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[IP] Let's keep this community a place for all who care.

In a message dated 9/2/2000 9:41:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

> I am as knowledgeable as many 'true' diabetics when it comes to
>  dealing with this disease. And I am sure I am not the only parent of a
>  diabetic child who feels the same way. What 4 year old could take care of
>  their diabetes themselves? Who do you think takes care of all the children
>  who happen to have diabetes. THEIR PARENTS , OF COURSE! Just because you do
>  not have the disease does not automatically mean you know nothing about it.
>  I wish I was the diabetic and not my darling daughter. 

I've spent a lot of time watching this thread and reading the many many posts 
that have spun off regarding the News week article...I'm ready to share my 2 
cents...take them or leave them as you wish.  Frankly I think the variety of 
viewpoints on this  list is one of it's greatest strengths.

First of all this article which clearly had numerous problems.  Of course no 
article will serve every member of the audience but this one clearly failed 
to carefully identify  that it's focus was Type II and do some necessary 
homework.  The article addressed these forms of diabetes in an adversarial 
way and the list responses have sadly taken the same tone in many cases. We 
do not need to denigrate the experiences of others in order to ask for 
understanding and recognition of our own.  

For example as a T1 I can say that I would like some understanding that it is 
difficult to grow up and have one's childhood infiltrated and absconded by a 
serious illness, to have looked at my twenty seventh birthday as my twenty 
fifth anniversary of surviving and fighting for health knowing that the fight 
would only get harder and I had so many years yet to come.  Juvenile 
diabetics often have a longer course with this illness and did not get to 
make the critical health choices and sometimes could not during the early 
years.  We didn't even have home blood testing when I was a kid let alone 
pumps.  I didn't get to take fun summer internships and journey with my 
friends during those "fun" years in college because I always had to find a 
job that would provide my all important health insurance.  There are far too 
many facets of this experience to mention here but the point is there is deep 
psychic pain and loss associated with this experience that is rarely addressed

In fact it is probably a lot like a parent suffering as they see their child 
struggle with the ups and downs, losses and perhaps gifts of living this 
way...the parent fighting for health insurance and coverage...the one who 
doesn't sleep quite so soundly for fear of their little one getting low 
during the night.  I dont feel that our knowlege is the same, though it's all 
valuable and welcome in this forum as far as I'm concerned.  My mother has 
not faced the job discrimination, the dates who don't understand or worse yet 
don't want to etc etc but she was an essential part of my health management 
(and I thank her constantly for this), a witness to my childhood ups and 
downs (literally and otherwise) and did just what loving parents do.  She has 
also always recognized that as hard as it was for her she got to relinquish 
responsibility for the disease when I grew up (reluctantly at first!) and 
that's something I will never get to do.  Let's thank and honor the parents 
and ask the same from them.

And yes it's also like the pain of the adult onset diabetic who suddenly is 
faced with severe lifestyle changes, a body that seems to be an enemy, a life 
planned taking an unexpected and perhaps saddening detour.  Who knows whether 
T1 or T2 is more "complicated" or difficult to live with...I don't really 
care. Let's respect that those living with the form of diabetes we ourselves 
do not have is a fellow traveler and honor their experience.

 I care about our commonalities.  I care about how damn tough this life is 
sometimes (and I'm talking about caregivers too here).  I care about fighting 
ALL misconceptions regarding diabetes (even my own) and fighting for a CURE, 
for ethical health care and compassionate decision making.

My observation is this...we do have differences and surely they do not fit 
neatly in the boxes of T1, T2, and caregivers.  Let's recognize and respect 
these differences...see the commonalities and do our best to empathize with 
that which we have not experienced ourselves.  Let's learn as much as we 
possibly can from one another.  There are so many people in our lives, in my 
life, who do not understand, who would not listen as we do to each other.  
Cannot we make that effort here?  

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