Moms are the ones to kiss away the booboos when their little ones get hurt. A scrape on the knee, a tummy ache, or a bump on the head can be cured by one simple, yet so powerful kiss from mom, or dad. Unfortunately, that powerful kiss has found its kryptonite when it comes to chronic illness. As much as parents of children with chronic illnesses, like Type 1 diabetes want to be able kiss away the booboos when it comes to their child’s illness, they cannot.
To be able to kiss away the pain of a life full of shots, hundreds upon hundreds of finger pokes each month, the feelings of a low and high blood sugar, and their side effects would be a miracle and such a blessing. Hearing your 4-year-old say ” This is the last shot forever, right mommy”, after her insulin injection is a tug on the heart strings that’s for sure. But even though we cannot take this pain away, we still play an important role in helping our children thrive, and endure a life with a chronic illness.
I can tell you one thing I have learned being a mom to children with a chronic illness is that kids are so brave and strong. They could honestly teach some adults a thing or two when it comes to having an illness. I haven’t once seen my son use his illness as an excuse as to why he ‘cannot’ do something. But I have seen many adults do much worse.
I can tell you from experience that living with a chronic illness can be difficult when you do not have the support necessary to cope. Each illness takes its toll on everyone differently. For myself, living with Hashimotos Thyroiditis (Hypothyroidism), Fibromyalgia, Sjorgen’s Syndrome, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, can take a toll on me daily. The chronic pain makes it difficult to want to move at times, the multitude of symptoms from my thyroid are difficult to handle some days. But, even though each day can be a battle, it’s a battle I’m always willing to fight. I’ve never been one to play the victim, instead I’ve always been a fighter. This is what we, as parents need to instill in our children who suffer from chronic illnesses.
Pick Them Up When They Are Down
Even though you can’t kiss away the pain of diabetes and living with it, you are still the one that can be there to pick them up when they are having a bad day, to remind them that they are amazing and that diabetes isn’t winning this fight.
One thing I’ve learned about kids with Type 1 diabetes is that they are much stronger than many people give them credit for. They understand that there will be good days and bad, but throughout it all they try to live their life the best they possibly can and still be a happy, carefree kid, even with diabetes in tow.
This is an important lesson for anyone of any age to learn. Watching my two children with type 1 diabetes live each day like they don’t have a war going on inside their body has allowed me to view life from a new perspective from a set of fresh eyes. And this is a lesson that no one else but champions like my children could teach me. It’s a lesson that everyone should learn at some point in their life. That no matter what life is throwing at you, there is still something to be happy and feel blessed about.
For parents with kids with a chronic illness, we need to be there to be their strength and rock, to show them that this illness will not beat them, but they will be unstoppable in everything they do. We need to be their shoulder to cry own through the tough times, and ensure them that there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel. We need to guide them through this life and teach them how amazing they truly are, and that their illness doesn’t define them.