In Her Eyes…

1285440_18514244It has been a constant for her, like the stars that glow brightly from her ceiling when we turn the lights off at night. Always there, unseen, until you look up. Shining.

My diabetes. I know she understands that I am different. The noises from my insulin pump and my Dexcom have been lullabies (not harmonious and soothing) since her birth. As she grew, tiny fingers would fiddle against the tubing. For a time, she would not sleep until she pushed the button to light up the Dexcom display and had me read the number to her. It became a bedtime ritual.

Glucose tabs are used for counting lessons now, but the tubes I carried were once rattles. Juice is shared, but she no longer cries when I suck the box dry. We take our vitamins together, but she will only eat the red gummies, so I get stuck with the orange.

I think that she understands how hard I try to not let diabetes be in control of me.

And then I overhear her playing in the other room by herself. The stuffed animals are being told that they are sick. They must go to the doctor. They must feel better. They must not lie down on the couch.

The couch.

That is where I go when I’m low and need a minute to recoup when we are home. I think back to passing comments she makes as I wait the 15 minutes between checks: “Mommy, are you OK?” “Do you need medicine?” “Rest is best.” “It will be O.K., Mommy.”

She thinks I am sick.

I want her to see that my diabetes, while constant like the stars, is only a small part of who I am.

But this morning, in her beautiful blue eyes, it is all she sees.


  1. Christel — that is so perfectly put. And the timing is perfect for me, too. I was under the weather the past couple days, and this morning, my daughter woke up next to me and said, “Mommy, are you feeling better?”, to which I replied, “Yes, honey.” She then asked, “Is your diabetes all gone?” I wanted to cry at how sweet she was, and how innocent…but it made me sad that she assumes I am sick because I have diabetes… Thanks for writing this.

  2. So this has me crying at my computer – I want to hug you.

  3. “She thinks I am sick.”

    That part just broke my heart…

  4. I got a little teary the other day when, prepping for a swim lesson by putting all sorts of snacks, drinks, etc in our beach bag, my daughter said, “and don’t forget 1 juice box for me, and 1 juice box for your sugars.”

  5. Good morning, Christel. This is a very touching message! I was dx so long ago that there were no beeps and no devices, so there was very little to arouse any curiosity with my two sons. I don’t remember them asking questions about seeing me with injections, and hypos, but that was more than 40 years ago when they were as young as your daughter. lol

  6. Oh, Christel. This hit my heart, and I so want to reach through the screen and give you a big hug. I don’t know anything of what you are, but I trust — just from knowing the kind of smile-bringing and life-inspiring person that you are, and from what other D-Moms have said about these situations — that it won’t be a defining memory in a negative way. Just one little part of a mom who is so awesome that, well, you can’t compare because she’s a shining star on a big canvas in the sky.

  7. I can not relate. The fact that I will never be able to truly understand what this feels like causes much guilt in me. I so wish it was me and not them. But when I read posts like this one from adult parents with D I am thankful that my kids will find your voice and voices that will come after yours when they are parents and their kids play doctor with stuffed animals and they will know they are never alone. Thank you for sharing this now and helping give the emotional side of diabetes a voice. As she grows she will continue to learn that diabetes is demanding but not defining. Love you

  8. Thanks for writing this, I have just recently found your blog, and love your take on Diabetes!

  9. […] hearts cried a bit when reading this emotional post by Christel Aprigliano, on how she thinks her daughter might sometimes perceive her when diabetes gets in the way. You […]

  10. This was a hard, hard read. I love you. I get it. My kid doesn’t really understand that all my doctors aren’t her doctors, too. Like we share them all. And sometimes she gets a “shot” (blood drawn) and sometimes I do. When we go to my appointments, “I don’t want to get a shot.”

  11. I can relate, only I worry I won’t be able to measure up to other dads, my son will have to look out for me (that’s my role as a dad, to look out for my son), and worst of all, my time on earth with him may be cut short.

    1. We may not be perfect, but we can always show perfect love.

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