I had given this a lot of thought, and I would say parents of children with diabetes inspire me to work harder. I have watched many parents of children living with diabetes in my private practice struggle and never give up. The fight to raise a child is demanding. Raising a diabetic child is filled with a lot more work that is both physically, emotionally and mentally demanding.
In addition to dealing with their needs and feelings as individuals, these parents have to be and stay vigilant, so their child can grow up healthy and strong – and I admire their courage and perseverance. When things get out of control for a diabetic child, they have to pick up the pieces. They have to drop everything, put their fear into the background and take care of their child every time there’s a reaction. Each time the blood glucose meter doesn’t work, D-Mom and D-Dad go into action. They play many roles: advocate, researcher, doctor, nurse, psychotherapist and much more. D-Mom is life for these children and tends to be under-appreciated for the tremendous job she does 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are constantly on duty, yet do this extraordinary job with loving care.
As a therapist, my job is to help others, but I get to go home at the end of the day and caring for my needs. The task of the diabetic parent is never ending. It never stops or turns off. Every time I think of what they have to endure, my admiration for them grows bigger.
When taking care of anything for my clients or myself, I know I can because of how they inspire me. In my practice, mothers of children with diabetes and my mom’s drive and dedication help spur me on in my practice and my life.
I am a product of a Diabetic Mother. By helping others and by taking care of myself, I honor her work and dedication to taking care of me.
Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.