Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Post From My Mother.

I had asked my mom to put together her first "cameo post" for Six Until Me. There are countless blogs written by the parents of diabetic children that my mother reads now, even though I'm an adult and living under my own care. Had the blogging outlet been an option when I was diagnosed, I'm certain she would have been a pioneer.

So she's getting her chance now, on her daughter's blog. It's the least I can do. My acceptance of my disease is the exquisite culmination of her teaching me to believe in myself as much as she believed in me. My daughter, Kerri, has asked me to write a cameo post for her blog. I have been putting it off for a few months now and I think that I had better get to it!

I couldn’t decide what my topic would be. After all, this was my one shot at being read by the OC. Of course, I will be relating more to the parents of children with diabetes. I guess I will write about what was the hardest part of Kerri growing up with diabetes. That would be “learning to let go”.

The initial reaction to one’s child being diagnosed with a chronic disease is traumatic to say the least. I remember the fear of knowing that I was responsible for keeping Kerri healthy and safe. That was my priority prior to diagnosis but now there was this “disease” thrown into the mix of normal childhood perils to contend with and this one wasn’t going anywhere. I thought “how am I going to do this?” I was nervous and scared. Kerri was taking it in stride, still smiling and still her happy self. That’s when I decided that diabetes wasn’t going to rob her of her childhood or all of life’s experiences. If she could still smile and carry on, so could I. (Granted, at 6, she wasn’t fully aware of all the diabetes related issues.) I just went on automatic pilot. I did what I had to do. She would go to friends houses for sleepovers, school field trips, etc. About a month after diagnosis, Kerri was invited to sleep over at a new friends house. They were new to the area and Kerri and Jill became fast friends. I knew that I was going to let her go but first I had to call her teacher and get her opinion of Jill’s parents. She gave them rave reviews. I then made arrangements with Jill’s Mom and Dad to go over in the evening to give the night time shot and again at 7:00 AM for the morning test and shot. The Mom’s became friends as well. Mission accomplished…Kerri was able to go to sleepovers and I had control.

Now it’s the “letting go” part. As she grew up it was the hardest thing not having a say or part in everything she did. It was like going from hot to cold. It was a form of withdrawal. My daughter is fiercely independent. (I think you can all tell.). It was time for her to manage the disease and prepare for a life without Mom monitoring her every move. It was soooo hard. I had many a stomach ache waiting for her to drive in the driveway. My role as guardian and nurse was about to be severely restructured. Now I was an observer or sorts. I had to let her test her wings. She wouldn’t live with me forever. Besides, I always thought that if, God forbid, anything ever happened to her, I would want to know that she really had a great life. That she was not held back from doing things out of my own fears for her. (And there were plenty.) I did this for her and for myself as well. I would have felt guilty if I had held her back... so I didn’t.

She managed just fine. It would be silly to say that all things were perfect. They are not perfect for any child growing up testing the waters. The parents are not perfect. They do the best they can. However, she developed into this lovely young woman with a zest for life and a smile that says “Hi, I’m Kerri and you will like me”.

I will always be there for her in whatever capacity she needs…that of nurse, counselor etc. It really won’t matter how old she is, she is my daughter and I am her Mother.

I love her. That’s why I let her go.


At January 25, 2006 9:17 AM, Blogger Kassie said...

This is terrific, and thank you. My kids are only 8 and 3 and letting go - in the small ways that we have to as they grow - is my biggest challenge.

I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 18 - les than 3 months before I left home for college 250 miles away. I will be forever grateful to my parents, who didn't even flinch (visibly, at least) when diabetes was added to the mix. Keeping doubt out of the equation was the best thing they could have done for me.

At January 25, 2006 9:26 AM, Blogger J said...

This is a great read... I had a sleep over just after being DX and I remember my mom coming at night and in the morning to give me my shot. I can only imagine how she felt. I am gonna get her to read this. I remember finding as an adult that when my mom and dad dropped me off at "CBC" they turned and cryed all the way home I never would have known. Thank you (Kerri's mom) for this

At January 25, 2006 9:47 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

Thanks for writing this. Out of every concern I have, I have the biggest anxiety over sleepovers and what I'm in for. I imagined it would be just as you described it. So I'm a bit relieved about the prospect.

Letting go and kicking him out of the nest as far as his diabetes goes will be my next challenge. At almost 6 years old, he knows how to test and dose himself under close supervision, but it's the first step toward independence. I want him to be confident that he can care for himself.

Thanks for being a great role model. You must have done something right since Kerrie is so centered about her diabetes.

At January 25, 2006 10:54 AM, Blogger julia said...

Thanks for this post. Letting go is something I'm going to have trouble with, I know. Kerri's obviously well-adjusted and takes excellent care of herself and she had to learn that by example, from you. You've raised a wonderful daughter.

At January 25, 2006 11:00 AM, Blogger Tekakwitha said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing Kerri's mom!


At January 25, 2006 11:50 AM, Blogger Nicole P said...

The Kerri's mom fan club will grow by leaps and bounds from this post. Thank you for sharing.

At January 25, 2006 11:54 AM, Blogger Kerri. said...

My mom deserves a fan club. And someone to pave her damn driveway. It's ridiculously long and treacherous in the snow!

