him how strong he was and how everyone is different in their own way and how boring the world would be if everyone was exactly the same...But, all of that just seems like empty words.

    Just wanted to let you know I feel your pain and your helplessness.

  15. What a heart renching post. I am sad for you that you have to hear those words. I am sad knowing I am only a few years away from that. Joshua has begun to "run away" from his shots. it is hard but you are an amazing mom who will be there to remind her about how strong she is! Loved the quotes

  16. Living with diabetes is hard. Not being able to make it go away for your child is also hard.

    My daughter is thirteen. She has upgraded to "Diabetes sucks!"

    Hang in there.

  17. I think sometimes it is important for her to have someone who isn't a parent to talk to. My children have often said "nothing" or "I don't know." At one time or another, each of them has been at the school counselor or a therapist or a neighbor's and opened up. Sometimes it's just harder to communicate with our parents no matter how wonderful they are. I know that I wish I had someone who cared half as much as you when I was a kid trying to figure this stupid disease out. Good luck, she sounds like an amazing girl.

  18. Hello, your story about Elise is inspirational to others and certainly brought tears to my eyes. I wish Elise well and judging by the support she is receiving, I am sure she will rise. Working in the field diabetes, we certainly believe in giving psychological support a piority. I for one pray that one day we will find a cure for diabetes and I am optimistic that we will. All the best to Elise and to you as parents. Danny


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