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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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