Monday, 9 May 2011

Diabetes Blog Week 2011 : Admiring our differences


I've decided to take part in Diabetes blog week this year, since I think it's a really cool idea, and I think it'll be a great way to get see lots of different perspectives on the subjects, and get introduced to some new diabetes blogs at the same time! :)

Admiring our differences - Monday 5/9: We are all diabetes bloggers, but we come from many different perspectives. Last year, Diabetes Blog Week opened my eyes to all of the different kinds of blogs (and bloggers) out there – Type 1s, Type 2s, LADAs, parents of kids with diabetes, spouses of adults with diabetes and so on. Today let’s talk about how great it is to learn from the perspectives of those unlike us! Have you learned new things from your T2 friends? Are D-Parents your heroes? Do LADA blogs give you insight to another diagnosis story? Do T1s who’ve lived well with diabetes since childhood give you hope? Pick a type of blogger who is different from you and tell us why they inspire you - why you admire them - why it’s great that we are all the same but different!!

I have to say, since joining the DOC and reading many other diabetic blogs, I have learned so much about the different types of diabetes and the people who live with it. I've learned more about type 2, which I knew a bit about, I've learned about the various type 1.5's, which I knew very little about, I 've read about what it's like to be on the other side of this diabetes shindig and deal with someone you love living with it.

But the thing that's got to me the most has been reading the stories of the parents of diabetic children.

See, I was four when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I don't remember *not* being diabetic. I've grown up with this condition. I have no memory of diagnosis, or the weeks in hospital, or those first few months while my parents had to deal with their world being turned upside down. My mum says that when I was diagnosed she was quite calm at first. It was a relief to get a diagnosis after she's been passed over by one doctor as being a paranoid mother. I'd been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis a couple of years before, and that had taken months and months to diagnose. In comparison, the diabetes diagnosis was relatively straightforward. The treatment, however, not so much. She says I used to run and hide and fight them when they had to do my injections, until I realised that they were making me feel better and I stopped fighting them, and even then there was all the other bits and pieces to learn, and this was 23 years ago when treatment solutions weren't quite as advanced as they are now.

I always used to think "well, at least I was four, at least I wasn't a baby." And then my little cousin turned four, and all I could think about was how tiny she was. I can't imagine what it's like to have to inject your child just to keep them alive. To test their little fingers, to watch every morsel of food that goes in their mouths, to try and figure out if they're hypo, or hyper, and deal with that. Not to mention sick days, holidays, school and a hundred other things these wonderful people deal with every day, taking responsibility for treating a disease that does not in any way play fair.

To the parents of diabetic kids in this community, I salute you. You are all amazing, wonderful people who have shown me what it's like to be on the other side of diabetes. You have made me appreciate what my parents did for me as a small child when I was too young to even be aware of the sacrifices they made to keep me healthy. I know what it's like to just get on with it, because diabetes is not going anywhere. It's not always an easy task, but at least I'm doing it with all the information relative to me at hand. To do it on behalf of a child, who may not always be able to explain how they're feeling, or what's wrong, or even simple things like how much exercise they may have gotten while out playing with friends? That's incredible, and you have my complete admiration for it.

1 comment:

  1. Ditto! The parents are my heros because I never really thought about how hard it was on my parents. I was also 4 when I was diagnosed.