Lessons Learned

What you have diabetes too – we will be besties…

Day 17 Health Activist Writers Month Challenge

Today’s (oops yesterday’s – running a bit behind due to life) prompt was Learned the Hard Way. What’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.

I have learned a number of lessons the hard way including but not limited to: don’t vent in public because you never know who may be listening (that one stung like a bit**), always check your kids pockets for crayons prior to washing and drying, don’t accept friend requests on the Facebook form people you have not met in person (unless they are friends from the DOC), don’t smell a bag of frozen peas that you were using to rest your head on during a migraine while pregnant after it had fallen behind the headboard of your bed two weeks earlier (the result is instant vomiting).

However I wanted to see what Sweetstuff might have to say about this prompt. She was swamped with homework last night (she believes that her teachers conspire to deprive her of relaxation because they sometimes all assign massive amounts on the same night and none on other nights). Due to the conspiracy theory she was unable to type up the lesson herself but shared it with me so I could share it.

My Sweetstuff was diagnosed 2 years after Sugarboy and so she already knew other kids her age with diabetes due to a camp we attend that encourages siblings to attend as well. Thus, when she was diagnosed and I posted on Facebook about her diagnoses (I believe my post was something like “WTF” – although I did apologise for the abbreviated Fbomb) I received an outpouring of support from many D families. The mother and daughter of one of the those families visited Sweetstuff in the hospital since they knew us from camp. The daughter also has diabetes. They were so sweet to visit, brought gifts and offered support. The mother is absolutely wonderful and very involved with advocacy, education and the JDRF. The daughter is also great and Sweetstuff immediately thought “at least I have someone who understands and will likely be a DBFF”.

A few months later it was camp time. Sweetstuff, while not excited to have diabetes, felt good to be part of “the group” rather than a sibling of someone in “the group”. The first day of camp went well, she and the other child buddied up and had a great day. However day 2 did not go the same. The other child snubbed Sweetstuff and chose to hang with other girls who also ignored her. Sweetstuff still had a blast at camp and soon connected with a boy that is currently her absolute DBFF but at the same time didn’t understand why the other child acted the way she did. The child ignored Sweetstuff the rest of camp.

The child doesn’t live super close or go to the same school so the girls didn’t have opportunities to build their relationship over the next year. At camp a year after the first camp it happened again. The child was buddy buddy with Sweetstuff the first day but then ignored her the rest of the week. Thank goodness for Sweetstuffs DBFF (the boy – I will have to ask him what he’d like his non De plume to be since he will likely be mentioned frequently in the future). It was another fantastic week of camp despite hurt feelings.

A month later would be Sweetstuff’s first week attending Texas Lions Camp for kids with diabetes. While I was a nervous wreck (6 days of no contact from Sweetstuff although I could write emails to her) Sweetstuff was thrilled to be attending a sleep away camp where she would meet other girls with diabetes. The mother of the other child also registered her daughter for the first time and asked if we should try to get the girls placed in the same bunk house. Knowing what I knew about how the child ignored Sweetstuff I tactfully suggested we let things alone and allow the girls to meet new friends. The mother (with great intentions I am certain) called the camp to request the girls be together. The other child while in the same grade as Sweetstuff is nearly an entire year younger – thus the camp placed Sweetstuff in a bunk house with younger girls rather than move the other child up to the older girls. The same scenario played out – the first day the child was buddy buddy with Sweetstuff but after that she ignored her and on a few accounts was ugly to her. Sweetstuff did meet a number of excellent young ladies who she adores despite the attempts by the other child to “out” Sweetstuff.

Last summer at the day camp Sweetstuff decided not to fall prey to the games the other child plays and choose to be cordial but not buddy buddy wither her. She had a fabulous week. A month later Sweetstuff attended TLC again and I had asked the camp to put Sweetness with a friend she met the year prior and said nothing of the other child. Sweetness was not in the same bunkhouse with the other child and her DBFF (the boy)  also attended so it was, according to Sweetstuff, the best week of her life.

Sweetstuff’s lesson learned – just because someone has diabetes too doesn’t mean mean they will be the ideal friend or a friend at all. To quote the Dblog extraordinaire Kerri S “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me”, diabetes alone is not enough to build a friendship, all the usual elements that create lasting friendships must also be present – diabetes does sometimes open the door though.

Sweetstuff with her DBFF

Sweetstuff with CDE extraordinaire – unrelated but fun to add cus she rocks

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