One Great Thing
Today’s DBlog Week prompt asks us to give ourselves some much deserved credit by identifying just one diabetes thing we do spectacularly.
I do well with BS checks (including the ones in the wee hours of the night/morning).
I do well with carb counting (mostly).
I do well with noticing symptoms before my kids feel them enough to claim them.
I do well with identifying trends and adjusting basals and ratios when needed.
I do well at helping my kids build independence.
What I do best is educating others.
I don’t take offense when someone suggests that there is a cure if only I would give my kids more cinnamon. I don’t get annoyed when the 1001 person asks me if my kids will grow out of it. I don’t become defensive when someone suggests I should not have spoon fed my kids sugar as infants. I try not to get angry when someone suggests that “at least it’s only diabetes.” I don’t become too frustrated when someone suggests that my kids simply stop eating all carbohydrates and should defiantly avoid processed sugars.
Instead I educate.
No – cinnamon, tree bark, vitamin D, and magic fairy farts will not cure my kids. A cure will come from hard working individuals and organizations raising money and using the funds to do research.
No – my kids will not grow out of diabetes. Their pancreata no longer have the ability to produce insulin and the cells do not regenerate so until there is a cure my kids will continue to have diabetes.
No – My kids did not develop diabetes because I fed them too much sugar earlier in their lives. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that just happens. Scientists are not entirely sure why it happens but there are indications that it is part genetic and part environmental. Scientists believe a person has to be predisposed to developing diabetes but also that a catalyst is required to set in motion a chain of events that will result in the destruction of the insulin producing islet cells in the pancreas.
Yes – I know there are worse things in this world than developing diabetes but unless you or your child is suffering from a ‘worse’ less manageable or even terminal illness you have not earned the right to suggest that it is ‘only’ diabetes. When my kids were diagnosed they were both assigned hospital rooms in the same ward as kids with cancer. I shared coffee with some of the parents of the children with cancer. Some of the parents knew they might not take their child home. I knew I would – yes I know there are worse things than diabetes. That doesn’t mean diabetes is easy and certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t fight for my children’s lives everyday.
Yes – if my kids stopped eating all carbs and limited their entire diet they could live insulin free – for about a year – maybe two. That was the life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before 1922 (the year in which the first human received insulin).
I admit I used to get a little peeved when an uneducated person asked the above questions or made suggestions that would result in the death of my children. The thing is, it isn’t the general populations fault that they are uneducated. I didn’t know diddly about diabetes when Sugarboy was diagnosed. I likely thought the same things before I got a crash course in Type 1 diabetes at the hospital.
Anger and frustration will not encourage the general population to become educated and support research that will cure diabetes. A kind explanation will.