Diabetes Mother need support not hate!

I've just written a letter to the Editor of the Irish Times in response to the public reaction to the article linked below. I can't stop thinking about this woman and here's why;


I read "Diabetic girl must be given insulin despite mother’s stance" (2nd October) late last night and I thought about this woman going to bed. I awakened early and she was the first thought that entered my head.

Isn't it conceivable that this woman is so desperate, so exhausted and so depleted of hope that there could be any positive outcome from a type 1 diabetes diagnosis that it has rendered her paralyzed to help herself or her daughter?  Isn't it conceivable that while she "knew very well the importance of insulin" her personal experiences have coloured her view of insulin to the point of apparent ignorance?

Maybe we should see this woman as somebody who needs support and is every bit as much of a patient affected by type 1 diabetes as her daughter is.  Studies have shown that the more supported and informed a mother feels the better the outcomes of the child with type 1 diabetes. It seems to me that this woman is in desperate need of support - peer, emotional, and psychological.

I'm asking the Irish type 1 diabetes community to do what I know you do best. I'm asking you to reach out to a fellow parent at their time of diagnosis. Do you remember what you needed at that time? Can we offer that help to her?

Lets offer her shoulders to cry on, offer to stand with her shoulder to shoulder, holding her up and guiding towards hope for a better future for her daughter. Let's share our diabetes stories with her and show her it's possible.  Lets share our challenges and triumphs of living with type 1 diabetes.  Let's tell her that we know living with type 1 diabetes is difficult and sometimes unbearable but that it's not always like that.

Lets not shame her because we ALL know that shaming and blaming does NOT accomplish anything, especially in life with type 1 diabetes.

Gráinne Flynn"