Wednesday nights at 9pm Eastern is the weekly Diabetes Social Media Advocacy twitter chat (#dsma). This week’s (3/7/2012) topic was about laughter and diabetes, and honestly it was a pretty damn funny chat!
One tweet caught my eye though during the closing remarks. I remembered reading it on my drive into work the next morning and it went something along the lines of
we shouldn’t allow diabetes to change us
While I can certainly understand the sentiment, I’m not sure that is a realistic, let alone fair, request for the vast majority of us.
** I’m speaking here as a Type 1 diabetic who has been changed by having diabetes, so my view may be a bit jaded, tho still humbly correct. 🙂
With the constant demands placed upon us by this disease, we must change in order to adapt to the incredible stresses placed upon us. Those around us will be changed as well and I think this change should be taken as part of the package. In fact, this would apply to any chronic condition.
If we don’t acknowledge the changes that are forced upon us, how will be we able to truly accept what diabetes is in relation to our life? I wonder if those of us struggling with the turmoil that a life long chronic condition brings would view that statement as being in the same vein as “complications, eh? guess you didn’t take good enough care, now did you?”
I’m sure it wasn’t meant that way but, as someone who has been at this for decades (and granted I have issues, lol), I see that statement as very naive in a fashion. “Just have a great attitude and it will be ok!”
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way, it’s not that clean cut. We will change because of the constant physical and mental stress that is placed upon us. We’re human. The financial and emotional stresses that accompany diabetes will take their toll. We’re human. As we go through different phases of our lives, there will be additional changes. We’re human.
As I’ve been exploring things with Morpheus, I’ve become convinced that not only are changes inevitable, they are normal and to be expected. As advocates our words can, and do, reach people that we don’t even know. I often wonder if the length of time a person has had their condition affects not only the perception of encouraging statements but also changes the statements we might make to more accurately reflect what we perceive as important and/or encouraging. So instead of the above phrasing, I think I might say
Diabetes will cause you to change. The trick is to accept those changes. Acknowledge them so you can roll them into the new you instead of those changes becoming the new you
© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com