Monday, March 17, 2014

Good Luck with That . . . .

During our final dinner at JDRF Government Day last week Jeffery Brewer gave a speech that quickly brought tears to my eyes.  Parts of it have continued to run through my mind all week.  I know I don’t have this down word for word, but I wanted to share the gist what he said.

GoodLuckImagine your doctor diagnoses you with chronic illness.  He tells you “We have this medicine that you must take.  However, if you take too much it could be fatal.  On the other hand, taking too  little can, over time, lead to some very serious complications.  Also the amount you should take depends on what you are eating.  Your dose is also effected by factors such as stress, how much sleep you got, if you are getting sick, and the amount of physical activity you’ve done.  Further  more, you can eat the same things at the same times with the same amount of activity and take the same dose two days in a row, and the results can be completely different.  So . . . . good luck with that.”

If you are or care for a person with diabetes, you know that this is our life.  But I find I don’t really stop and think about it all that often.  When I go back and reread that paragraph I just typed, it sounds completely preposterous.  And yet, this is our lives with diabetes.  This is how hard we work every day, and how uncertain and fragile our management really is.  I’m not sure we give ourselves enough credit for all we do to stay healthy.  So today, I want to give you a huge pat on the back and tell you that YOU ROCK!

10 comments:

  1. Very true words. When I tell people about insulin and eating, I cover a little of the math, and then I tell them I can never expect it to work perfectly from day to day or meal to meal. And... I have to think about these things before every time I put something in my mouth. Thanks... you (obviously) rock too!

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  2. Thanks for this. Absurd. Yeah, good luck!

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  3. There is so much about Type 1 Diabetes that is hard to explain to others. You really on know if you live with it or care for someone who does. Nothing frustrates me more than when I give a pretty quick and thorough explanation like the one above and still get a very stupid or insensitive comment like, "Can't you just eliminate carbs from Hannah's diet?"

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  4. I cried during his speech, also! It was so inspiring; this bit that you posted made me laugh, because it's SO. TRUE. Our life with type 1 diabetes may not be glamourous, but there's always great people like you who make it sweet :)

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  5. And the fact that they "help" us adjust our rates or doses in 1 hour per year and we have to do the best we can the other 8764.81 hours, yeah, I'd say we all do a pretty darn good job. :)

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  6. I heard a similar comment during the until there is cure video and it hit the nail on the head like no other explanation! And it's scary to think of it that way.

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  7. I've never heard it put quite like this before. I am Type 2, and have at various times been able to go without meds, and now I'm on the insulin that you take once a day. On the insulin, my blood sugar runs between 80 and the very occasional 200+. Sometimes the reason for the discrepancy is obvious as in, baklava will do that to you. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. This is just part of the life of uncertitude we were all born to have. Ours is just a little bit more in-your-face about it.

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  8. Karen

    it has been way too long! Im thrilled you are still blogging about Diabetes on this site.
    My dear friend's 11 year old daughter was just diagnosed. They are scared silly

    kathy b

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  9. I really appreciated that story too. He put managing diabetes into shockingly understandable words.

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  10. Indeed, instead of stupid diabetes alert days, I think there needs to be a day to commemorate all the PWDs for doing as well as they do in spite of the downright shitty tools we have for accomplishing that Hurculean task. Instead, we're supposed to recite the line that diabetes is controllable, and if they control it, they will be fine, even though solid, replicated, and peer-reviewed data substantiating that lofty claim is in very short supply. In the absence of a cure, diabetes management is important to slow the progression and delay the onset of complications as much as possible, but we should not delude the public, or ourselves, that management is sufficient. At best, it is an inadequate treatment until a cure is found. We are partially to blame, we allow the image of diabetes to be seen as one of active, healthy people “managing their condition” with a “no problem” attitude. In other words, we have allowed diabetes to be portrayed a disease that is no more than a minor inconvenience, when in fact, its a MAJOR inconvenience and the reality is that even good management is no guarantee that complications will not happen. If diabetes was portrayed differently as something people wanted to avoid at all costs and the horrible things that could happen, the impetus for eradicating diabetes might change. Think for a moment what would happen if the campaign had announced, “Diabetes disables and kills. Only a cure can stop the suffering,” with pictures of a little boy leading his blind mother around a grocery store and a voice-over explaining that diabetes is suffering. The public would see diabetes as the enemy, as we see cancer and AIDS as enemies. They would worry that if it isn’t cured, it could happen to them, or to their children. Until we allow the reality to be portrayed instead of the happy face, we share in blame.

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