The World Health Organization defines ‘Health’ as the following:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
So to have a disease, according to this definition, would mean that those who have Type 1 diabetes would not be classified as healthy. And make no mistake about it, diabetes is a disease. No matter what we tell our kids or think to ourselves; it is not a merely a condition; IT IS a disease.
I have certainly seen that our kids (and adults) can do anything with diabetes. But the truth is that it can change almost instantaneously via a glycemic reaction, or worse yet in the future as we all know too well. We continue to strive toward better management and better caring for diabetes but we show the world two very distinct versions of our lives.
We say that the world does not understand what our children go through, what adults go through managing their diabetes, what we go through managing our children’s diabetes; but we also say do not call my child sick, my child can do anything, my child can conquer the world.
We encourage our kids to reach for the stars, but we go before many entities asking for funding to be increased and to continue to cure diabetes because of everything our children ‘go through’.
Now saying to a group of people who live as we do something along the lines of what I wrote above, well, we all get it. But what we show the rest of the world; well THAT message must surely be confusing TO THEM, don’t you think?
I write today not as someone who says there is an answer to whether our kids should be classified as ‘healthy’ or not. I write about this today so it becomes clear that if we as an entity, the diabetes community, are not in sync and cannot agree how to relay diabetes to the world, why are we so surprised that the world ‘doesn’t get it’?
Like I said, I have no answers to this; but I surely welcome your input. Thoughts?
I am a diabetes dad.
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