‘This is the mask of a Type 1 Diabetic caregiver. You’ll find us at 3 a.m. just trying to keep our child alive.’: Mom to son with Type 1 Diabetes claims ‘we are the strongest mothers you will ever meet’

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“The Mask.

The mask of a Type 1 Diabetic caregiver.

Every morning we put it on.

There is not enough coffee to make it all go away.

Not even in an IV…although that is our daily prayer.

Exhaustion sets in, and sometimes you might find us crying in the bathroom. Hiding it from our child whom we show up strong for every day.

On the outside, you might see a woman that is put together.

Her smile might radiate a room, but the worry lingers.

Sacrificing our own life most days, to show up strong for theirs.

We would not change the sacrifice, it’s what we do.

Tired, worn, covered in old juice from fighting a low hours before we have to show up to work. Pit in our stomach from medical bills, and let’s not even discuss the cost of medication for a lot of us.

Denied by insurance companies for tools to help our littles become superheroes. We fight the fight. Sh*t….superhero with a damn insulin pump, not a cape. A small reminder that their childhood was stolen.

Denying our children a dream of growing up to be a pilot. Or even a firefighter. Too risky, they say. Train them to get a ‘job’ with ‘good benefits,’ a conversation no parent should be having with their 11 year old.

Courtesy of Shawn Nelson

We are supposed to teach them to dream.

Their dream is a cure.

The anxiety of death is real.

Dead in bed they call it.


Back to the bathroom we go to hide.

Courtesy of Shawn Nelson

The mask of a parent with a chronic illness is real.

We don’t put it on to feel semi functional. We put it on to hopefully hide from the questions. Why isn’t he stable yet? Good job losing weight! How do you give your child shots?

I have a pill that can help with that. But he has a pump, so you are good right?

Behind every mask is a face.

And behind every face is a story.

Don’t mistake it for weakness, but a pillar of strength.

A mother of a T1 warrior is one of the strongest you will ever meet. Somewhere on the planet there is always a parent wide awake a 3 a.m. keeping their child alive.

It takes someone really brave to do this job, someone really strong to raise a child to be fearless in the face of this disease, and someone special to love someone more than herself.”

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Courtesy of Shawn Nelson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Shawn Nelson of Southern California. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more about diabetes:

‘My daughter was knocked out. Joking, I asked if she was breathing. Until I felt no movement.’: Mom loses daughter to undiagnosed childhood diabetes

‘My son died all alone in his apartment. In the blink of an eye, my family changed. It seemed impossible to think I wouldn’t see him, hug him ever again.’ Mom’s 26-year-old son dies due to ‘senseless price of insulin’

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