{D-Blog Week} Finding Support In PWD’s

by Leighann on May 9, 2011

Diabetes Blog Week 2011

Being the parent of a child with diabetes can be isolating in the beginning. We only knew one family that also had a child with diabetes. There wasn’t local support. And I’m not sure to what extent I would have reached out to other families at the time. Emotions were so raw for me in those first few months. I even broke down sobbing, unable to form complete sentences, at the kick off lunch for our local walk, a walk that we had actually done two times before our own child was diagnosed.

When my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008, I was actually a seasoned “mommy blogger.” It took a few months to be in a place where I could start writing our story. It is very cathartic to me to put pen to paper…or fingers to keyboard!

I can’t remember how I happened upon them, but I began reading three blogs way back then: Diabetes Mine, Lemonade Life, and Six Until Me. I hadn’t yet found other D-Mom and D-Dads online, though I would find many, many wonderful parents of children with diabetes within a year of her diagnosis.

I looked to Diabetes Mine for well-researched information about treatments and research. But it was Lemonade Life and Six Until Me that really drew me in even though they weren’t about raising children with diabetes.

But Allison and Kerri were children with diabetes. And now they are thriving, articulate, beautiful young women with diabetes.

What could I have to gain from reading the tales of women who are not mothers? (Kerri is a mother to darling BSparl now, but wasn’t at the time I started reading.) Aren’t their perspectives as adults so different from the type of support I needed as a parent of a young child?

It is exactly what I needed.

When your child is diagnosed with a life-threatening and life-altering medical condition, you have to grieve the loss of the life that they might have had.

Will she be accepted by friends?

Will she go away to college?

Will she get married?

Will she have kids?

Will she have to give up some of her dreams?

As parents we wish the world for our children and a diagnosis like Type 1 diabetes makes us question how easy it will be and what challenges lay ahead.

But I saw these two young women who have lots of friends, who went off to college, who have careers, and got married (or will be getting married this summer!). In those first few months it gave me such hope for my little girl. Hope that she can grow up and be like Allison and Kerri.

So even though they aren’t D-Moms, these PWD’s really gave me what I needed in those first few months: Optimism.

This post is on the topic “Admiring Our Differences” as part of the Diabetes Blog Week 2011. For more participating blogs, visit Bitter-Sweet.

Further Reading

Diabetes Blog Week 2010

Diabetes Blog Week 2011

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela (Toucan Scraps) May 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

I find PWD a great source of hope too.

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2 Amy May 9, 2011 at 7:58 am

Nothing beats PWD advice! Helped me get through those first coule of months after Ellie’s diagnosis, that’s for sure!

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3 Lauren May 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

I’m a PWD and I love reading D-parents blogs! We have so much to learn from each other! :)

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4 Kerri. May 9, 2011 at 9:09 am

Thank you SO much for such a nice shout-out, Leighann. Happy D-Blog Week!! xo

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5 Amy May 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

As a PWD, I have learned so much from parents of CWD. The reality of a diabetes diagnosis is something I never really “got” until I started reading your blog and a couple others. Because this has been my normal since 2nd grade, I really didn’t have a full grasp of how life-changing it is to face a D diagnosis in your child. I appreciate my girls’ working pancreases in a way never did thanks, in large part, to your blog. You amaze me! Thank you for sharing!

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6 George May 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

It’s so awesome how we can learn so much from one another. Great post!

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7 sysy May 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Great post. I’m happy their sharing brought you optimism and some peace of mind in knowing that your daughter can be and accomplish anything :) It’s true, it’s true :)

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8 Mike Hoskins May 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Great post, Leighann! That hope and optimism – great to be able to find that. From the PWD perspective who found and now cherishes your Parental-Pacreas perspectives, I’d say you give me a refined definition of courage and strength. I don’t think it’d be possible for that hope and optimism to exist without that courage and strength… so thanks for doing what you do. (kissing pigs and all!!!!) Happy D-Blog Week!

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9 Victoria May 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Thank you Leighann, that was such a wonderful post! I’m a PWD, and one of my closest friends is a D-Mom. We learn so much from one another even though the diabetes we each know is so different. Thank you!

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10 Jen May 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Thanks for the post Leighann. You really hit the nail on the head in terms of strong PWD providing hope for us parents that our T1 kids can and will live long, healthy lives.

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11 Sara May 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Kerri was one of the first blogs I found too. It is so great to be inspired by seeing the future you did not know was possible.

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