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A Parent's Guilt

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  • A Parent's Guilt

    My friend's little boy recently was diagnosed with diabetes. I asked a previous question here about her and got a great answer, so I'm going to ask another one.

    As a friend of a mother whose little one has diabetes, how can I help her get over the guilt that she has about his becoming a diabetic. I am a type 2 and so I haven't studied much about type 1 so I don't even know where to start.

    She is a wonderful mother and always has been. She feeds her son well, organic as much as she can afford and she has never, never given him sugary and sweet treats to keep him quiet, like other people with kids I know have done.

    She called me the other evening and suddenly she just told me that she feels as if she is the reason her son is sick. She's sure that she must have done something to harm him that she can't remember doing.

    As well as I could, I reassured her that it isn't her fault and that she's always been loving and great to her son. Hearing her cry broke my heart. Like I said I don't know much about type 1, is there a site that will reassure a parent that they aren't the reason that their child has diabetes that I can show her -- or look at myself? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by skatss; 05-09-2009, 09:29 AM.

  • #2
    I think you had done the right thing. Children with type 1 diabetes is not rare in world. Infact in US 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and more than 1 million American kids and adults deal with the disease every day. Hence you can assure her by the statistics that it is something most of us has to go through.


    • #3
      mother and child of a long line

      I am a mother, diabetic. As you know by my other posts. I am also teh child of a long line of diabetics.

      My first doctor was afraid to tell my parents, so they hid it from me using words to disguise what it really was.
      That s case of guilt. The old doctor before he died even said he had guilt about not telling them.

      She she be reassured that she has no blame to carry. No guilt. It happens. It happens like the child's eye color, hair color, breathing. It happens. Its all part of the genetic makeup of the human.

      But as a parent I know how she feels too. the should coulda wouldas, maybeifs can become overwhelming.
      What she needs is to contact her local ADA and see if there is a moms support group. You share a burden and can talk more openly to others who are in the same boat.


      • #4
        The only contact I have had with the ADA has been to get their magazine, and then to stop getting it.

        Though I don't know what the ADA can offer her, it is a good idea for her to get in touch with them. I know that she can get information about the diabetes camps for kids and I think that in a few years her son will be ready to go there.

        I'll tell her to get in touch.


        • #5
          diabetes day camps

 is probably the most comprehensive site with great information
          here is the link to their camps

          ada camps fill up quickly and are expensive. plsu they are few and far between. However some of the more local diabetes related camps are better because they are focused. make sure though that they have:
          full time Diabetes Educator on staff with is ADA trained in exchanging
          make sure they have strips available for meters or meters available if your child does not have one
          make sure activities are geared towards kids and they learn pre and post testing
          check out the menus
          make sure if they are a sleepaway camp they have open access to predawn phenomena food( hypoglycemia food sources for bringing up blood levels)
          make sure that they ahve someone trained in CPR and diabetic emergencies.

          Asking shows concern not over protection. Too many camps hire teenagers with no experience in diabetes and some camps only hire diabetics.


          • #6
            I'm happy to report that my friend's little one is amazing. He has taken the hardships of diabetes and has almost forgotten there is any other way to live.

            He takes his shots without any complaining. They have a song they sing when he takes it and he just is amazing when he smiles at you as he sings and prepares to be shot.

            He doesn't complain when his friends get to go to the ice cream truck. His family has always been on the penny pinching side and has been organic and health directed and his parents have taught him from birth that you don't usually get what you ask for in a store or on the street.

            His Mom is really careful to have alternatives for him to have at home though and when he has been really good he gets his treat. When he gets a treat that way than it really is a treat!

            His Mom is doing better too. She has made herself learn as much as she can and she has gotten another Mom of a diabetic child to talk to.

            I'm so happy for both of them because life has almost gone back to a normal state.


            • #7
              skatss, Bless you. You are so right to tell that she is not at fault. You also need to reassure her again and again. Also tell her that she cannot live in the past (before diabetes) and that she must live in the today. This topic would be good for her to read and this thread for parents would be good for her.

              Also (if the powers will allow it to stay) the following forum has a place for parents of children with diabetes that is very supportive. The link is: and the thread is: Parents Helping Parents about a third of the way down the index.

              Another topic along the same line for parents who have guilt is to not pass this to the child. Even the most innocent of remarks by a parent can be correctly discerned by children. The child must be allowed to be themselves without the parents being overprotective.

              You did not mention the age of the child, but most forums (with a couple of exceptions) will not let a young person under the age of 18 participate. If you need more information, please email me at

              Which reminds me, skatss, on the topic of some natural remedies you posted I had asked for some further information.

              Keep the positive attitude, and reassure your friend.



              • #8
                it is definately not the parents fault. type 1 is genetic - not caused at all by lifestyle. hust like my daughter has a heart defect - that's nothing i did - just happened.


                • #9
                  Little Billy's five or six (I think). Sue me I don't remember the ages of my friend's kids. I don't remember my age either. But I think he is six and he's a great kid. His bear is also doing well as a new diabetic. When Billy's afraid or feeling bad, my friend tells me that the bear is the first thing Billy goes to. I told her that that is proof that she's a great Mom. It was her idea to get the bear on the first place.

                  I will tell her about your link Robert. When I give anyone advice, I never check up on if they have read or followed it. I do hope she reads it, but I only give help, I don't insist that anyone take it.

                  LOL! After all the talk about vitamin D we had here, I am actually making sure that I get straight sunlight for 15 minutes a day. Remember, I am as pale as a sheet so 15 minutes gives me a lot of D!

                  I think that my friend is a lot less filled with guilt about the diabetes, I can't say that she's fine about it, I doubt that she will ever really forgive herself. Sometimes a parent can't shake off guilt. I think it comes with the job title.


                  • #10

                    That is the correct way. Give advice, but not insist they follow it.

                    I do appreciate that you are being more positive in your outlook, even if at times it can be a little difficult when things are not like we would want.

                    I had been aiming to bring my A1c lower that 5.6, but it wasn't meant to be this time. A little internal battle has made life a little unpleasant for the last couple of months and the weight did not come down as planned. So it is time to reset goals for the next time and work a little harder to get below that next time. Doctor was still happy, but when she saw my disappointment, she toned it down and asked why I wanted it lower. I told her if the increase in neuropathy pain didn't improve, I was getting worried it may not get better at all.

                    I am hoping that your friend will be able to get rid of her guilt and realize that life goes on.



                    • #11
                      A Parents Guilt

                      Sorry to hear it bro. My parents got divorced the day 7th grade started. But it looks the only person who can change and make the situation better is your mom. I cant believe she lets your sister walk all over her like that. Your sister is going to get a real shock once she gets into the working world, I can tell you that much.


                      • #12
                        Type 1 websites

                        Also try the website:
                        Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation