I follow some amazing parents of children with diabetes on Twitter. I read their blogs and occasionally reach out to them for advice (OmniPod arm sites for example). I’ve found myself thankful that my pancreas carried me into adulthood. But you don’t often hear how a diagnosis of diabetes as an adult impacts your parents. I decided to ask my mom if she’d be willing to be interviewed.
Here’s what she said:
What were some of your thoughts when we first found out I had diabetes?
I was worried and torn. Your Dad was in CCU in Pittsburgh, while you were in a hospital in Ohio. Thankfully God placed Brad’s family there to help you. I was concerned about what this would mean for you over the long haul. I also thought about how stressful this had to be to a newly married couple.
Do you ever wonder what it would have been like if I’d had diabetes as a child?
It would have been challenging since your brother had special needs of his own. We probably would have figured it out and all ate sugar-free foods and lowered our carb intake.
Do you think that diabetes has changed me as a person?
I think it has made you much more aware of your food intake and brought a greater compassion for other people with diabetes, especially type 1.
In what ways does my diabetes affect you?
Since I have been around people with type 2 diabetes, I am more alert to you “not looking right.” I also keep something in my purse with me when we are together in case of a sugar drop.
What advice would you give to another parent whose adult child has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
I would say that parents need to learn as much as they can about it so they can a) advocate for their children’s care and b) help their children adopt a healthy lifestyle that is able to be followed for a lifetime. They also need to take care of themselves to set an example for their kids.
Is there anything about diabetes (or my life with it) that you wish you knew more about?
I have learned a lot so far about type 1 diabetes from you and am always willing to learn more.
Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know about being my mom?
You are a very insightful, young woman willing to help other people through your life. I have found that being your mom is a blessing!