Just like in the movie, Freaky Friday, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?
As a mom of two kids heading into the teen years faster than I can blink, I have already been trained in offering the skilled advice of:
EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING!
The ironic part is that much of my needing to dispense that advice isn't about the ills of having type 1 diabetes.
It is about kids with long, straight, shiny hair - when my daughter is bemoaning her curly locks.
It is about kids with smart phones - when my daughter is feeling left out at not having the latest app or access to Twitter.
It is about perfection and glass houses and every fable that we have ever read. But of course I am substituting real life analogies in the hopes of teaching my children that there is no one who is perfect.
EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING!
So, would anyone want to switch their 'something' for another person's 'something?'
I think it would be a terrible mistake.
At least we know the ins-outs of type 1 diabetes. The surprises are less and less. We understand the roller coaster, the Diabetes Monster, the serial killers, the mean endo nurses, the idea that the student does in fact become the teacher.
As with curly hair and dumb phones, it is a part of who we are and to heal, we learn to ACCEPT TYPE 1 DIABETES.
Those others with their seemingly perfect existence often prove to have something far harder to deal with...
The kid with the smart phone? His mother is dying of cancer.
The girl with perfectly straight hair? Her family is broken and she spends long hours alone.
When the realization of those tragedies unfold, the myth of perfection is also shattered. We can not compare ourselves to others, no matter how tempting, because each of us quietly battles a (often unseen) monster of our own.
I have asked my kids if they would trade it and they both asked what for... a puppy? YES! ....a million dollars? ABSOLUTELY!
But for another chronic disease? .... um, no.
I know where our world of type 1 diabetes is heading. Better treatment, better technology and even a CURE. I've taught that HOPE to my children as well. We are sticking with this until that day comes.
Who knows, it might be sooner than we think!