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My Mom Says Hi.

I love my mom.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. 

Comments

Thank you for telling what it like from our perspective! Casey was dxd at 7 and was not old enough for camp that year. BUT he has gone every year since to Camp Setebaid in PA.We love that he can go, do his own thing and we know that he is ok. We have always said that we would remortgage the house if we had to in order to pay for camp. Luckily that hasn't happened yet!

Dear Kerri's Mom,

I am similar to Kerri in current age and age at diagnosis, but I did not have a mom like you. It has taken me many, many years in therapy to be able to take care of myself and undo the damage my mother did. Kerri is so very lucky to have you as her mom. Whenever she writes about you, I usually end up in tears and feeling very envious of her.

Erica

Dear Kerri, and Kerri's Mom,
Thank you so much for this. I love your mom's posts. It's nice to hear from another mom who's been though these things already.

I too sent my daughter every year to camp since she was 8 years old, this summer will be her 10th year. And every summer we were relieved when that time to bring her to camp arrived. Although we thought every year - what a releif - we spent the two weeks wondering how much fun she was having. Last year she was a CIT and this year she will be a camp counslor. Gone for a whopping nine weeks! The first time we brought her to camp the head nurse told us not to worry, that she whould be fine. The nurse told us that we could call to check on her any time, but that we were not to ask first about her numbers, we were to ask if she was having fun. The nurse told us that our daughter was just a kid that oh, by the way just happened to have diabetes. She was a very wise woman indeed.

Thanks Kerri's mom! We love you!

I went back and read all of your previous post. Thank you so much!

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder how I'm going to give up control when Tristan gets older. It's nice to know that you've been there and that your relationship with Kerri survived.

I look forward to more post from you. It's very interesting and useful to read post from an experience mom!

Again, thank you so much Kerri's mom!

p.s. Kerri, your mom rocks! :)

"Protector of the Kerri"

That is the sweetest thing I have ever heard. Mom's rock and you (Kerri's Mom) is no exception! :)

Oh my god are you sure we are not related ? cause my mom sounds just like your mom ? or do all moms sound alike ? Me being a mom I probably sound the same way to my sons . thanks for a great blog and it was good to hear your moms side of the life with you . thanks again for the great blog .

Since my daughter was diagnosed 4 months ago (she is 4) I have been really trying hard. REALLY hard! As every mother does. We had her monthly Endo appointment yesterday (I totally blogged about it) and I was very dissapointed in myself as a mother of a diabetic. This post touched me! Kerri can I hire your mom to be my protector? To show me how to be strong? To teach me? To comfort me? I never thought in a million years I would be so inadaquit as a mother.

Thanks, Kerri's Mom! I am Chrissy's Mom. Chrissy is now almost 25 and was diagnosed at 3.5 years old. I feel fortunate to have been guided by the teams at Boston Childrens' Hospital and Joslin over the years who always counseled me to let her live as normal a life as possible. Chrissy went to Clara Barton Camp for one summer and then opted to go to the local day camp with her friends after that. That worked out well for her.

I so very much appreciate Kerri's blog and your input about handing over the reins to our young adults. So, for the parents of very young children... please know that that there are age appropriate programs through your local hospitals and the ADA that will help you and your child make transitions along the way. For example, Chrissy attended a very helpful weekend Joslin program that focused on making the transition from high school to college. We all make our way one step at a time.

My daughter continues to bring great joy to our family and I am so proud of the way she values her heath and works to maintain it.

Again, thank you Kerri and Mom for all you do to educate and share your wisdom and experiences with all of us!

Dear Kerri's Mom,

Thank you so much for sharing this. I sometimes feel guilty for complaining about diabetes, after all it's not my disease, but my son's. But, you validated my feelings that this is indeed a "we" disease.

Love,
Riley's Mom

Thank you, Kerri's Mom, for sharing such a wonderful post. It's brought tears to my eyes and a little more understanding of what my own parent's went through.

