Monday, April 14, 2008

We Still Matter.

Hello. Remember us?

We are the children with diabetes.

For some of us, this was known as "juvenile diabetes". Others remember "sugar diabetes" or "brittle diabetes" as the words that left their doctors' lips.

Now we're all people with "type 1 diabetes". But no matter the name, our disease hasn't changed.

See us?

We're all grown up now. And no, we didn't outgrow our diabetes. It's still here, with us, every day, every hour, every minute.

Some of us take shots, some use pen needles, some use pumps. All of us use insulin. Insulin is life. Without it, we'd die. We would go back to the awful days when all we knew was thirst, endless, insatiable thirst. Hunger. Fatigue. Weight loss. Sleepiness, tempting us like a siren. Oh, no. Not that, ever again.

We're still here. We climb the same mountain every day, just to be "normal". We all hold hands and hang on when someone slips and falls. We all know the frightened look, the feeling of ground slipping out beneath our feet, when blood sugar dips too low. The intense overwhelming tiredness when levels soar high, higher than we admit. We know.

We are stronger than we ever imagined we could be. We survive. We are smart, tough, organized. Multi-taskers by nature. Honest. Courageous. Talented. Funny. Even a little OCD. Each of us is an inspiration, a hero. Some of us do amazing things. All of us are amazing beings.

Don't forget about us. We're still here, you see. Waiting patiently for a cure. For something to stop the daily assault. The bloodletting doesn't really bother us, and most of the time, neither do the insulin shots or site changes. No, it's not the pain. It's the lack of it. The not-knowing. The wondering. The panic rat, gnawing at our minds. Blindness. Numbness. Death. Or a life worse than death. No one knows how, or when, it will start. Or if.

But we are healthy, living, alive. We try, every day, to be just like everyone else.

We are the children with diabetes. We're still here. We matter.


in search of balance said...

When I try to explain to people that checking my blood sugar or injecting / site changes doesn't really bother me, they never understand. You got it absolutely right... the awful thing about this disease is the unpredictability, and the uncertainty.

I love the OC.

Allison said...

Wonderful! Perfect way to start off the day.

And thanks for giving me the "courageous" tag. I don't always feel very courageous, but it's nice to know someone thinks so. :-)

Jillian said...

Beautiful! You are the first one to make me cry. Thanks for making me the word survive, it's an honor.

Kerri. said...

LOL - I'm "OCD!" I love it - I clicked on it seven times (seven times, seven times).

Great post - this one is one of my favorites. :D

Karen said...

Hi!! I'm a new visitor here, over from Kerri's list of Awareness Day posts. Your post is perfect - it says so much about how we live our lives. Thank you!! I'll certainly be back to your blog again in the future.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Fantastic post. Thank you!

Minnesota Nice said...

Yes, Kathy, it was a terrific post. Thank you.

Auntly H said...

what a beautiful voice you raised today.

I think I'll be getting lost in the links soon.

Sara said...

Kerri and the OCD comment made me laugh and then go check my stove.

I wasn't a child with diabetes. I was actually diagnosed Type 1 a week before my 22 birthday. Thankful that I missed out on some of the pain of diabetes in childhood but sometimes missing the common bonds the rest of you share.

Now off to check my stove again...

Bernard said...

Thank you for such an expressive post. It speaks for me more eloquently than I can myself.

Thanks for thinking of me as smart, though I don't deserve it.

I'm sorry I only got to it at nearly the end of the day.

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Great post.. Thanks for joining in today, you put this so well :)

Ashley said...

right on!

*sniffle* this is excellent. it made me tear up a little bit.

i found you on kerri's page, by the way! :)

Jennifer said...

Wow. I found your blog through Six Until Me. What an amazing post. It's so hard to express to people that taking shots or being hooked to the pump is the easiest part of diabetes. Your post expresses perfectly what the hardest part is, and the real reason we need a cure.

Donna said...

I thought for sure I was going to be the one linked to OCD! I like to call it "organized", too - but I guess it kind of means the same thing. LOL!

This was a great post. I remember the terms "sugar diabetes" & "brittle diabetes", too. It's amazing that I still hear people use those terms today. But that's what April 14 was for, wasn't it? People need to be educated about type 1 diabetes & you did a great job!

Araby62 said...

Beth--I love the OC, too :)The responses prove it!

Allison--Thanks and you're welcome. I think your cross-country move, advocacy work, and list of things to do & try all make you pretty brave, in my eyes :)

Jillian--I'm honored too :)

Kerri--Ha ha! I just knew you'd like it! You're much more than that, though, hope you know...just wanted to have a little fun!

Karen--Thanks so much for visiting. I love your blog and will add it to my 'must-read' list!

Scott--Thanks so much. I'm so glad you had time to read it.

Kathy--Thanks :) It's always a pleasure to see you out there.

Auntly H--Thanks for reading my blog! I appreciate the compliment :)

Sara--Oh, your comment got to me. You share all of the common bonds that matter, regardless of when you were diagnosed. Believe me when I say I'm so glad you did 'miss out' in childhood. Thanks for reading, and I loved your RYV post, too.

Bernard--You were one of the first to welcome me to the OC, so it's an honor to have you here. God bless you too :)

Seonaid--Thanks! I really liked your entry too; it was wonderful of you to speak for people who aren't 'out there' on the OC yet. Bravo!

Ashley--I'm so glad you liked it, and happy you stopped by because now I know about your own fabulous blog!

Jennifer--Thank you so much for stopping by, and your lovely compliment :)

Donna--Oh, it was a toss-up between you & Kerri...if I had a line about Diet Coke addiction, you know who would have been there ;-)

Seriously, though, it's always nice to see you out there. Thanks for reading my post!

George said...


That was awesome. I wish that could be on a billboard somewhere.

I wish I would not have missed it the other day. I am still catching up!