Friday, October 23, 2015


Things have been rough lately.  Diabetes has been a big, stupid jerkface, and Elise is collapsing under the burden of it all.

The other day we had a meltdown of epic proportions. My heard was breaking because I couldn't fix it.  She's hurting down to the depths of her soul and I can't do anything about it. It was haunting to listen to.

She's right... Diabetes is awful.  And horrible.  And not fair.  She's right to ask, "why me?"

But what, as parents, can we do about it?  We can hold their hands. ease the burden in any way possible, validate that their feelings about diabetes are okay (though I've had some argue with me about this.  That's another post for another day), and love them as best we can.

But there is no tangible way to help.  And that's the kicker.

I went to bed that night with a shadow resting over my heart.  I replayed her sobs in my head, feeling like an utter failure.

It's my fault she has this.

My fault her numbers have been erratic lately.

My fault because nothing I do fixes them.

My fault because by now, I should know what to do.

The next morning I awoke with a renewed determination.  First and foremost I wanted Elise to know how proud I am of her.  And how she constantly amazes me with her strength.  And even though diabetes is hard, she is bigger and better than it, and it won't beat her.

So I wrote it down in a note and tucked it into her lunch bag.  Usually I write her jokes, but that day she needed more than a laugh.

There were quite a few calls from the nurse that day (because of the erratic numbers), and I could always hear her in the background; she sounded in good spirits. Usually multiple nurse visits cause major grumpiness.

When she got home, she bounced off the bus to meet me and gave me a big hug when we got in the house.  Then she said this:

"You know that note you wrote me?  Thank you.  It made me smile.  I also read it to M (other girl n her grade with d), and it made her smile and happy too.  And then we talked about how hard diabetes is.  Can I keep the note forever and look at it when I need to?"

With that, she showed me exactly why I wrote the note.  Because it's true.  All of it; she's amazing, and brave.  Strong and a fighter. There are days when diabetes will get her... but she'll prevail in the end.  I know it.

And sometimes... even though I feel like a failure when it comes to diabetes, it's nice to know that I can get it right.


  1. Wow. This is exactly what I needed to read! I dread the day when my 3 year old feels the burden of T1. He's just starting to learn how to check his own blood sugar and do ketone checks. We've been on this road for a little over a year and my heart aches with knowing that he'll carry this burden forever-- and he doesn't even know yet what a burden it is. Thank you for this post about finding renewed determination to tell our kids how proud we are. Because, really, they have such tremendous strength. I'll never understand why our kids were chosen to carry this weight. But I will make sure that I always, always, always let my son know that I am proud of him. Thank you again for this post.

  2. yeah for a note that hit the spot. We've been going through a tough time of reconciling the growing child with the demands of type 1 diabetes care. Especially with playdates and feeling okay going to others. I've decided 7 is a huge year emotionally-socially and we have a lot to learn together with Isaac. Glad you shared this it helped me see that what he is going through right now is normal and me not just telling him to "suck it up" is fine, too...that is just too rough for me! Hope you have a great Friday and weekend.

  3. Hurting for you as I read the post, although I loved that it ended on a happy note. Although I hate that another child has diabetes, I am glad she does have someone else near who she can share the feelings with. You are a SuperMom and nothing is your fault. It is a disease that gives no breaks and no days off and you are doing the very best you can...
    lots of love

  4. Joanne, what a perfect way to support her. I love that she wants to keep the letter. Btw, the numbers are not your fault - I know it feels that way sometimes. ❤️

  5. Neither of you are failures, and diabetes just sucks. Sending my love to you both!!!!

  6. beautiful beautiful and beautiful. Jo, this made my heart smile.


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