Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Oh & I Will Bring the Dessert!
Happily, I have one qualified Endocrinologist who provides valuable & realistic guidance regarding my management of type 1 diabetes. Add to that, a team of co-pilots at the Diabetes Centre who provide additional valued guidance.
There seem to be a small group of folks that may appear to be “in training” for guiding in diabetes care that are concerned yet perhaps do not fully understand how diabetes works or how we may be feeling at certain times about hearing voluntary diabetes advice. I am sure that I am not alone when I say that there are days when with diabetes or another “365” health challenge, you just do not want to discuss your health plan. Please don’t get me wrong, I have unlimited enthusiasm & energy to advocate for JDRF or CDA or any positive diabetes related organization out there helping to improve the lives of those living with diabetes. It is really the practiced patience that takes place surrounding folks who may or may not know me or another person with diabetes very well come up & say, “oh you ate too much sugar so you should stop” or “you should exercise more” or “you have got to cut stress out of your life for your own good”.
If there is such a thing, I think I may be a wee bit of a feisty peacemaker. My heart smiles to help others & build communities & offer kindness. The feisty part comes in when I am passionate about something in life. Parents understand this…you know the “mama bear” thing that we have to protect our children. There are times I have found that needed the combination of “feisty peacemaking”. Maybe we could call it respectful assertiveness but it is bigger than that I find. I ask myself, do I want to make a choice to become agitated by the person who is likely offering their viewpoint out of care or do I want to make a different choice. The answer is a resounding, make a choice to engage my passionate side…the one that educates folks one at a time if need be about what living with diabetes is really like. It is replacing the misconceptions that still seem prevalent out there of “you ate too much sugar” or “oh you have diabetes so that means you can never eat sugar again”. Well, for those of us with type 1, a hundred years ago that would have been half correct…meaning that you had to go on a starvation diet just to buy a few more months of life or if you were very lucky maybe you lived after diagnosis for a year or 2. Thankfully, these are very different & inspiring & hopeful times that we live in today.
No, I did not eat too much sugar & did exercise & was an “energizer bunny” prior to diagnosis. It is great news to know that I did not do anything at all to cause my diabetes. It happened & I don’t ask myself why this happened to me either. You know what I tell myself instead? I say, it sure is great that if this disease has to exist that the diagnosis occurred after 1922. Also, I say to myself, almost every single person has some type of struggle. My choice is to make my diabetes inspire me & offer compassion to others whether they are being challenged with diabetes, another “365” health challenge or any other life challenge. As a community, we can stand together to educate others so that the misconceptions can be replaced with the truth. The misconceptions are like an ill-fitting, itchy hat…they have to go. It takes time, passion & the willingness for us each in our own way to hold our heads up high & peacefully educate/correct perceptions of diabetes out there in the “ether”. A mentor once told a group I was part of that “the mind is a fascinating machine that when fed small pieces of information then goes to work filling in the rest.” The mentor went on to say that unfortunately, the “filled in “ information aka speculations become reality for people…they really believe the filled in information to be true. Maybe this is what happened with diabetes information out there. The great news is that there is an “antidote” for that & it is education with passion…I like to call it “education on fire!”
Oh, and by the way, I have a neat example of sharing diabetes wisdom in the form of dessert. When I am invited to someone’s home & they say really from a kind heart, “oh you cannot have dessert, right.” That is where the smile comes & this, “oh, I love dessert…tell you what, I will make it & bring it!” Some people “say it with flowers”, yet I love to say it with “flour” …well & tea of course!
Be passionate, educate & say “bring the dessert” if that is your thing too!!
Smiles, Saundie J