Thank you for your post. As a parent of a 3 year old diabetic it is always refreshing to hear from other parents who have dealt and are still dealing with the disease. My husband and I often say "we" when we discuss her diabetes...I wonder when she will start not liking that:)

Kerri comes by her articulation naturally -- from you, mom!

I had a feeling there might be some comment from mom after the "diaries" were revealed. As a mom myself, I totally get it and was so glad to hear your input.

What a great post from the Mom's side :)

I've often referred to "we" before too. "We tested."..."We dosed." because I am always along for the ride with her on this roller coaster.

Kerri's Mom~ You did a wonderful job raising such a great daughter that is so open and honest with every aspect of her diabetes and it makes me, as a Mom, know that one day I can raise a daughter to be just as happy & healthy :)

Kerri~ Keep doing what you're doing girlie! I admire you and your honesty and I know one day Kacey will be reading your blog and be so thankful that someone out there took the time to "tell it how it is!" :)

Dear Kerri's Mom,

I've been a fan of your daughter's blog for over half a year~ not long after my barely two year old daughter was diagnosed. She's almost three now. I've not gone back and read any of your previous guest posts yet so this is my first time hearing from you. But I have indeed thought of you countless times over the months; thinking how fortunate you are to have such a wonderful daughter... how relieved you must feel at times to have "made it". I'm at the start of this whole journey and it scares the hell out of me sometimes to ponder the future... the dreaded teen years!!! I've also thought of how amazing you must be to have raised such a strong, intelligent, responsible girl like Kerri.

You've touched on many topics that I can relate to here. But the one thing that really hit home is the ever-present fear you mentioned. It is a feeling only another parent can relate to. And it can, indeed, be overwhelming at times.

As the parent of a type 1 child who is so very young, all of my daughter's care is on me. I manage every single aspect of it. And I strive for the best control I can achieve. So I think on some level I can relate to a person with type 1. No, I don't know what a bad low or a screamin' high feels like. But I experience the emotional highs and lows that accompany those high and low blood sugars. I understand the frustration of doing everything right and still having crappy numbers. I feel the stress of the demands a life with diabetes can cause. I know I'll be able to slowly relinquish control to my daughter over the years as that is what must happen for her to thrive as an individual. My fear is how I will react if (when), at times she doesn't continue the diligence I have maintained in managing her diabetes.

Thanks so much for posting, Kerri's Mom. Great to finally meet you.

Love,
Jenna's Mom

Thank you, Kerri's Mom! I appreciate this post from so many perspectives as a former teen with diabetes, as a former Clara Barton Camp director, and as the mom of a newly diagnosed boy. It speaks to all of me!

Thank you Kerri's mom, for this post. The "us" "we" thing is so true. I always am enamered with people who "get it" and are going through the same thing. I can see how Kerri turned out so well.

Thank you for sharing those beautiful words. (Kerri you got those writing genes from your Mom!!) I hope that my daughter knows that all my worrying has been because I only want the best for her. I'm sure there are times that I seem to want too much but being a diabetes mama is a HUGE responsibility (being a mama of any kind is overwhelming). I hope that I have been the kind of Mom that Kerri's Mom has been to her. Kerri's Mom: thanks for being my role model an Kerri thanks for being a great role model to my daughter. You are both amazing!!

Wow, this really hit home for me. My son was diagnosed at 22 months and since then I have been a walking pancreas. This fall he will be going to kindergarten and it scares the heeby jeebies out of me! I will be forced to let go, at least a little bit! Thank you for your post.

We have a unique set of circumstances with my son's diagnosis, but I really appreciate hearing any "mom perspective". Makes me feel alittle less alone in my odd experience. Thanks for sharing...

I forwarded this blog to a friend ; they have a son of 11 , living with diabetes since I think he was 3 years ..I had tears in my eyes when I read MOM's guest blog ) . We ( our Central Lions Club ) raised CAN $ 5,000.00 to send kids to camp here in Canada, British Columbia on World Diabetes Day , 2008 ...I love to see my little friend go to Diabetes camp ...SOON .

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