I am a Type 1 Mother, and this is my letter to you.
To the non-diabetics:
I don’t want your pity, your fear, or your advice. I don’t want your judgment, your gossip, or your ignorance.
I want you to know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. My father was Type 2, but my child is Type 1 — They are different diseases and need to be considered as such.
My child did not eat too much of this or that. My child is not fat. My child was not lazy. In fact, my child did nothing at all to deserve this.
My child is not contagious, weak, sickly, or hopeless. On the contrary, he is one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. He takes four shots a day, when most people complain about one a year. He bleeds five times a day without a tear when many might cry at a single drop of blood. He does math a dozen times for your every one. He plays sports, creates art, earns A’s, and has goals and visions for his life … All of this despite living with Type 1.
Your advice to feed him cinnamon, ancient medicine, or magic herbs is unnecessary — I’m not interested in bringing his glucose down a few points; I am interested in a cure.
Your judgmental questions (“Can he really eat that?!”) are unwelcome here, so keep them to yourself.
Your comparison of my child to your great aunt or elderly dog is not helpful: Type 1 is not Type 2.
Please, have compassion without pity, educate yourself, be patient if I am running late due to my kid’s high or low, and once in a while, simply listen.
To the parents of Type 1 children:
Whether you believe it or not, your attitude in the face of Type 1 impacts your child every single day.
This is not your fault, so stop beating yourself up.
This is not the worst tragedy known to humankind, so don’t feel sorry for yourself and your child.
Stand up with your head held high and support your kid with every ounce of positivity and encouragement you can muster.
Be a role model of strength, optimism, faith, and courage.
To the siblings of Type 1 children:
You are never forgotten on this journey. Your strength when things got scary at first, your patience when urgency is required, your understanding when everything seems to focus on everyone but you — all of this is seen and appreciated and honored. You are a necessary piece of the puzzle, without which the Type 1 world would be so much harder for all.
To the children with Type 1:
You are resilient and courageous.
Your willingness to take what could be so unpleasant and make it into a reason to be even stronger, to live even longer, to defy stereotypes, to smash expectations, is a trait that the world should honor.
You inspire me to accept what comes, to see all that we do have with gratitude, to drink in life in a way I never did before, and to appreciate YOU every single second of each day.
With faith that a cure for Type 1 will soon be found,
A Type 1 Mother
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