My Mom Says Hi.
It's no secret that my mom is a huge part of my success as an adult with diabetes. Her support, even when I rebelled against it with all my might, has made me confident in dealing with whatever diabetes has to throw at me.
My mom has guest posted here a few times in the past (here are her archived entries), and she's offered to share her perspective again. Reading her posts makes me think about how much the parents of kids with diabetes work so hard to maintain our "normal."
From My Mom:Hello ... Kerri’s mom here! From time to time, Kerri will ask me to do a guest post. What prompted me to post at this time is her recent blog regarding her old childhood journals. (Yes, she could write like a champ way back when. It’s always been a gift she has possessed.)
The fact that Kerri went to Clara Barton Camp from the time she was diagnosed until she was too old was a blessing in that I was able to hand over the responsibility of her medical care to a very capable and trusted staff at the camp. I don’t think I ever thought of it as “ok, now we can be normal for two weeks.” Maybe her siblings thought there would now be more sugary, tasty treats available during those two weeks that were not hidden in frozen bean boxes.
Parents are responsible for the well being of their children from birth to when they are able to live on their own. (Not that it stops us from worrying.) Throw diabetes into the mix and it can be overwhelming at times. We love our children and would do anything to keep them safe and protected. It is our “job.” I looked at sending Kerri to camp as a benefit to everyone in our family. She could bond with children who deal with the same issues she did on a daily basis. They can complain about how over protective their parents are and that we don’t understand what it’s like. No, we don’t, but as a parent these children don’t understand the fear that is ever present in our minds. Will we handle their diabetes care well enough to ensure that they don’t have serious lows or highs? Have we done enough to protect their future health from diabetes complications. It’s a scary ride we parents are on. I guess until they have children of their own … they can’t know how we feel just like we can’t know what it’s truly like for them.
Kerri used to get upset with me when I would say things like “we have to do a better job at…” She said it wasn’t a “we” disease, it was she who had diabetes. I beg to differ! When you are trying to protect your child from the consequences of diabetes or any disease it does become “our” disease as well. How can we let anything bad happen to them? You become the Lioness protecting her cub! I thought I was the only one that knew how to take care of her and I didn’t insist that others help out. If I could go back in time, I would certainly rethink that one! Everyone needs a support network. In a way, Clara Barton camp was that for me.
I needed that two week camp time to regroup. To take a mental health vacation. While she was at camp, I would often wonder how she was doing. How were her blood sugars running? Was she having fun? But I can say that I wasn’t worried. She was in good hands. We both felt refreshed when camp was over. Kerri would come home having forged some long lasting friendships. She was more confident and determined. Camp allowed her to share feelings with other kids who understood what it was like to live with diabetes. No worries about acting weird when low…they all had been there and done that!
I lost my job as “Protector of the Kerri” a long time ago. She is very capable of handling her life and health. Will I always worry about her? Yes, like I do with all my children. That’s normal. But she is very fortunate in that she is married to Chris. My mind is at ease ... he is my Clara Barton camp!
Thanks, Mom. For everything.