Friday, May 17, 2013

Freaky Friday - Diabetes Week

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:


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. 


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!


greenpalm said...

Well said, even poetic.

I also read your daughters' diagnosis stories, as this was my first visit to your blog. I envy (see, everyone has something!) your experience with diagnosis with your second daughter. Although my husband has diabetes and has had for 14 years, we were not given anything in the way of credit for our existing knowledge. I have had to be the heavy hitter advocate, and it's like pulling teeth to get her on a pump. We are dealing with an enormous hospital clinic with hundreds of patients, and everytime I call in to talk to her team, I have to say again, "you know that my husband has diabetes too, and that we are already familiar with management?" It's tough.

I wish we'd been able to see his endocrinologist, but alas, he doesn't treat children. It would have been a whole different story though.

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

I wish I could swoop in and help advocate with you. Something that might help is to isolate one Endocrinologist that you prefer and try to make that your main contact. Not always practical with a disease that is 24/7 but in this way, you can actually 'shrink' the size of your clinic down to a manageable size and begin to develop that relationship. I have also found that finding the hospital advocate, ours is a social worker, you can use the SW as a voice for your needs. Dad pumps and child wants to know why she isn't pumping like Dad. If none of that works, we can send in Cousin Vinny! xxoo

Scott K. Johnson said...

I love your approach to this tough question. Really paints a perfect picture talking about straight versus curly hair, etc. You're so right!