Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It Takes A Diabetes Village

It's Takes A Village - Or in this Case, The Village People
To Support this PWD~

Karen’s assignment for today is for those of us participating in “Diabetes Blog Week” to write about our biggest supporter. My biggest supporter? Again, girlfriend is throwing us some curve balls. WHY? Because I have many supporters regarding living my d-life, it literally takes a village filled with people, a.k.a - "The Village People." I don't want to forget anyone, but I probably will - so I apologise in advance~

There are my parents of course. My mom, who read every pamphlet my pediatric endo gave her, kept meticulous records, and measured every single piece of food to the nearest teaspoon. She never let me see her diabetes tears but allowed me to cry my own. And all these years later, she’s never stopped loving or worrying about me.

My dad- who never let me feel sorry for myself regarding life with diabetes. He was a type 1 diabetic and led by example.

There's my sister Cathy, who always looks out for me. She introduced the concept of "working out" when I became to round for my own good, and who always told me I was beautiful, and that diabetes made me more so.

There is my friend Mark, who always makes me laugh and has ever since the sixth grade. When I visit him in NYC he always makes sure his fridge is stocked because he's seen me have 2 am low. This is the same man who booked (and put the deposit down for) a springbreak trip to Cancun for us a month after my sister died. "Girl, you need a vacation- pay me back when you can." The same man who made sure our hotel room always had Lemon Squirt (a Mexican soda) in case I my blood sugar decided to go more south of the equator than we actually were.

There are my friends Cathy and Sue, identical twins I've known since college. These women have hearts the size of Nebraska and are always up on the latest and greatest health and nutritional trends and share them with me. Both ask me detailed questions regarding life with diabetes because they want to know everything.

Whenever I go to Sue's, she sends me home with her latest healthy food find. The other night she sent me home with a bag of CocoPop (s) and said, "Low in carbs Kel, only 4 grams per serving, and tasty too! I know how important carb counting is for you so I bought you a bag."

Her twin sister Cathy mothers everyone she's friends with. At my father's funeral she bought a little gift bag filled with breakfast bars, lifesavers, and bottled water and juice. "Just in case you or your sister's blood sugars go low." That's just the kind of woman she is.

The kind of woman that insists she accompany her friend to the Dr. and is there for her when she's told about the "1 in a million” thing, and remained perfectly calm. The kind of friend who took copious notes, asked all sorts of questions, and kept her wits about her while her friend sat there like a zombie and tried to process everything.

There is my friend Emily, who keeps her cookie jar stacked with larabars and goes to Trader Joe's to stock up on yogurt, juice, and munchies whenever I visit.

Who listens to my "Diabetes Police" rants and is now a convert. She's become an expert at recognizing the D Police and makes no bones about setting them straight. She never raises an eyebrow when I test my blood sugars or need to change my infusion set.

Whenever I utter the telltale phrase ”I have to eat now" she simply says: OK Kel. It doesn't matter where we are, she takes it as fact.

Once, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I felt that low feeling come on and immediately sat down on a bench, grabbed my trusty peanut M & Ms and started eating them. A security guard came up and told us that eating was not allowed. Em looked at her and said: She's diabetic and she needs to eat now. The guard muttered something about me not looking like a person with diabetes and Emily said (OK,yelled) "That's ridiculous statement! She absolutely is and she needs to eat NOW."

There is my Endo “The Rocking Dr. J.” Medically on top of all the latest and greatest diabetes trends. He put me on Metformin 2.5 years ago! Dr. J never yells at me, always points at the positive and helps me to work on the negative in all aspects of my diabetes care. He slips me insulin samples because he hates my insurance. He talks me down from the “diabetes what ifs” that have haunted me for years.

I’m blessed to have him as my Endo and am happy to see him every three months.

There are my CDEs Cheryl Marco of Jefferson University & Gary Scheiner of Integrated Diabetes who continue too teach and fine tune this hot diabetes Porsche known as k2.

And then there's the DOC. Seriously, without you guys I'd be up the creek. YOU GET ME, because YOU ARE ME - And by "ME" I mean in the "diabetical" sense, not the "It puts the lotion in the basket," 'Silence of the Lambs" sense~

You speak the language of diabetes and understand the frustrations that go along with living in Diabetes Land. I'm never alone with my diabetes because I have all of you. I consider all of you peers, friends, mentors, teachers, and partners in crime.

Everyday, I learn something new about living life with diabetes. And every single day all I have to do is read a few blogs to realize that I'm not alone. I'm not the only one who feels like she's walking through a world filled with J-E-L-L-O instead of oxygen when my blood sugar shoots to the stratosphere, or who's lips go numb when her blood sugar heads towards hell.

Others have followed the "Test Strip Trail," smeared blood on their laptops after testing, and read labels on absolutely every item of food they put in their mouth.

I'm not the only one whose pump has an unholy attraction to doorknobs - being clumsy has nothing to do with it!

Every single day I learn something from reading your posts and comments. My world is richer, my voice is stronger, and because of you – I feel like the richest woman in Bedford Falls. And by Bedford Falls, I mean the DOC ;)


Penny said...

What a wonderful post Kelly! You have so many great people in your life that support you. In that you are rich and blessed.

Oh and CocoPops - they are the G;s favorite snack nowadays. Our local FreshGrocer makes them and she adores them. Never knew anyone else who liked them. Glad I do now.

Ellen H. Ullman, MSW said...

Beautiful post Kelly.

Michael Hoskins said...

Great, now I'm going to have the Village People in my head all day long. Or maybe not. But yes, true, it does take a village. So many to include, so little blog space. Great post, and thanks for sharing Kel! Always a pleasure.

Rachel said...

What is great about this topic is finding out about dear offline friends of others, the ones who are physically there more of the time.

thisiscaleb said...

You were one of the first people to reach out and follow me on twitter to let me know I was not alone. Thank you for that.

I too learn something new everyday and often times it comes from you - so thanks for that as well!

Nan said...

love this k2!! your posts always touch my heart and my funny bone!!

Cara said...

We love you too! :)

Laura said...

Great post. Thank you.

George said...


And I will soon stop laughing from that picture!

Renata Porter said...

Awesome. Your friends are amazing. I knew you had a wonderful family and as I told George we are a minority, but you are extra special to have so many supportive friends.

Meri said...

I am SO GLAD I can get George Michaels "I want your sex" (that I heard on the radio this morning) OUT. OF. MY. HEAD. YMCA will be a much better song to absently mutter when the kids get home. ;)

Love ya K2! I'm so happy you got your team of friends and family watching out for you!

Kaitake said...

That's an awesome post! This is the first time reading your blog, and you write beautifully :)

Kelly said...

WoW. Thats what I meant to say. ((HUGS)) YOU inspire me.

Kelly said...

Even through all the D crap, this post makes me smile. YOu make me smile, K2 and I'm so happy to read about your supporters. *tear* It makes my <3 happy. :)

Scott K. Johnson said...

I love this post K2. You are the best! :-)