The SUM of all our parts
I was talking to sweetstuff about her feelings regarding wearing her pump again. She had some complaints about it being in the way when she sleeps and being so bulky (I think she needs to see some of the first generation pumps that pwd wore back in the day).
She still has concerns about other students seeing the pump and asking questions or just simply looking at her funny. It’s interesting she doesn’t mind talking about diabetes, what she has to do to manage diabetes, and teaching others about diabetes, but she doesn’t like people she doesn’t know knowing that she has diabetes.
She isn’t shy about performing her award winning copyrighted song (proud mamma has to brag sometimes) in front of a crowd of strangers or the entire grade school she attended and even asks to come with me when I present the Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes to other schools – just so she can perform, but hates strangers looking at her funny when she tests her blood sugar and hates how visible the pump is.
So it was during this conversation with her that I explained that no one is just one thing. We are a SUM of all our parts. Diabetes is part of who she is. It doesn’t have to define her but will always be a part of who she is. Even after there is a cure – having HAD diabetes will still be a part of who she is.
I explained that her experiences both good and bad are a part of her. How she is smart, funny, witty, pretty, stubborn, sarcastic, sassy and loving and how all those things are a part of her. How the fact that she is the oldest of three kids and the only girl is a part of her. How she is half Lebanese is a part of who she is. Her passion for art, music, theatre, and animals are all a part of her. She is the SUM of all her parts.
I invited her to own her diabetes. To be an advocate. To educate others. To love who she is with all her parts – she doesn’t have to love diabetes but to understand it plays a role in who she is.
She seemed better after our tête-à-tête but I know she will still struggle with it. Maybe not again today, or even tomorrow but again. I will hopefully always be able to talk her through a difficult time but as she grows I hope she finds the same support I find in knowing other pwd. There should be a tween twitter – she would like that so much.