W hen your child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it is the loneliest feeling in the world! For me, it was the first time that I couldn’t wave my magic maternal wand and make something nasty and unwanted disappear. Other than health professionals (who can be amazing) there is generally no one to tell you what to do or help you help your child. Whilst it is your child who has diabetes and not you, you are their primary caregiver and as such are reponsible for them. This can feel all consuming.
A year after my son’s diagnosis, I discovered the diabetes online community. I read lots of blogs and found that I wanted to write my own. I am really clear when I write that it’s not me who has diabetes. I do not reveal my son’s name and I don’t post photos of him on my blog or on twitter. That is my choice, as I know my boy and he is private about his diabetes.
It is hard as a parent to know what your online profile should be. Clearly, most of us do not actually have diabetes but it is such a big part of our lives whether our children are five or fifteen. I often feel hypocritical for even writing about diabetes as I don’t have it, but it can dominate my life and I do enjoy the connections I have made with people online, especially some other mums.
As 2017 comes to close, I have seen the amazing phenomenon that is Constance Hall (read about it here). I follow what Constance does on Facebook. It’s so fantastic how she tells it like it is and connects with women across the globe with her total honesty and humour. I don’t need to agree with everything she does and says. Her success comes from talking about how life really is. She hides nothing and people love this about her. Women being there for each other is not new but using social media to do this is a relatively new phenomenon.
With this in mind, I would like to pay homage and respect to the Diabetes Queen Mothersout there. There are many ways to be a Diabetes Queen Mother. None are wrong. I realise that some mums do things differently from me: some share much more than I would, others are more focused on research, and my own way of coping is to try to be realistically optimistic and focus on hope.
We are all different yet we are all connected by Type 1 Diabetes and together we are stronger. It’s not our task to critique or question each other. We are not digital natives and we can be clumsy and awkward. We don’t have solutions or cures but we have real, lived experiences of helping our children grow into strong, independent young adults. We need not always agree but we are Diabetes Queen Mothers.
Who are my Diabetes Queen Mothers?
(In noparticular order)
@cstevens338 (On twitter)
@deepost30 (on twitter)
I’ve focused purely on Diabetes Queen Mothers in this blog. That is not to take away from the Diabetes Queens and Kings out there who inspire and teach us every day in many, many ways.