I had a great conversation with someone recently, during my travels, that was incredibly enlightening. “Ed” was diagnosed when he was 22, he is now around 35. He told me that his diabetes is in very good control and he wears an insulin pump and a cgm.
When speaking of my kids and my involvement, he stated that it was commendable at the level of our involvement and he stated that he really did not see the need to be involved with any diabetes charitable organization. I saw this as an opportunity for me to learn.
I asked him why.
He stated that there was enough people out there doing what needed to get done. His little push would not accelerate the research for a cure and the pharma companies will continue research and development as long as THEY THINK they can capture a bigger piece of the diabetes financial pie.
I asked him if he would allow me to ask a few blunt questions. I made it clear that my tone would not be to challenge but to learn. He said, “fire away”.
I stated if we all felt that way that nothing would get done to which he replied that someone would always feel the need to ‘do something’. Life gave him a curve ball of which he was not very happy. He shared that he spent his ‘diabetes time’ on how to best take care of himself which was a full-time job in itself. If he learned, and learned enough to keep him healthy, he stated that should be enough to ask of one person. It is a different perspective if you have it than if you have a loved one with it, he explained.
He was older when he was diagnosed. He stated that if he was younger and watched as his parents did as many of us ‘did with the diabetes Charites’ we supported, he might feel differently. But he didn’t and the focus, for him, has always been to take care of himself. I asked him about ‘giving back’.
(Here is where I listened very carefully)
He stated that he gives his money to (he named the) charity. And he supports the same charity with time as well. And a good deal of time. He had a loved one with whom he was very close who was taken by that disease. It had nothing to do with diabetes.
“I’ll be fine (with diabetes), they need more help than I do so I help them.”
I thanked him for his answers and I truly did not see the need to convince him otherwise. He took care of himself, he gave to a cause that interest him, and he gave of himself. When I asked him again about diabetes causes, he said that having the disease means he has to deal with it 24/7—-that was how he supported it.
Cure? Technology? Camps? Those less fortunate? He stated that he would leave that for others who had/have a loved one with diabetes. His emotions were only tied in diabetes to care for it in himself. Which he does.
The discussion was enlightening. The man took care of his diabetes; gave to the philanthropic cause of his choice and also gave time to the same charity.
As we parted ways, a voice inside told me that I had a problem with what I heard; but another voice stated that I don’t have a problem with what I heard.
I ask you; as I do often, what do you think? Please answer here by ‘replying-at-this-site’ so all can see (this gets posted in many different places).
I am a diabetes dad.
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