Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sometimes I Forget & One Day Of Being Surrounded By People WithDiabetes Reminds Me~

Sometimes I forget the physical feeling of being surrounded by others living with diabetes, and what a high it is. 
And there are moments I forget what it's like to be new to the diabetes life, because i've lived with diabetes, longer than I haven't.

And then I spend one day at a diabetes event and I am immediately reminded of how it feels... and how much I need it.
Sometimes I forget how difficult and scary diabetes can be when you or you’re loved one is newly Dx’d - no matter how old they are. 
Unexpected curveballs in life are just that - out of the blue and hard to make contact with - and out of the blue curve balls can be scary. 
Parents want to protect their children with diabetes and make it it go away -  so things can get back to “normal.” 
But they can’t. There’s a new normal - it’s not a bad one, it’s just different - and it takes some getting used to. Also, once you think you’ve got D figured out - it changes on you - just because it can. 

Children with diabetes, while incredibly resilient (and who more than likely handle that they live with D better than those who love them,) want to protect their parents from worry and feel guilty for the stress they see their parents going through - stress that they know is because of their diabetes DX. 

Spouses, family and friends of newly dx’d adults want to support and protect - even if they aren’t sure what exactly happened -and that's a hard thing.
Newly dx’d adults want to be stoic - which is nobel - if we're talking about a character in a Dickens novel. 
But stoic is overrated - being stoic is neither healthy or realistic when we’re talking about real life. 

Lets face it, most of us are terrible when it comes to change, myself included - even when the change is welcome and very much wanted. 
CHANGE. IS. HARD. And the changes that diabetes brings are frustrating, scary, unwanted, and hard to accept at times - no matter how long you’ve lived with it.
Whether you're newly diagnosed with diabetes or old hat and an old timer - you need support and you need to surround yourselves with others who are walk on the D path. 

Why am I writing about this? 
Last Saturday I attended the JDRF Greater Chesapeake/Potomac Chapter's  TypeOneNation Summit in Bethesda last Saturday. 
I meet people newly dx’d and those that had been living with diabetes for over 50 years. 
I watched teens help one another to “figure stuff out,” when it came to living and dealing with diabetes - and watching those teens helping one another blew me away.
I listened to sessions on living with diabetes, the D family dynamic, I learned more about Tidepool, t1 software and data talking to one another across the board - SO DAMN COOL. 
I ran into longtime D friends and Advocates named Joe Solo and Gary S, learned about I heard a talk on  Beta Cell Cncapsulation from the Doctor who is actually doing it. 

I had lunch with a group of adult t1s, including one of our DOC friends ( I'm talking about you, STEPHEN) and the majority I'd just met for the first time - and they were awesome. 

I’m writing this post because if I need reminding, I bet you do too. 
And I want to remind you that if you're newly diagnosed or approaching your 50th diaversary, get out there and find your tribe online and off - at conferences, get togethers, meet-ups, meetings, wherever and whenever you can.

It's good for your heart and your head - and it doesn't doesn't hurt your diabetes, either!  

On Saturday I saw people who walked into the summit at the beginning of the day with a sense of fear and trepidation. Those very same folks left the summit smiling, empowered and happy - And that my friends is a beautiful thing~  

1 comment:

Rick said...

Yep it is like spotting a D in the wild. Usually when I spot one are friends straight off. I was raised in a home where my mom sat for a number of D kids. In the 60's my mom did not work outside the house and being D she was called on to sit for a number of D kids while their moms had doctor appointments etc. I was not a D at the time but it gave me several knowing buddies when i was Dx'd. Yeah nothing like it ever when yous tart school after being Dx'd and you know 10 kids in your school who are type 1 built in buddies, it made all the difference.

i referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of March 7, 2016.