To the moms of the diabetes community type 1 diabetes statistics

They were among the first ones to know, and the first ones to pull out their phones and google the words, “my child has diabetes.” They were the first ones to wonder what in fresh hell they were going to do, while simultaneously offering words of reassurance to other family members, friends, acquaintances, and most importantly, to you. They hardly ever let you see them worry. They almost never let you see them cry.

They know the difference between an explanation of benefits, a deductible, a premium, and can recite the insurance appeals process by heart. They’ve sat on the phone with DME companies for hours, days. They have a nickname for your Dexcom. They’ve memorized your favorite low snack. They know when you want extra attention for your diabetes versus when you want to ignore its presence.

They absolutely insisted that you sign up for diabetes camp (to which you are forever thankful!). They’ve suggested therapy. They put the whole family on the Dr. Bernstein diet for a brief period (very brief).

Their patience is immeasurable. They’ve spent thousands of dollars on supplies so that you didn’t have to. They ordered you a Jerry the Bear. They’ve told (and retold) nosy neighbors and curious friends that, “no, diabetes isn’t ‘an old person’ disease.” They’ve battled insurance companies. They made the impossible look easy. They dealt with the possibility of the mortality of their child. Their size doesn’t measure their strength.

They come prepared. They know how to create an impenetrable 504 plan. They’re foolproof. They’ve secretly called all your best friends’ moms even though they promised they would never tell a soul that you had a “disease” in the 5th grade. They make holidays about things other than the food, so it’s easier both for you and your blood sugars (Thanksgiving Day hike, anyone?). They know the school nurses’ names and phone numbers by heart. They sleep lightly, and at first, didn’t sleep at all. They can check your sugar like a CIA spy, without waking you up. They know the best glucose tab flavor is definitely raspberry.

They’ve reassured, encouraged, motivated, and have an indefatigable sense of pride and belief in all you do. They’ve told you that you, “actually aren’t all that different.” They made you try out for swim team even though your doctor told you not to. They know all the scholarships to which you should apply. They’ve screened countless boyfriends for their ability to count carbs and do mental math problems. They can’t help it, they care.

They were the ones who sat your freshman year college roommate down and explained the ins and outs of diabetes management when all you wanted to do was crawl into a hole and hide from embarrassment. They send you KNOW foods care packages. They’re always curious about your latest A1c.

They know, absolutely know that you can take care of it (what it happens to be at the time) on your own, but insist on reminding you to check your sugar before getting behind the wheel, to check your sugar (extra extra) when drinking, to reorder your pump supplies on time, to make sure that you’ve met your deductible for the year before ordering your new CGM, and to pack extra Skin Tac for your vacation. But you can do it. But they just want you to remember, you know, just in case.

They’ve passed all the parenthood “tests”- raising a child with a chronic medical consition to thrive in an uncertain world, whose happiness is measured in laughs and not “perfect” blood sugars. They’re the moms of the diabetes community, and this month, we salute them. So, thank you, mom, for everything you’ve done, for everything you do, and for everything you will do. I can’t thank you enough.