A while back, Rob and Kaitlyn were discussing something about their diabetes. The conversation was theirs, and I will not reveal it, but I will say that what Kaitlyn said I could never say. I have often wondered if people who have diabetes have a language all their own. Or, at least, a ‘pass’ to say certain things to each other that unless you have it also, you could never say; or WOULD never say.
I guess in any ‘community’ there is language that can be shared that if you are not in that community; you either don’t know, or have no right to speak in a certain way.
We, as parents, have the same inferences I’m sure. Terminology such as shots, injections, site changes, ‘high’, and so on would mean things completely different said in…….say….. a supermarket rather than said within a group of parents.
With parents, I believe, there is also an entire unsaid dialogue. A set of understanding events that only we know, feel, and worry about. These are the pitfalls of diabetes. The things we do not address out loud and know in our hearts. The things that ‘could happen’. But don’t fool yourself for one second…….not one……if you have a child that is allowed to ‘go online’……they have already checked it out.
Your child knows those things too. Don’t think they are not FULLY AWARE of the things that WE don’t say out loud. Yeah, THOSE things. Complications. Death. Life expectancy. Future. Yeah, I’ll say them…….because they know too. They have known for a long time.
Did I just put a pit in your stomach?
But what should excite you, and make you smile, is that despite all of those things your child, or kids, who have T1 catapult forward in this life. They are not beaten down with the things that could happen, they live with the things that will happen. As I have quoted my daughter a million times; “I have diabetes, diabetes is not who I am.”
One of my favorite sayings ever.
Diabetes is not who they are and MAKE SURE you have given them every bit of education possible. Make sure they are ready.
After one our performances in NYC, we had a high school theatre group at the show who had a Q&A with the cast afterwards. While everyone was speaking ‘pie-in-the-sky’ about the ‘business’; my friend and wonderful actor Glenn Taranto (Gomez-The New Addams Family etc.) hit them right between the eyes by telling them that they should not come to NY until they are ready. Until they have done their homework. Until they have everything they needed to move forward. And if they have not done it yet, they don’t belong in a place where everyone else HAD done their due diligence. It was the brutal truth. I never forgot his words and his delivery…….he was 1000% correct.
WE don’t belong in a place where everyone else HAS done their due diligence.
And the brutal truth is that we MUST keep teaching ourselves so our kids keep teaching themselves. We MUST do our due diligence in diabetes education. We MUST pass it on to our kids. They MUST learn to do it for themselves as they get older. Make sure they are ready. If you are NOT READY…..do you really expect them to be? Because if you don’t know, they never will. SO LEARN. TEACH.
You cannot BEAT something unless you know it inside and out. Diabetes cannot win and you must do everything in your power to make that come to pass. And that is a dialogue we can all understand; should understand.
I am a diabetes dad.
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