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Being a Mother

May 9, 2021
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I am the mother of a diabetic child.
I don’t know what it’s like to go to sleep at night and know for certain my child will wake up in the morning.
I don’t know what it’s like to sleep the whole night through without waking up to do blood tests on my sleeping child.
I don’t know what it’s like to prepare a meal without a calculator, measuring cups, and a gram scale.
I don’t know what it’s like to drop my child off at school and know she will always be in the charge of someone who knows how to take care of her.
I do know what it’s like to force feed sugar in the middle of the night knowing I am sacrificing my child’s teeth to save her life.
I do know what it’s like to draw up insulin at 2 am and pray to God I’m not too sleepy to make a fatal error in judgment, technique or calculation.
I do know what it’s like to sit underneath the dining room table holding my sobbing child, explaining to her, “No, we can’t take a break jus this one time.” while I inject insulin into her already bruised arm.
I do know what it’s like to walk away from the pharmacy counter with an armload of supplies and realize I’ve just gone through another box of 200 syringes.
I do know what it’s like to help my child march bravely past the juice and cookies at the school reception that was supposed to be her reward for achieving Student of the Month.
I do know what it’s like to look into my child’s eyes and tell her she has an incurable disease and explain to her what that means,
And then to be comforted by her when I’m the one who can’t stop sobbing.
I do know what it’s like to love and cherish my child every minute of every day,
To know that I may someday donate a kidney to her,
And that if she were in need of a heart, mine would be out of the question,
Because it broke a long time ago.
I am the mother of a diabetic child.

poem by Linda Kaniasty, shared with permission