I was thrilled to hear John Lasseter discuss how his son’s life with diabetes was an influence on a character (Elsa) in his smash film, Frozen. I have, for over 20 years, called T1 Diabetes, the Snowflake Disease. And for some reason, the two now ‘just seem correctly connected’.
My term, Snowflake Disease has always been a real good teaching tool for me when I have lectured and when I have written, and also have remembered when I needed it. It has many meanings that are important to remember as we go through life with the new normal, called diabetes.
The first meaning is that diabetes is not the same in any two people. They are as different as….well…..snowflakes (get it? cute, huh?). This is such an important thing to remember. Because something that works for one person does not mean that it will work with someone else. I have always found it so interesting to ‘watch’ debates happen online over management aspects because the simple rule is, your child’s diabetes is not my child’s diabetes. With the exception of something so outrageous that it is a unified no-no, discussions of differences should be minimum, at best, because something that impacts my child may impact your child very, and completely, differently.
This is crucial as you seek advice. You can ask a question and get 5 different answers……all are correct…..BUT IN THAT child’s life. Remember that point.
The second meaning, and I have said this before; you can live second-by-second on one day wearing even the same clothes as you do on the next day; and the way diabetes reacts can be completely different. Many times, a parent will write that their child ate ‘such-and-such’ and their child’s number spiked. Why? Got an hour for an explanation?
There are so many factors, some of which are not completely understood, on what impacts diabetes on a daily basis. Again, different from Monday to Tuesday; no matter what you do—–like snowflakes.
So what do we do? Well for one thing be ready. I have often thought that the people who do best in dealing with diabetes are the ones that roll with everything. You cannot do anything when ‘things happen’, but you can surely do something about how it impacts you.
Every time you get behind the wheel of your car, you have no idea what will enter your path and you adjust as you drive. Diabetes? Not SO DIFFERENT that we can’t adjust, speed up, slow down, move left and move right as needed.
Some times we feel so alone that it seems like a cold dark corner in our frozen world of diabetes. Knowing that it will get better in time and that it can be different from one day to the next will help us see THAT WARM sunlight will return again. Remember; snowflake; different all the time. Roll with it and “let it go” and you too will say……the cold never bothered me anyway!!!!!
I am a diabetes dad.
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