Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Today is the 6th Annual D-Blog Day and this year's theme is to write about six things you want people to know about diabetes. This is my first year participating and I am so excited to be a part of education!!
So, here goes my six things:
1. Diabetes is not a death sentence. My child is not dying, she is not fragile, she is not a charity case...she is a growing, well-adjusted little girl that has a chronic disease. Does this suck for her? Yes. Is it the end of a normal life for her? No. Does it make her different? Everyone is different from someone else...no two people are the same so sure, she's different. But diabetes is not the ONLY thing that makes her different from you or anyone else.
2. Yes, there are in fact two types of diabetes. Lily has Type One or Juvenile Diabetes. Just to keep it simple...her pancreas is useless. It is broken. She needs insulin in order to live. Insulin is not a cure but it is her lifeline. Type 2 Diabetes can often be controlled with diet, exercise and medication. Some Type 2's take insulin as well. A Type 2 diabetic can still make insulin though, a Type 1...cannot.
3. Can you catch diabetes? No, you can't. When Lily was first diagnosed, I had a playdate at the house and the mom asked me if her daughter could "catch the diabetes." I didn't know whether to burst into tears or smack her. Lily had only been diagnosed a month...tops. I explained that it is not a virus that can be caught. I left it at that and never invited them over again. I wish I would get that same question now when I am not so defensive and sensitive. I would love to explain what diabetes is and what it means for us.
4. No, I did not give Lily diabetes by feeding her too much sugar. You cannot give someone diabetes, as previously stated. Diabetes just happens. It happens whether you fed your child all organic food or only processed food. It happens whether you breastfed or didn't breastfeed. It happens whether you gave them gluten or gluten free. And it happens whether you had a home birth, a birth under water, or one in a damn tree. It happens. I constantly hear people try to explain to me why Lily probably got it. I still get defensive about this because I am her mother and I am responsible for her. I am not, however, responsible for her getting diabetes. Just like my mother is not responsible for me having PMDD (really bad PMS basically). She was dealt a hand of cards that we didn't necessarily want but got. It's life. It's our life and it is still a pretty darn good one!
5. Diabetes is not NO big deal. Every time she eats, pricks her finger, runs, plays, jumps, swims, cries, dances, does a cartwheel, and so on, it is a reminder to her and to us that we live with diabetes every second of every day.This is why we choose to remain POSITIVE. It is very easy to stay depressed with diabetes. It is always in your face. It's okay to hate it but it doesn't make it go away. Lily carries this on her shoulders at all times. She quietly reminds me to make sure she got her bolus (insulin at meals or snacks), she quietly makes sure I have trained the parents of friends if I am leaving her there to play, she is always aware of the pump she wears 24/7 on her tiny frame. It never leaves us, it does not sleep, it does not take a vacation...and neither can her "pancreas" which is a combination of Lily, her mom, her dad, and her sister...or anyone that loves and cares for her.BUT...as stated in #1, she is not an unhealthy, frail child. This has helped to mold her into the strong, creative person she is. Diabetes is a collaborative effort for a family. We all have it.
6. Lily can eat whatever she wants. If she is at a birthday party, please don't hold back on the cupcake or the sprinkles. If there is a special occasion at school, call and let the parents know but don't single my child out by skipping over her at snack time. This is the most common myth I have heard from day one. I believed it too before we thrown onto this path of life. Diabetics CAN EAT SUGAR!!! Lily can eat whatever she'd like as long as it is counted for accurate carbs and she is given the appropriate amount of insulin. Cupcake? Sure! Just let her give herself insulin. She can have candy, ice cream, chocolate syrup, you name it! Do I give it to her often? Once a day. That's the rule in our house for everyone, diabetes or not. One dessert a day. I feel like if I deprive her of sweets, she will end up hiding out to eat them and that can cause many problems down the road. So we take the approach of everything in moderation. It works for my family.
So, that's my six things for D-Blog Day! I hope I have educated at least ONE person on diabetes and what life is like with it!
Posted by Kimberly at Tuesday, November 09, 2010