Two weekends ago I attended The Betes Organization’s event, "The Patient Voice". I went on behalf of (and with assistance by) DiabetesSisters, and I was excited to see other members of DiabetesSisters and of the DOC.
But, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure I’d “get” the event itself. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and supported the idea of the event, which was to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers. I watched Marina’s interview on TuDiabetes and was blown away by her passion and enthusiasm. But the thing is, although I do have intermittent sparks of creativity, overall I don’t consider myself a very creative person. So I was concerned I might not connect with the puppetry. I was afraid the whole thing would kind of go over my head.
I could not have been more wrong.
The first performance piece involved a heavy box and The Betes (hand)puppet. From the minute Marina took the stage, I was drawn right in. I laughed. I nodded. I choked back tears. I sang along with everyone in the room. That sounds corny, right? But somehow, it wasn’t. We all sang together about the weight of carrying diabetes (a la The Beatles) and it was amazing. And this is coming from someone who DOES NOT sing.
The second half was part of a new piece being created entitled “The Elephant in the Room”. It deals with complications. Emotionally, I didn’t react quite as deeply to this piece, probably because I haven’t really dealt with any complications (yet). But it still resonated with me quite a bit. Complications are a thing many of us don’t even want to thing about, much less openly discuss, so to see work being done the change that and the open the doors? It was wonderful.
During the discussions that followed, I came to understand that these pieces seemed to touch different people in different ways. Patients, healthcare providers, caregivers - what we saw meant different things to each of us. But in the end, I believe we all were impacted by what we saw on stage and I think each of us left feeling a little bit closer to one another.
And in the end, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?