A call for help
I reached out to a friend thousands of miles away, mother to a son with type 1 diabetes. She’s also mother to children with other types of special needs, which is how I met her.
She helped me understand the stigma and judgment parents of children with type 1 diabetes – not to mention the kids themselves – have heaped on them every single day. I didn’t know:
- Parents of children with type 1 diabetes are frequently told, “Maybe your child wouldn’t be sick if you fed her more nutritious foods or made him exercise instead of play video games.”
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. There’s nothing the parent or child could have done to prevent it.
- Food and activity also won’t cure it.
- There is no cure.
- There is only insulin.
- Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas does not function.
- Insulin is necessary to stay alive.
- Insulin is expensive and administration is often complicated and painful.
- Most people don’t know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- The two diseases are extremely different.
- While I specified type 2 diabetes in the article, the kit was intended for children with type 1 diabetes.
- Despite knowing it isn’t their fault, many parents of children with type 1 diabetes feel guilty anyway.
- They live in a state of exhaustion due to checking their child’s blood sugar every few hours 24/7.
- They live in chronic fear because type 1 diabetes is a life threatening disease and can quickly become deadly.
- There is much misinformation about the disease and they are angry when articles (like the one I wrote) feed into it.
Making it right with the type 1 diabetes community
I got it after talking to my friends. I was desperate to make it right.
I spent hours debating what to do, then many more hours revising the article to include the info about type 1 diabetes so many provided.
Then I sat at the computer screen continually hitting reload as I waited for the new version to go through editing and be live so I could share it.
I was relieved when the tone of the messages shifted. Of course, some people still hate me to this day and tweet I’m “human garbage”, but overall the new version of the article was well received.
I’m so glad.
Keep reading to find out why I related so much to these angry moms and why it was so important to me to make things right.