What Parents of Children with Diabetes Wish You knew…

parents of children with diabetes

Have you read the blog post “What Everyone with Diabetes wishes you knew“? Go and read it if you haven’t. Bring tissues.  After I wiped away the tears, I began to think about “what parents of children with diabetes wish you knew.”  Some of us don’t have diabetes ourselves but we still have very strong feelings about the issue.  As parents of people with diabetes, we have things that we wish our children knew.  There are also things that we wish that the general public knew.

Parents of children with diabetes wish that the our children with diabetes knew that….

time together

We would take this disease from them in a heartbeat…a heartbeat.

With every tear that they shed,  we have privately cried  a hundred more… We didn’t want you to see how much it hurts us to hurt you.  We told you that we do this to keep you healthy and alive (and we do) but it kills us too.

No matter how old you are, we still want to “make it better”. Seriously.  Still.

We know that you can handle it.  We just wish that you didn’t have to…As parents of children with diabetes, when we were completely responsible for your care, we got tired and wanted a break. We understand that you, as the person with diabetes must feel the same way at times. We wish we could carry the burden for you.

Even when we don’t ask you how your readings are, we are still wondering if they are okay…

We know that you are more than a number.  As parents of children with diabetes, we understand that blood glucose levels are only part of the story but we want you to be okay.  We want to know that the readings are okay as well.

We have watched you sleep and cried at all of the holes that we have put into your body just to keep you alive.

Every night that we sat awake waiting for your blood glucose to rise or fall, we did from love and a need to keep you safe.

When we nag at your for not testing, injecting or rotating sites it’s because we want you to have a long and healthy life.  

It’s not that we love the sound of our own voices. It’s not that we think you don’t have a clue. As parents, we know that life happens and people forget. We just want to help.

If you need us to, we will still help you with any care or night testing. 

Ask.  We might be out of practice but we are quick studies. We will help you anyway and any time that we can. It’s just what parents do.

Even if you aren’t my child and you live with diabetes, I wish I could take it from you.  

Honestly,  I wish I could help you carry that burden for a week and let you breathe.  I have told you this before and I mean it. I don’t care how old you are.  You are someone’s child with diabetes.  You carry the same burden as my own child.  It still kills me.

I wish you didn’t have to carry so much “gear” with you when you go out.  

I wish you knew the luxury of just grabbing your wallet and keys and heading out the door without concern for insulin, pump, glucometer and glucose tablets.

We wish for a cure too.

Until it arrives, we will work with you to have the best care, the best knowledge and the best tools that we can afford.

As parents of people with diabetes, we wish that the general public really understood that…

insulin pump tattoo

Type 1  is not the same as type 2 diabetes.  

Each disease has its own challenges and issues.

We did not cause our children to develop diabetes.  

Seriously, we carry enough guilt about not protecting our children from an invisible disease.  Your added blame is not required.

It is okay for our children to have treats now and again, the same as your children do.

No child–or adult should live on junk food but a cupcake now and again will just brighten someone’s day…or raise a falling blood glucose level.

Insulin is not a cure.

It just keeps my son alive…and can kill him. It is a carefully managed tool that he must use at all times.

An insulin pump is not a cure either. 

An insulin pump is an expensive tool that not everyone can afford.  Even for those lucky enough to be able to use one, there is still much work to be done to be safe and healthy.

Diabetes is expensive.

 Let me repeat this….diabetes is EXPENSIVE. There are many great advances in diabetes care but they are only available to those with excellent insurance or deep pockets.  The cost of diabetes supplies can range from the equivalent of a car payment or mortgage payment each month. Again, that is just for a person with diabetes to stay alive.

I look tired because I don’t sleep at night.  

After years of worrying about my son’s blood glucose levels and testing him numerous times per night–well I still wake up. I still worry about what his readings are. I still don’t sleep properly

Worrying isn’t about being an overprotective helicopter parent or because I have nothing better to do with my time.

 I worry because diabetes is deadly.  Errors in insulin, errors in tools or simply changes in activity levels can have lethal consequences for people with diabetes.  This isn’t just talk. This is real.  I have lost friends to this disease.  Parents of children with diabetes have seen their children die because of diabetes. Diabetes kills. It is a scary disease.

As a parent of a child with diabetes, I hope both my child and the general public know that I will continue to work hard every day to improve the lives of people with diabetes. I will offer a helping hand, a strong shoulder or the voice of experience where necessary. I will continue to dream of a day when we can say that we are parents of children cured of diabetes.


The other day I was looking at my website stats and was both surprised and pleased.  It would appear that I reach over 10,000 people each month.  I know for many sites, they see that in the run of a day or even sooner than that but for me that is pretty amazing.

I do not have an advertising budget. I don’t have a huge staff (I am the only staff and I don’t get paid).  The website (for all of its faults and victories) is created by, managed by and filled by me. I do not have a computer background. I have slowly learned html codes on an as needed basis.

The Diabetes Advocacy website has slowly grown and reached people based solely on word of mouth.  To me that is pretty amazing and exciting!

As I have noted before, the phoenix on my logo has a twofold meaning.  There are personal struggles that it represents but more importantly, I felt that it aptly represented the stages that we go through when dealing with diabetes.  At diagnosis our world explodes and falls to ashes around us.  Over time, we see amazing things grow out of those ashes–achievements, friendships, and strengths that astound us (to hear more about my thoughts on this join my webinar May 5th).

Out of the ashes, I created a website geared to Canadians living with diabetes and now it reach over 10,000 people each month.  I am a mom of a child who was almost killed by this horrible disease sharing information with thousands of people.  It’s rather incredible and humbling.

I am honored when I go to various diabetes engagements as an audience member and presenters as well as other attendees come up to me and either say “Oh you’re that Barb?!”  or immediately tell me that “I send people to your site everyday. There is no better source of information for _(fill in the blank) ___”.  They are the reason that I touch so many people.  They truly touch me.

Clipart Illustration of a Bunch Of Floating Party Balloons With

Today my Facebook page reached 1000 likes.  I know that some sites have done that in a matter of days after opening a Facebook page.  In my case it took time to develop that relationship.  It happened by way of friends–some unmet, who liked what they read, learned or heard and shared with their friends.

Thank you everyone for joining me on this crazy journey. You truly do make it a lot more pleasant! Here’s to reaching over 2000 Facebook people next 🙂