Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Floored Again

Last night we watched Sunday’s episode of D-Life (thank you TiVO) and once again it sparked an interesting conversation.

Near the end of the episode they were talking to PWD about if they tell people about the “D” or not. They also asked them if they wore ID bracelets and if that is a blessing or a curse. One guy was funny because he said all of the things I think about.

He basically said that he is not afraid or weirded out telling people that he is diabetic BUT it is annoying sometimes when you have to answer all these questions every single time.

“Does that mean you can’t ever have sugar?”
“Can’t you cure it from exercising?” – This one is my favorite. (I actually had someone say to me, “Well maybe if you drop some weight and exercise you can get off of those shots!” Yes he is still alive although I did want to hurt him.)
“Does it hurt to take shots?”

I feel like this a lot of the time. I know that I should take these opportunities to educate which I honestly do but sometimes, I do not want to be bothered. I feel bad because, it’s not their fault but some days I do not want to be an “educator” or at least not at that particular moment.

Anyhow, this conversation begins with a friend who was over and said, “Man, I guess I never thought of diabetes as a disease. Just something you have and that’s it.”

I told him, “Most people see it that way too. Sure you can manage it and live with it but it takes 24/7/365 management and it is exhausting at times.”

My wife says, “I talked to O’s mom yesterday and that is exactly what she is feeling. She is overwhelmed with meal planning, wondering how often to check her blood, and counting carbs. She looked so wiped out and little O is frustrated. She doesn’t understand that all this medicine and stuff she has to do will not make her better. You don’t get better you just live. She is too young to understand.”

That made my tear up.

My son George says, “It would be way easier for me then a young kid to handle that huh?”

I said, “Well, it would be easier on me and mom because a 12 year old could help with that all day management. But a young child will see that this is her daily life and not know what it was to not have diabetes. It was tough because I was diagnosed at 17. I was so used to eating whenever and doing whatever that it was a major shock to my routine or lack there of. Little O is only 4 so she will know what it was like before. She will only know and remember a life with diabetes.”

George got this strange look on his face and said, “That’s not what I meant. I meant that it would be easier for me because you have it and I have learned from you all about it. I think it would be easier for me since I am not scared of it.”

I do know what I would do if one of my kids developed diabetes. The thought twists my insides but to hear him say what he did kind of threw me. He has thought about possibly having to live with diabetes. He knows that there is a possibility that he may have a “D-Life” also someday. He wants to learn about it just in case. He is not afraid.

I am.


mel said...

I've always wondered what it would be like to remember the life before diabetes. It's such a great thing that little O's family has such a great resource right down the street--I wonder how support like that would have changed how my parents and then I dealt with diabetes.

Thanks George for sharing with us the thoughts of your son--he says things that really get me thinking.

Minnesota Nice said...

I did not know that the little girl was only 4, dang it.
Young George is, of course, wise beyond his years, and I guess if you wanted to look at that as a gift, you could.
Strength, compassion, and sensitivity make us all better people - it's just that there's gotta be an easier way to learn.

Kerri. said...

George, that family with the little girl definitely has a compassionate and unparalleled resource in you. (SuperGeorge) And it seems like your son is well on his way to growing up into the same kind of wonderful man.

Lori Rode said...

Your post was so beautiful, and gets to the heart of things. I'm scared for your son, and for others too! We'll hope he doesn't have to deal with the D-life, right along with you.

I got an anonymous comment basically saying that diabetes (type 2) is no big deal and that I shouldn't be scared about the estimated tripling of those of us with a diagnosis. I don't think they get it, although type 2 is not the same as what you and young O deal with. Your son obviously gets it.

George said...

Mel - Until the OC I did not know any type 1's. I love this community!

Minnesota Nice - She will be 5 soon. she is the cutest little thing and it cracks me up because she calls my 8 year old daughter "Miss Gillian."

kerri - Thank you for the compliment. I wish everyone could meet George.

Lori - I am sorry that people are so ignorant. It is people that think that way that end up going blind and losing a foot. If you don't take it as seriously as you should, you are going to have problems IMO.

In Search Of Balance said...

What a great son you have! I also hope that his life is always free from first-hand knowledge, but his compassion towards you and this illness is beautiful.

Even though O has had a terrible diagnosis, I'm glad that you are there to help the family through it.

MileMasterSarah said...

I love your blog! Im glad I had an opportunity to read it! I enjoyed this entry. I am the child of a type 1 diabetic, and I felt much as your son indicated he might. I wasn't scared when I was diagnosed with diabetes, well I was scared of the shots but not of the diagnosis. I knew my mom had had it since a child and I had watched her be my awesome loving wonderful mom my entire life. I knew that diabetes did not steal your opportunities for a good life!
I do want to say something to Lori too, about that comment about type 2 not being a big deal. I don't envy type 2's. I think that trying to control diabetes by diet would be overwhelming, and I don't think I could do it! I do recognize that type 1 and type 2 are very different, but we also DO have similar challenges!