I'm the mom of a beautiful Type 1 daughter and married to a wonderful husband who also has Type 1! This blog serves as a place for my thoughts and feelings, in the hopes that it will help other families struggling with the many challenges diabetes presents. I can't always promise it is uplifting...but, it is honest.
And, of course, it is by no means meant to offer medical advice.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The Role of the Caretaker
A recent post on another blog really sent my wheels turning, and some of the comments I found down right disturbing. Do caretakers of T1's or any disease for that matter deserve to air their feelings? I am a Family Doc. I was trained, and I believe that illness affects not only the patient, but the family, and the community at large. Everyone's experience is unique and deserves to be recognized. Illness is not a competition. The caretaker does not know what it feels like to have the chronic disease, but the person with the chronic disease doesn't know what it feels like to be the caretaker either. One can say that it is harder to have cancer or diabetes or a number of illnesses, but that doesn't mean that it is not hard to love someone with them. How do we measure pain and suffering? To experience pain is to know it, but who is anyone to judge the pain that someone else is feeling? No, I thankfully don't know what it feels like to be high or low, but I do know what it feels like to worry my daughter or husband will die in their sleep of hypoglycemia. How can we put a label on pain and suffering? How is a caretaker "whining" anymore than a person with a chronic disease is "whining?" And, doesn't everyone deserve the right to whine once in awhile? Clearly it is a healthier coping mechanism than running away or drinking to deal with the pain. The parent who has lost a child to cancer doesn't know what it feels like to have or die of cancer, but does that mean they didn't experience as much pain? This world is too full of judgement. If people actually focused their energy on supporting each other instead of competing and judging each other think about what we could accomplish. Pain should not be judged or measured. It just exists.