Parenting. Not easy in the best of circumstances. Add diabetes to the mixture and parenting becomes even more challenging. Throw in the towel? Give up? Never! You do what you need to do. You find the way. You get it done.
Parenting. Diabetes doesn’t go away. There are no days off.” No breaks. No “time outs.” Each day — each meal —brings new challenges. How many carbs? How much insulin? When did you test last? Did you “cover” that high?
Parenting. Don’t let the other kids tease you — it’s just an insulin pump. Show them — teach them. Sleepover? Have all your supplies? Need to let other parents know. Cake? Cookies? Soda? Candy? Anything sugar free? Don’t be embarrassed — just ask.
Parenting. Practice today — did you eat enough? Have a snack? Do you have your glucose tablets? What if your blood sugar goes low? Does the coach know what to do?
Parenting. Finally — 21. No worries? More worries! More testing. Alcohol? How and when do you cover it? Studies. Stress. Emotions. Can it all be balanced? Parenting.
The following poem really says it better than I can:
A Dad’s Promise...
He walks down the hallway in silence so deep,
Keeping watch over him, as his little one sleeps.
With meter in hand, he opens his door,
Making sure not to wake him as he crosses the floor.
He sits on his bedside and brushes his hair,
As he dreams of shooting baskets, without a ‘D’ care.
He holds his hand softly; his fingers so small,
As he watches and wonders why ‘D’ came to call.
While he watches him sleeping, so peaceful and warm,
The forces inside him fight a constant ‘D’ storm.
Will he ever be free of shots and blood testing?
He sits and he wonders as he watches him resting.
The beep of the meter breaks the silence of the night,
A small drop of blood tells if everything’s right.
The seconds count down to the final display,
I hate this damn meter; I want to throw it away.
The number is fine, one down, a lifetime to go,
As he turns in his sleep, will he ever know?
Why does this ‘D’ happen to someone so small?
My son is my hero, but my baby most of all.
He turns at his doorway, looking back one more time,
It’s a nightly routine of the very worst kind.
He walks down the hallway and time passes by,
As he sits in dark silence and quietly cries.
I have to stay strong, and for him I will fight,
We’ll battle this ‘D’ with all of our might.
I’ll teach him to master and conquer this foe,
This ‘D’ will not stop him, I promised him so.
Special thanks to Barb Wagstaff at diabetesadvocacy.com for sharing this poem and giving me permission to share it with you. The original poem was titled “A Mom’s Promise...”
Scott Owens is the father of Type 1 diabetic Matthew Owens, a Penn State senior who will be graduating this month.