At the Friends for Life conference, there are always a number of celebrities here. This year, they include Crystal Bowersox, Jay Hewitt, Charlie Kimball, Kendall Simmons to just name a few (I’m sorry (not really) there are no hyperlinks, but I’m typing this on my tablet and they are just too cumbersome to insert).
I think it is fantastic that these individuals take the time to visit with the folks here, meeting real people who have reached the pinnacle of their area is a great spot of inspiration for all of us here.
These individuals have achieved things that are incredible for any person, let alone a diabetic. The did it despite their diabetes.
Despite their diabetes.
That is one of those thin lines. “Despite your diabetes” seems to be how they are portrayed in the media… Almost like they were given an extra couple of strokes in a round of golf. That has always bothered me, that perception by the public. I certainly don’t want pity, but at the same time we all deal with things on a day-to-day basis that suck.
Here at FFL, there is more of a “He/She is diabetic just like you! They did it and so can you!’ That is an important lesson and as we learn more and more and the tools become better and better, it becomes more and more possible.
As our kids achieve more and more, we run into another thin line.
This line is the one where the diabetes community needs inspiration from these individuals and yet the community must still portray diabetes as the serious and deadly condition that it truly is.
We see these incredible individuals testifying before Congress, testifying about the serious nature of diabetes while they embody the the pinnacle of human endeavor. How hard is it to truly portray the serious nature of diabetes having achieved all that? Despite the seeming paradox there, I am grateful that they do it.
Why don’t we see more of the mothers who are diabetic, who struggle for months and months (or longer) to prepare for pregnancy and then bring a beautiful child into this world. They have accomplished something wonderful. Something that many believed, not too long ago, they weren’t supposed to do.
Despite their diabetes.
DIabetic parent’s in general can bring an extra set of worries to the family. Will we stay healthy enough to be able to provide for them. Will an employer have any type of health insurance or life insurance. Will we be able to provide for our children’s future? Will we be able to give them a better life than we had.
Will we give our children or grandchildren diabetes?
We seem to hear a lot about how terrible diabetes can be, at least on the physical aspects, for children.
Once we “grow up”, we will still have the physical burden of diabetes. Plus the “normal” day to day of life, work, family, taxes. Plus the extra burden of the financial aspects of diabetes; the refills, health insurance, appointments.
Then we can add in all the worry that all those “things” can bring. The incredible physical, mental, and emotional stresses that diabetes seems to bring along with it doesn’t stop parents from loving their children, wanting them to be safe, happy and healthy. To have it better than they did. Being a role model for being a good person, for persevering to overcome and live a life.
Despite our diabetes.
These are the people who can tell you about both sides of those thin lines… the thin line we walk between inspiration and showing how to cope. And also showing it’s ok to be upset about it from time to time.
Because of our diabetes.
Disclaimer: I personally paid for all expenses involved in attending Friends For Life, including plane tickets, registration, hotel, and food. I was not asked to blog about the event, and all opinions are my own.
© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com