What Face of Diabetes Should We Show the World?

facesI saw a commercial recently that completely outraged me……you probably saw it and I am not going to share it again, you probably have seen it, and THAT commercial is not the point of today’s article.

I started to think of what WOULD be the commercial I would create?   What would it look like?  And it got me to thinking (and we always know how dangerous that is).  In a commercial, how would I represent diabetes?  What would it look like?

Unless you have a good amount of time with diabetes-out-of-control where you could see all of the various complications; is diabetes really something we can see?  I know as parents, we see it; and we see it in all of the stages it can present itself.  Quiet and perfect blood glucose numbers, an out of control monster in our kids via tantrums. headaches, vomiting, or in a lethargic person instead of a vibrant one.

Anyone who has diabetes will tell you that the goal is to get back into life.  School, the playing field, work, good times, or whatever it may be; get it in control and get ‘back out there”.

We know.  The world does not.  Not really. 

Recently I was in a conversation and the man I was speaking with had lost his wife.  After I had just told him that I have two children with type one, he continued in graphic detail about his wife’s last few years.

“I have two children.  Did you not hear me?”

No I didn’t say that, I listened.  Many experts have shared, at the numerous conferences I have attended over the years, that diabetes does not cause complications, diabetes-out-of-control causes complications.  This thought process always makes me want to ask; “How well did your wife take care of herself?”  But I didn’t.

That man knows that the face of diabetes is a horror story for him.  His wife lived with type one for a long time, in a different era. 

What does the face of diabetes look like?  It has many faces to the many who deal with it, live with it, and/or even treat it.  It has not one face, it has many faces.  We, as parents do not want to see the ugly truth of diabetes and what it can be as to protect our kids, at the same time we want to pull the curtain back so the world sees not only the sleepless nights and the battles that rages daily but also the fear of so many complications and even death. 

We want the world to see it but we are afraid to show it because our kids may see it also; it is the ultimate two-edged sword we battle every day.

So I continue my inner battle to figure out THAT PERFECT commercial.  Every hour that goes by, diabetes has a face to show.  Which one do we allow the world to see so they understand??????…..when I figure that out; I will surely let you know.

I am a diabetes dad

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

One reply on “What Face of Diabetes Should We Show the World?”

Thank you Tom for writing about this! I know that many of us families and adult pwd want to show the world a brave face and that “we got this.” While I do not disagree… I feel it is imperative the world knows what we are battling every day, what we must do day and night to “play pancreas.” Otherwise, how would the world begin to understand, care, or donate for a cure? We must squeak to get the oil! If our community is willing to keep our struggle to ourselves and keep up a brave face then we should get comfortable buckling up in the backseat.

As far as my daughter, I am comfortable with her learning all of the complications associated with uncontrolled diabetes as it becomes age appropriate.

Again…. thank you for bringing up this topic.

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