February 2, 2010

News Flash: Diabetes Does NOT Vary

I read a post over at CWD from a mom with a second DX who was frustrated with her dad and care for a T1 at the mall. It made me think about the one thing that doesn't vary with T1 parents. What Hunter S. Thompson calls, "The Fear." This is my slightly edited reply to her thread:

I feel for you. That second DX hurts just as much as the first. I have been there. It is a flood. I wrote about my diabetes flood here. The second dx is no less stressful because you have some t1 experience. It may even be more stressful because you have a clearer idea of the path ahead.

No two kids with diabetes are the same. YDMV. I know. I coined the phrase.

Each kids has deferent responses to the same things: different I:C, different correction factors, different responses to exercise and different skills. Each has their own emotional response. So do you. So does your dad.

It perfectly understandable to be stressed out. It is a very lot to deal with.

It is hard to teach while you are still learning all those differences and dealing with your own sense of grief. It is hard to reverse the parent child relationship and teach a parent. It could be that you dad feels unsecure, concerned and to some extent afraid of doing the wrong thing. Maybe why he keeps asking the same things is The Fear.

I know others who have found a need in their family to step the stress down a notch. That can be done. Start with the basics.

Your kids clearly have a loving grand parent that wants to help. See that. Appreciate that.

Build from that. If you can, by all means go to Friends for Life. All of you. FFL has grand parents’ sessions. I am sure they are as good as all the rest of the program there. Build on the strength of your family's love. Don't let the diabetes isolate you. Don't let it breing The Fear.

Give away the stress of teaching your dad. If you can't make FFL this year, the ADA's wisdom kits are great. So is this the CWD online community. Maybe you dad would be willing to join up there. There is a grandparents section and there are lots of folks here who are happy to answer the same question over and over again. If not there find some other place in the diabetes online community. If he wants I will give him my private email. Find what works to help you give away some stress.

I am the Official King of YDMV and as such I know that in one way diabetes does not vary. It tries to puts The Fear in each of us. The question we individually face the most is, "I am afraid my family can't do this." Look around at the DOC support group and you will see the we always say is same thing, "If we can do it, you can too. We are here to help you find your families way." The question and answer get phrased a thousand different ways. It gets put in the context of friends, neighbors, food police, family, schools and a partridge in a pear tree. But it is the same question.

You heard it here first: The Fear of diabetes inadequacy doesn't vary.

Don't buy it. You are going to be OK. We are here to help.


  1. Great Post.
    Great response.
    Kelly K

  2. How true. I am 31, almost 25 years with T1. My parents still have fears, worry, etc. That will Never vary with this disease.

    Great response/advice.

  3. Wonderful post filled with warmth and reassurance for the mom. I learned a lot from what you said. Thank you.

  4. There is so much wisdom in this post Bennet. It should be required reading for all parents with CWD.

    Great post.

  5. Great post Bennet, as a parent of a CWD. I have received so much goodness from this online community. I work every day to not let the Fear invade.