To me, if you live with diabetes or love someone who has diabetes of any kind, you are a hero. I truly mean that.
This disease is exhausting, scary, emotional, and never-ending. Those of us who live with diabetes and our loved ones have a courage and quiet strength that comes from living with chronic illness.
There is one group of people though, of whom I stand in complete and utter awe. And one person in particular. The parents of children with diabetes are my heroes. And no one more so than my own mom.
I read a number of blogs by parents of children with diabetes. And I am amazed by these moms and dads every day. Though I myself am not a parent, I know how difficult it is to watch a loved one deal with illness or injury. I cannot even begin to imagine how much this is magnified when caring for and watching your child live with diabetes. Your courage and the courage of your children is truly inspirational. You share your joys and struggles, and never give up. Ever.
Especially Bennet, Scott, Tim, Meri, Penny, Joanne, Alexis, Lorraine, Laura, Wendy, Reyna, Katy, Shannon, Nicole, and Hallie. I read every single post you write. Every one. And I am in awe of you all.
After I began reading parent blogs, I gained a whole new appreciation for everything my parents, my mom especially, did for me. I've written about my amazing mother before, multiple times. Because she truly is my hero.
Growing up, she never let me feel alone with my diabetes. We were a team. From the beginning, I did my own finger sticks and injections, but it was OUR diabetes. My mother's and mine. She did everything in her power to raise be to be the best Jessica I could be, diabetes and all. Diabetes made me different, but that was ok. I wasn't ashamed of my diabetes, and that was because of my mom.
When I was in middle school, we had to give a speech demonstrating how to do something. So with my mom's encouragement (and it may very well have been her idea, I can't remember) my speech was about diabetes. More specifically, my speech demonstrated how to give my pre-lunch insulin injection.
That's right. I got up in front of the class, and showed my classmates how to draw up insulin in the syringe, and then inject it into my leg. BOOM, there it is. No big deal.
And then my speech was picked to be given in front of the entire school. I don't remember being nervous, but I'm sure I was. I can remember standing up on that stage in the multipurpose room, in front of all my peers, and injecting insulin in my leg. I remember the collective cringe and gasp in the room.
And I remember being proud of myself, for showing my classmates a little piece of diabetes. Mom always pushed me to be myself. And diabetes is a part of me.
As I got older, I did become ashamed of my diabetes. I liked to pretend it wasn't there. But that was my struggle. My mom did everything in her power to empower me to care for myself. And she's been there for everything. She is always supportive, and I know I can count on her to always be there.
Because we're still a team. Only a bigger team. My incredible husband is part of that team now. Yes, I'm the one with diabetes, but it's OUR diabetes. Though Josh and I are the major players, my mom is still on the team, ready to be called upon at any time.
So thank you, parents of children with diabetes. Thank you for teaching me what it's like to be the parent of a CWD. To deal with the exhaustion, the corrections, the middle of the night checks, and everything in between. You've given me a chance to walk a bit in my mom's shoes.
Thanks mom, for everything you've done and continue to do for me. And thanks to all the D-parents out there. You truly are my heroes. Forever.
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