Monday, July 15, 2013

Being “The Rule” . . . . .

Most days, diabetes makes me feel like the “exception to the rule”.  In almost any social situation, I’m the only one who needs to check my blood sugar.  I’m the only one worried about the carb content and glycemic index of the food and beverages served.  I’m the only one who has to pause in the middle of a physical activity to treat a low and wait for it to come back up.  I’m the only one who runs to the bathroom dozens of times because a high blood sugar is making my bladder fill up faster than my twitter feed during a #dsma chat!  Most days I truly feel like I’m the exception and the rest of the world is the rule.

But for the last six days I was at Friends for Life, and a huge part of the magic for me is that I’m the rule, not the exception.  At FFL when I pop a 250+ blood sugar after breakfast, I can look around the room and know a bunch of others are fighting down a post-breakfast high with me.  If I run out of test strips, someone will probably have my back.  If I forgot my glucose tabs, just about everybody will have my back!  When it’s time to eat, each buffet item is beside an index card displaying the carb count.  Everywhere I look there are pumps clipped to clothing, CGM sensors peeking out from sleeves, tubing trailing down from waistbands, and fingertips rife with callouses.  If I need to vent and cry during a session it’s okay, because most of the room is venting and crying right along with me.  At Friends for Life, I just feel like everybody really understands because they are living it too.

BeenThere
Key chain tangled up in your pump tubing?  Yup, I’ve been there too!

It’s not always so bad being the exception.  These days I’m usually confident enough not to care that diabetes makes me different.  But sometimes?  Well sometimes it is just such a relief to be the rule.

12 comments:

  1. What is FFL? Can anyone be a part of this group?
    I am looking to be able to meet up with other diabetics. I do not know many other than on the DOC. If this is something I can be a part of please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Allison, FFL is short for Friends for Life, a conference organized by the group Children with Diabetes. It's their biggest conference of the year and held in Florida every July. They also organize some smaller conference through out the year too. They are all fantastic and are open to anyone who wants to attend. Here is the link to more info: http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/activities/.

      Delete
  2. So good to FINALLY meet you! Elise told me that she loved seeing all the grown-ups with pumps and CGMs because she knows she will be okay when she grows up. So thank you guys for being such awesome role models for my little girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness. My emotional self has eyes filled with water after reading this!

      Delete
  3. Karen, I love the "faster than my twitter feed during a #dsma chat!" metaphor. Glad you had a super week. Sorry I couldn't be there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love, love this post. The FFL Rules rule!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I completely forgot about the pump tubing/key chain! I feel like I never got a chance to sit & talk with you, but it was great seeing your beautiful face every day!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Karen I could not agree more with your post. It was so nice that everyone understands what each other is going through. I so enjoyed our time hanging out together and I know Duchess loved Pete as well. I am hoping to see you at FFL next year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fantastic post, Karen. You nailed why FFL is such an important event. I wish for everyone who deals with type 1 diabetes to be able to attend. I know it sounds cliche, but it's a life changer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome picture! That's a thousand great stories right there! (I've heard a few adult stories about pumps getting tangled in things that are way more interesting than those we have about our kids...) Even as a parent, I love being in a crowd that's beeping away. Looks fantastic - hope to make it some year!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love how you put that, being "The Rule". I KNOW that Ally has looked forward to being "The Rule" all year since our first FFL last year. The way that it made her feel was worth every penny of our efforts to get there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this post! I have loved hearing about people going to FFL this year...hopefully I can make it one year!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment. Due to problems with spammers, Comment Moderation has been enabled. Your comment will appear shortly!