(My $.02)

At January 25, 2006 12:11 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Thank you, Kerri's Mom, for a wonderful post. All the fears and trepidations you experienced are mine now too (as well as all the other parents who experience this) - I enjoy reading others take on it all and their experiences. I have at least another 16 years of having my daughter at home and it's going to be tough, sooooo tough, to let go - as I'm a control freak by nature, so my biggest challenge will be handing the reins over to her. Even at the tender age of 2, the kid knows how to load her blood glucose machine, lancing device and get all the supplies ready for a test. Blows my mind.

You've done a wonderful job, even though I have never met Kerri - her writing shows us that she is strong, independent and very in-control of her life. That is what I want for my daughter more than anything. I hope I can do as good of a job as you have!

Congrats on raising a wonderful daugher! (new fan of Kerri's Mom here lol).

At January 25, 2006 12:57 PM, Blogger Vivian said...

Kerri's Mom-
Thank you for the post and sharing a part of your life. You could start a blog and have quite the following. (hint, hint, wink, wink) I know I could use the wisdom of someone who has already walked the path so successfully.

At January 25, 2006 1:36 PM, Blogger christy214 said...

My eyes are misting up now! Thankyou so much for posting.
The whole taking care of a child and having diabetes in the mix and just going through normal day to day on auto piolot I can so relate too. Days aren't perfect, the school nurse will tell you how hard it is for me to let go, but I need to also remind myself that part of being a child is growing up,regardless of having diabetes or not,and I think its great thing to be able to see all the hard work as parents of children with diabetes go through and the rewards of seeing the productive,caring, and independent adults they grow to be!!
Thankyou for such a wonderful post!

At January 25, 2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous Cin said...

Great post Kerri's Mom. If anyone starts the fan club, I would love to be a member cause you (Kerri's Mom) deserve it. You have raised a wonderful young lady.

At January 25, 2006 1:46 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

I love the fact that you people find me to be well adjusted.

That's incredible...

At January 25, 2006 2:22 PM, Anonymous Kerri's Mom said...

Thank you everyone for your kind responses! I give every parent out there who is raising a child with any kind of disease or disability alot of credit. It's never easy but the rewards are simply great kids. To all the children and young adults with diabetes I admire you all for facing every day with courage and determination.

Some time Kerri can post the times when I would lose it...don't want anyone to think that I wasn't human!!

At January 25, 2006 2:45 PM, Blogger Kelsey said...

I sent my mom a link to your site so she could read your mom's post. I got diabetes when I was 13, so I was a rebellious teenager and didn't want my parents help. Now, after all these years of doing it all myself, I'm finally letting my mom be supportive! I never realized how hard it must have been for her, wanting to help, but not being able to.

She loved the post and said she really related to it. Thanks Kerri's Mom!

At January 25, 2006 3:04 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...


Should I out you now about how you almost rung my neck after smelling chocolate on my breath that first post-diagnosis Halloween, or should I wait?

Please advise.

-- Your Daughter

At January 25, 2006 3:24 PM, Blogger Nicole P said...

I don't think you're well-adjusted, Kerri. I hope that gives you some consolation.

At January 25, 2006 3:29 PM, Anonymous Kerri's Mom said...

I think you should wait at least a year..I don't want to spoil the image!

In retrospect, it was kind of funny! I thought it was going to kill you!

At January 25, 2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

Nicole, oddly enough, that brings me much peace. Thank you.

Mom - I thought you were going to kill me. I was pretty sure I'd survive the candy.

At January 25, 2006 4:11 PM, Blogger Allison said...

To Kerri and Kerri's Mom- Don't you people have cell phones?

Kerri's Mom- You rock my socks off.

At January 25, 2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

We have cell phones but I can't exactly call from from my cell at my desk here in the cubicle farm.

Besides, I have work to do. I'm a busy little insurance agent. Busy. Busy. Lying.

At January 25, 2006 6:34 PM, Anonymous Darrell said...

Since this is current chat. Ma, we'll see you at noon on Saturday.

At January 25, 2006 6:52 PM, Anonymous D & K & C's Mom said...

Hey Darrell...since this is chat...I used to worry about you driving too!!! See you Sat. to pick up the boy! "hugs" Mom

At January 25, 2006 6:56 PM, Anonymous Oystein said...

I am Kerri's mom's BIGGEST fan

At January 25, 2006 6:59 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

Oh my.

Faithful Readers, meet my mother, stepfather, and brother.

Family, meet the Faithful Readers.

We'll be serving tea in the foyer in 15 minutes.

At January 25, 2006 9:47 PM, Blogger Martha O'Connor said...

This was beautiful. Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Kerri! XO Martha (son, age 8, dxed 7/17/04)

At January 25, 2006 10:52 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Beautiful post.

Thank you so much for sharing. Your words (and your daughter) are truly inspiring.

At January 26, 2006 1:38 PM, Blogger julia said...

I'd like to ammend my previous statement. You're all nuttier than a fruitcake.


At January 26, 2006 8:02 PM, Blogger Penny said...

ooh,ooh, I want to join the fan club. Maybe you don't think you did anything great, but you survived. Some days I wonder if I will.
It seems to me like you did a great job with Kerri.


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