Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Diabetes Awareness Month

Yesterday Faith, Ruby & I went to Green Acres Baptist Church to hear Daves Highway sing, and to educate people about Tyler Type One Diabetes Foundation.  We got to pass out literature to lots of people including several nurse educators, which should have a ripple effect and reach many type 1 (or future type 1) families.  We got to share Faith and Ruby's story with anyone curious enough to walk up and ask me why I had a dog with me at church. :)  I got to hang with my Type One mommy friends Margie and Susie.  For all of those reasons, it was a pretty great morning.

However, diabetes still managed to weasel its way in there and wreak havoc on my emotions.

Whenever someone would walk up to the table we would ask them if they'd like information on Type 1 Diabetes or if they knew anyone with Type One.  Several knew someone with diabetes, but didn't know what type they had, so we got to educate them on the differences between the types.  We tried to educate as many as possible about the symptoms of Type One in hopes that they'd recognize it if they ever knew someone that developed diabetes.  A couple people had family members who'd lived a long time with Type One.  One lady shared with us that her brother was an adult that had lived most of his life with Type One and that he was doing well.  As the mom of a Type One child it is always encouraging to hear those kinds of stories.  Another lady shared that her brother had lived with Type One and was not doing well at all.  Those are the stories I dread hearing.  Then there was this encounter...

A man and his wife walked up to the table and just stood there.  I excused myself from the conversation I was in and turned to them.  I said, "Hi, would you like information on Type One Diabetes?"  The man just stared at me with this strange look on his face.  He didn't say a word.  So, I said, "Do you know anyone with Type One?" It was then that I noticed tears welling up in his eyes.  He whispered, "yes, but she's dead" and walked away.  I wanted to run after him and ask him so many questions.  I wanted to hug him and say I was sorry.  I wanted to know about their Type One loved one.  BUT most of all, I'm ashamed to say, I wanted to know how and why.  When I hear a story of someone dying from Type One I selfishly want to hear that it was due to negligence on their part.  I want something that I can't point to and say, "Ok, THAT is why this happened.  If we do THAT differently then we'll be ok."  Sadly, a lot of the time there was no negligence and no way to prevent this hideous disease from taking a life.

Really what I want is for someone to tell me that it will never happen to Faith.  I want some guarantee that I won't ever be that person standing on the other side of Type One Diabetes, hating it so much yet wishing it were still a part of my life.

Because, until a cure is found, having my sweet Faith with me means having diabetes be a part of my life....and I'd MUCH rather live with it than without her.


  1. Yes, I feel the same way. After reading a paragraph writted by a mom who lost her type 1 child...the paragraph described that she misses type 1, she misses calling out to her boy to do a check as she sets dinner on the table...etc...I felt a little guilty for hating this disease.


    Great job educating the community. Joe and I and so very many appreciate all that you do. Together, we can all make a difference.


  2. I watch a show called D-Life. It airs on Sundays, so I record it and watch it after my daughter goes to bed. Recently, Michelle Alswager was on the show, talking about the loss of her son to Type One. I stopped the show and couldn't get to my daughter's room fast enough - I wanted to make sure she was okay. I felt so awful for the woman on the TV, and yet I couldn't help wondering what I could do to prevent it happening to my daughter. It really shook me out of my complacency... Things had been going so well that I'd almost lost sight of the danger we really are in, all the time. I can't afford that luxury... gotta stay diligent. Like Michelle said, we don't want diabetes to define our kids, but it does.

  3. Ugh, Kimberly, I remember hearing about Jesse Alswager. I cried all day. I manage to keep "those" thoughts pushed to the back of my mind until I hear of a family losing their Type 1 child. I hate hearing those stories.


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