No matter how much we fight, argue, and disagree, I love her and I know she loves me more than anyone could ever imagine.
What the show doesn't air is the 10 years she supported me, financially, after I was diagnosed with diabetes. When I first got my insulin pump, the cost of supplies were outrageous. I was a college student then, hardly working. So anyone who has anything to say about her "not helping me" is completely, 100% delusional. When I was 11 and admitted to the hospital, she spent the night in a chair beside me the entire three days I was there. I don't think she left the room once.
Even though living with Diabetes has been expensive, that is a responsibility that I had to learn as an adult. At any point, if I couldn't afford the new pump, or couldn't afford to pay for a supply refill, my mother would give me the money -- I only have to ask. But part of growing up, and being independent, was learning how to do that for myself ... even if it meant using credit cards and working two jobs. It was important to me to be able to support myself. If I couldn't do that for myself, how could I possibly ever hope to support a husband, or a child?
What they don't show is a HUGE part of the reason I was working two full time jobs was for the health care. I was kicked off my father's insurance at 23 and paid for COBRA benefits for awhile, while I looked for work post-graduation. That was a hefty bill, around $350 monthly just for minimal coverage. I finally found full time work and got benefits that I didn't have to pay as much for... but it wasn't enough. The co-pays were ridiculous, and the prescription coverage wasn't any better. So I started working a second part time job to cover expenses. The second, part time job, turned to full time. And I got better benefits there for office visits and durable medical equipment. Insurance at the first job changed and I got better prescription coverage. So I worked both jobs for a long time because it helped save some costs in paying for supplies, and I could pick and choose which coverage I used for which situation. Believe me, if I could quit my jobs and just stay at home, I would... and I bet my mom would support me financially. Well, probably not, since I'd be kind of a bum for just quitting my jobs for no reason other than to not work. But you get the point.
Something the show also did not display was how much I have cut my mother out of the conversation around diabetes in my life. When my health was spiraling out of control in high school, she was the one that paid the hospital bills. She was the one who watched her daughter on a hospital bed, teetering on the edge of very serious harm. And most of it was my fault. I either lied about my diabetes (I got REALLY good at faking test results in my meter if I hadn't tested for a few days), or I just shut her out completely. I went away to college for four years and that didn't help. Since I was so far away, I didn't really have to talk about it. When I came home from college, all those secretive habits came back with me. If she asked me how I was doing, I said, "Fine." If she probed more -- only because she cared about my health -- I got defensive.
So that is where a lot of the residual tension between my mother and I comes from. I had -- and still do, honestly -- a lot of reservation in sharing anything related to diabetes with anyone. Especially my mother. Sometimes I think it's because I don't want to worry her. Other times, I think I keep it to myself because I just don't want to deal with it. Most times, it's just because I am too ashamed to really admit that I still don't have the whole "living with diabetes" thing down.
Hopefully everyone can do me a favor and revisit the episode with an open mind... and remember, it's television.