Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of Surgical Waiting Rooms & Setting People Straight On Their Diabetes ~

True story. About a week and a half ago I'd snuck into the Surgical Waiting Room to get better cell reception and get some work done. I knew where it was because I'd sat in there several time during my mothers surgical procedures.
The seats were comfortable and they had free coffee and gourmet teas. And honestly, I just needed to get some work done and be by myself for an hour.

As I typed, I heard some men talking about various health problems they were experiencing.
I was doing work on my computer & minding my own business and really wanted to just keep to myself. But then the man on my left said something that really pissed me off.

And let me just preface the story with the 4-1-1 on the Surgical Waiting Room. Everyone in there sort of talks with one another, whether you actually know one another or not.
You're a group of people who are going through a similar issue with a loved one and people tend to talk about everything. And folks jump into the conversation whether they're actively participating in it or not.

Man on My Left: Yeah, I was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and I'm not even 50 yet - You know your on a downward path when that happens.

Man Sitting Across: Oh, I hear you and totally agree. I was diagnosed with Type 2 as well and I'm 46 - And I feel like I'm a 100 years old.

I had two choices at this point. One, I could ignore them and keep working on a piece I was writing...... Or two, I could tell them how I REALLY felt.

And of course, choice number two won in like one second flat - And before I knew it, I opened my mouth and started speaking.

Me: Actually, I think it's a cop out to say that diabetes is a downward spiral - Regardless of the type. I think diabetes is lots of things. it's a pain in the ass at times, and it can bring you down, but I really think that it can give you an opportunity to get a hold on your health. I've had diabetes for almost 34 years, and I know the pitfalls intimately - But I also know that you've been given the opportunity to own your diabetes - And I say go for it!

"Guy on My Left" looked at me for a good thirty seconds and said: Yeah, I guess I see your point.

Me: Diabetes is a life sentence, it doesn't have to be a death sentence - The choice is yours. Explore the Diabetes On-line community (and I went on to name and write down various community sites & blogs) and explore all the great tools that are out there. And find a Diabetes Educator who will work with you as a team, and together you can work towards your good health.

Man on My Left: Thanks for the info, I'm really going to look into everything you've said and written down for me.

Man Across From Me: Yeah, me too.

And then I smiled and said goodbye and good luck and told them that the Diabetes On-Line Community could change their lives for the better. And I really believed what I said from the bottom of my imperfect pancreas. And then I went back to my mom's hospital room and hung out with her for a while.

And that's how I left it - And the choice they make is up to them ~


Meri said...

Soon, when you open the dictionary and look up "advocate" it will say: See Kelly Kunik.


Sarah/@smartDpants said...

You rock so very much. <3

NeurosurgeryNP said...

I love your advocacy. Hoping your mom is doing better. Jen

Ronnie Gregory M said...

perception is reality someone once said and you are right its all about how someone looks at their D diagnosis. Most of the Older T2 are already set in their ways when they get it and really look at it as a downward spiral but it should never be.
Like your diabetes is a life not a death sentence line kinda rocks the point home

Mike Hoskins said...

Love Meri's comment... I so echo that train of thought. You rock, and this just confirms it one more time. Great job educating and changing lives, even when you might not be that up for it.

The DL said...

You're awesome! GO DOC! It's so easy to pity yourself, so I really think you did show them you don't have to.

Lora said...

Your awewsome!

Meagan said...

This is why we love you and your "imperfect pancreas". Well done Kelly!!! :)

Sara said...

Someone at work last week wanted to know what she could say to her mom to get her to start taking care of her Type 2 diabetes. At the moment, she is in the hospital getting treatment for an infection in her leg. It wasn't the first time.

I told her what I could - taking it one step and one change at a time. But man - it is hard to convince people to take care of themselves when the difference can't be seen the short term.

Renata said...

Where's the fricken two thumbs up button when you need it?

shannon said...

well played, sir!

George said...

AWESOME!!!! This should be a chapter in a DA manual.


Heidi / D-Tales said...

High five, Kelly!

Love this: "Diabetes is a life sentence, it doesn't have to be a death sentence"


Cara said...

Go Kelly! :) You're so amazing!

Rose said...

Well said! And I am impressed how positive you made it. ditto on NeurosurgeryNP

Unknown said...

You're amazing, Kelly. Hopefully they walked back into their lives feeling empowered and capable.

Life sentence.