Please don’t call me a hero.
Yes I have 3 children with diabetes.
That doesn’t make me a hero. It makes me a mom with extra duties.
I recently joined two groups on Facebook. One for users of Dexcom G5, the other for users of Tandem insulin pumps.
When I’ve commented on a couple different posts in both groups I had mentioned that I have 3 cwd. I didn’t shout it out like “Hey I have 3 kids with diabetes”. It was just something that came up as I tried to offer advice or support regarding sensor placement, or pump choices, or how diabetes can go all pear-shaped for seemingly no reason.
In response to learning I have 3 kids with diabetes a few kind folks have called me a “hero”.
It makes me truly uncomfortable to be called a hero. I don’t often know how to respond.
Often I just say – ‘thank you’, and maybe add in how ‘everyone has something’.
My kids aren’t heroes either, at least not simply because they have diabetes.
They are warriors sometimes. They are also tired and overwhelmed sometimes. So am I.
Having a disability or a chronic disease does not make a hero.
Doing something to better the lives of others, possibly related to ones own disabilities or chronic diseases can justify the hero title but simply having something does not make a hero.
Aside from not truly qualifying as a hero simply for existing, being called a hero unjustly can put an awful lot of pressure on people.
There are real heroes in our community.
Men and women who make phone calls to congress to improve access to health care. Heroes.
Men, women, and children who invest time and money in raising awareness and funds to cure diabetes. Heroes.
Volunteers at diabetes camps, conferences, and organizations that provide assistance and support to those with diabetes. Heroes.
Outside our community there are others who justly deserve the hero title.
Organ donors. Heroes.
Blood donors. Heroes.
People who rush in to tragic events to assist others without regard for their own safety. Heroes.
Politicians who speak outside their party to oppose proposed laws that would hurt the masses. Heroes.
I am a mom who happens to be raising 3 kids who happen to have diabetes. I am not the only parent of multiples (more than one child with diabetes). There are many of us. Granted multiples is still not the norm and membership to our club is costly.
Thank you to everyone who has learned I have multiple children with diabetes and empathized so much as to think of me, even briefly, as a hero. I understand you are not suggesting I don a cape. You are simply acknowledging the amount of work and sacrifice raising multiple kids with diabetes is. I thank you for that acknowledgement.
The jury is still out on how well I’ve raised my kids. We do our best with what we have to work with.
I personally think my kids are rockstars even when their words and actions (or lack of actions) make me want to bang my head on the wall.
2 thoughts on “Not A Hero”
I say all parents of children are the heroes of our community. You are just triple tasked.
Low blood sugar levels bother me. I often feel my mind is going on a vacation from my body. Over my head, off to one side, my brain will be saying to those around my body, things like: Don’t you see she needs sugar? She carries an appropriate dose in her bag, it’s right next to her blood test kit. No, don’t put your finger in her mouth. She will bite it off! If you ask “Do you want some sugar?,” she will reach out for anything. Don’t try to make her walk! Her muscles are worthless until there are calories to burn. If you wait much longer, the sugar will have to be offered in liquid form. Being able to drink requires less muscles than having to chew. It also lessens the chance of her biting her own cheeks, lips or tongue. Helping a diabetic in a hypoglycemic event is often not difficult.
Should no one be around my mind just waits. Long ago I drove 5 miles home and found I had a 22 mg/dL blood sugar level. If not a type 1 diabetic, when a blood glucose level falls dangerously low for a period of time, the pancreas drops a bit of the hormone glucagon into the bloodstream. This causes the liver to release stored glycogen which, in turn, raises the blood sugar level. With all my insulin reactions, or hypoglycemic episodes, I am still waiting for one to be fatal. High blood sugar levels are not so scary right now, but they certainly add up with time. More trouble is caused with high blood sugar levels for extended periods of time then many diabetics ever imagine.
Teens have growth hormone countering their high blood glucose levels. This point is only helpful to those living with a type 1 teenage diabetic.
Over my five decades of being a diabetic I have realized that the longer a diabetic spikes into high numbers the more damage is caused. Then our organs, meant to last a lifetime, influence how short they can make our lives. It is far easier to daily think about eating more vegetables and less simple carbohydrates, than it is to attempt to correct clogged arteries, dead capillaries, or numbing nerves.