Diabetes Steals Rest


It’s Human Rights Day, and if you read my last post you are aware that I am open about my belief in equality.  As a person who has spent most of her life around family members with chronic illnesses, I’m very aware of how illness can rob you of equality (and dignity).  I’m also very aware of how important it is not just to be free and secure, but to have good healthcare.  That’s what I was thinking about this morning and when I skimmed over the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  I was looking for a clause about healthcare.  But something else caught my attention.  Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Immediately, my mind took Article 24 out of the context of employment, and into the context of diabetes (although plenty of us have called diabetes a full-time job).  Bear with me if you find what I’m about to say is a stretch.  I know it is, but I’m big on associations.  I make them all the time.  And when I read Article 24, I thought of parents of children with diabetes.  I thought about how diabetes has robbed them of the basic human right (and need) to rest.  Their working hours as caregivers have no limits.  Between the constant worry and responsibility, the round the clock blood glucose checks, and everything else involved, there’s never a holiday from diabetes.

Mike and I have diabetes, and one of our biggest fears is that our children will develop it.  So while the things I said above about D-parenting don’t come from first-hand knowledge, I guess you could say they come from first-hand knowledge once removed.  I know the fears of diabetes and I know the fears of parenting.  I really don’t know how anyone can manage the two combined.  I pray my children will stay free of diabetes and I won’t have to know.  Now I just want to say to all you parents of children with diabetes out there, I’m empathizing, and I’m admiring your courage, and what you do to keep your children healthy.  I’m coming to the conclusion that you’re just above Article 24 and basic human rights because doing what you do makes you super-human.

P.S. Laura Houston, you have not failed Nate!


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10 years ago

I want to thank you too, Jessica. What a lovely, heartfelt validation of what we parents do to keep our kids safe. I must tip my hat to you as well for being a PWD and managing this disease 24/7. I have tremendous respect for what you do.

alexis newell
10 years ago

amazing post! i was just discussing this last night when my husband and I actually went on a date. i forgot what its like to NOT have to look at my cell every 5 minutes.

and LAURA rocks!! 

10 years ago

I think the lack of sleep is one of the most ignored aspects of living with type 1 diabetes or caring for someone who has the disease. As a type 1 diabetic myself, I am constantly sleep deprived.  I get up at least once (and often twice) to check my blood sugar.  Dying in one’s sleep because of a severe hypo is not unheard of and it is one of my greatest fears.  Even though I use a pump and am fairly well-controlled, I’ve had a number of scary hypos at night.  Some nights, I will wake up at 3:00… Read more »

Jessica Apple
10 years ago

Thank you, Wendy.

10 years ago

Awww….Jessica.  Thanks for your heartfelt words.  I’m so honored to share this journey with people like you. 

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