An Ode to the D-Mom
Shane Slater remembers how his mother supported him in the beginning of his journey with Type 1.
I’m 29 years old and have had Type 1 for 17 years, but there is something about testing my blood sugar that throws me back to when I was first diagnosed as a child.
Each time, I stand there with my eyebrow raised and my index finger on my chin, trying to analyze my daily food intake. I make excuses, telling myself that my insulin must be expired or my meter broken. And then I think of my mother.
I remember my mom looking over my shoulder as I tested, holding me accountable and offering me advice. She was like a continuous glucose monitor with a photographic memory; she could remember my lunchtime glucose results from four days previous. Together, we pieced together the puzzle of my diet and my blood glucose levels.
My mom managed to take away a lot of the stress of diabetes by taking care of the logistics, like when she created my diabetes cupboard. It was kept well-stocked so I would have no excuses. She must have wasted about three years of her life waiting in line at the pharmacist for medications and supplies.
My mom never failed to remind me that I needed to take more responsibility for my condition. At the same time, she sat me down and told me there are no straight answers to diabetes. It’s all about trial and error and having a damn good memory, she said.
She passed away in 2008. I still wish she was looking over my shoulder each time I test, so we could have those in-depth discussions about carb counting we once did. I am forever grateful for all she did for me.
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