Nobody Saw You

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I recently read a lovely poem titled, “Nobody saw you,” written by a mother about all the endless tasks, responsibilities, heartaches, and joys a mother goes through raising her small children. It made me cry because I could relate to it, and it also made me think of all the parents taking care of young children with type 1 diabetes (or other chronic illnesses) and all the added elements this adds on to the already tough challenge of parenting. It inspired me to write my own version. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, is it not? Warning: this one is a little depressing. But, it’s real. 

Nobody saw you..
At 3 am, headlamp on, sneaking into her room
Every. Single. Night.
Praying she doesn’t wake as you bleed her finger for the 10th time today
68. Shit.
Too low for 3 a.m.
Get the juice box

Nobody saw you
Holding your screaming child down to give them their 5th shot of the day, or change their pump site for the 3rd time this week
“She needs this to survive,” you repeat to yourself
“Will she be able to handle this life?”
“Will I?”

Nobody saw you cry
Because you always had to be so strong
You can’t let her see your broken heart
You must keep going
She has to be so brave, you must set the example
Soldier on

Nobody saw you desperately shoving sugar in your shaking and confused child
“One more sip, baby”
“One more gummy bear for mommy, please”
Staring a hole through the Dexcom
Waiting for the arrows to stop going down
Waiting for the alarm to shut up

Nobody saw you
Trying to count how many carbs she ate
Tiny teeth marks on an apple – is that 5 carbs worth or 8?
Did she eat three french fries, or was it six?
Not enough insulin, she goes high and there’s long-term damage to her little organs
Too much insulin and we’re looking at an immediate and dangerous issue

Nobody saw you on the phone
With your insurance company
With your diabetes supply company
With Dexcom support
With pump customer support
Your endocronoligist
Your nurse
10 phone calls this week when you were supposed to be working
Or napping
Or eating

Nobody saw you, nobody listened when you tried to educate them
To tell them about a condition so complex that they can never truly understand unless they live with it
It’s an autoimmune disease
No, it can’t be prevented
No, there is no cure
Yes, she can eat that

Nobody saw you
So scared to sleep through an alarm
Terrified they might not wake up in the morning
Waking up to feel like you can’t do this crazy dance another day
But you rise to take on another 24 hours – for them
Check the blood sugar, treat the high, count the carbs, treat the low
Nobody saw any of that
They simply saw you at the park, the museum, grocery shopping

I see you, brave ones
I see your grit and your daily grind
I see your fears for the future
I see your fierce love and determination for your child
I see you raising a warrior, and in the process becoming one yourself

 

 

33 thoughts on “Nobody Saw You

  1. Our thoughts are with you all of the time. Mummies type 2 diabetes seems such a big problem , but nothing compared with yours.
    I know that it is hard for you, but you have the spirit and dedication to deal with it.
    Lovely poem
    Love you so very much
    Mummy and Daddy xxx

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  2. I love this! Rings so true ❤️ I also would like to share this, but on my personal FB feed. I know that only those of us who live this life will truly understand, but it could be very enlightening for other friends and family.

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  3. Beautiful, yes definitely spot on with nothing to compare to really living this life. Thank for sharing. I have two little grandchildren in the same family. I know this is all true and then some. Thank God for the Saint parents and praise to the children who show us all what strength, courage and will power means.

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  4. It’s comforting to know there are others who understand and feel the same way you do! Thank you for sharing that We are together and not alone! Prayers to you always and forever!

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  5. Not depressing, ok a little but very real. As a mom of 4, two of which are type 1 this is my life. I never complain and just keep going one day at a time. I could have written this.. thank you.

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  6. Praying for your strength. As an elementary principal with a new student with type I diabetes, I am sharing this with my faculty to let them see the enormous task that does not end once the school day is over for little ones as yours. God bless you!

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  7. What a wonderful letter! My neighbor, Nancy is a true warrior. Little girl with giant mama bear persona. She does soldier on because she is in love with all her babies. She gives up her sleep but she never gives up watching, protecting, supporting and loving. Diabetes won’t get her down. She is strong for her family. And they are strong for her. From loving neighbor.

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  8. I read this, this morning shared on another fab page. I copied it and put it in my notes as I want to share it, but wanted to find the author first. Can you please let me know who to credit? I wasn’t sure if it was you Stephanie as it begins “I recently read”

    Thanks so much for sharing either way!

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  9. This is amazing, and right on point. My little girl is 5 and has had type 1 for 11 months. I cry every day and wish it had been me not her. Wish I could take the pain away from her. I am a mother with a type one child and i am proud over every parent who has a diabetic kid. Be proud of your self

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  10. Stephanie- Thank you for putting into words what is in my heart. My dd is 9, diagnosed at 4. I’m divorced so I take care of her on my own the majority of the time. I also have type 1…it can be a cruel disease but as you say, we soldier on with a smile on our face so they can be kids. I shared your post on my page and the support has been overwhelming. Thank you 🙏🏻

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  11. I NEEDED to read this today. My 5 year son was diagnosed 2 months ago. Today I’ve had a day where the tears are coming and going at their will. While I’ve put on a brave face for him, I’ve had to duck in and out of rooms to cry out of his sight. For the most part I’ve been able to take things one day at a time, but today it’s hit me with the weight of an anvil. Thank you for sharing this beautifully written piece. I know this deep desperation will pass, and I will find gratitude and humor in the chaos.

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    • Aww mama, I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. I can remember exactly what those first few months felt like. It’s a journey… Most days we now just go about all of this like it’s second nature, but there are still days where it hits me out of the blue and I can’t stop the tears. It’s important to honor those feelings inside us and let them come, but it’s also important to pick ourselves up and keep going. Only forward. Thanks for reading. Much love to you and your son.

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  12. Thank you. I know this post is old, but as a mom of a five year old diagnosed a year ago. I still can’t find a way to explain my new life to others… even family can’t grasp it at times. Thank you for writing this💙

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