IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY. All good crying, I swear. Watch this video – if you have type 1 diabetes, make sure you have tissues. Kim blogs at Texting My Pancreas and is one of my favourite diabetes bloggers. She is so eloquent, and the emotion that comes through in her voice truly reflects the truth of what she is saying. She has delved right into that part of herself where many of us with type 1 diabetes prefer not to go, and all my congratulations and hugs go to her, because that is a very hard and brave thing to do!
If you’re somewhere where you can’t watch it, Kim puts into words what many of us cannot. She talks about the hardest part of diabetes – not the needles or the inevitable complications (because sometimes diabetes doesn’t care how hard you try), but how diabetes makes us feel about ourselves. SERIOUSLY watch the video, if you’ve ever thought I’m too sensitive about diabetes jokes or think that I make diabetes “too big” of a deal, WATCH THE DAMN VIDEO.
There is no feeling like the one of living with this pervasive illness that we never get a break from. Ever.
Yet the people who make this possible, who make it possible to keep positive, happy, and hopeful, and live life to the absolute fullest, are the ones who we meet who have it as well, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t stretched out and found my diabetes family.
There’s Georgia, a diabetic friend who is also my housemate, and who only last night with my other awesome housemate calmed me down and threw out my bloody tissues while I bled like a freaking waterfall from an infected pump site (seriously it did not stop for a good five minutes). Someone who replies at the same time as me to our dietitian housemate’s question of “What do you guys do when you drink alcohol”, with “DRINK AS MUCH AS WE CAN”. please drink responsibly .
My diabetes camp family, who I’ll only see once or twice a year but who, for a week, make me feel totally normal again, where I’m just Georgie, not Georgie-who-has-diabetes. I can have hypos and no-one freaks out, and no questions are asked if I pee 10 times in one hour (“High?” “High” “Ew, you flush those ketones girlfriend”)
The people I’ve met through events, online, and fundraisers, who send me snapchats of them guzzling litres of water with the hashtag #ketones, or a photo of their 5.5 (#winningatlife #bowdowndiabetes #iamyourmaster).
OzDoc – the diabetes mums I’ve gained and the encouragement and support from these guys is amazing. There are no words.
Peer support, as Kim said in her talk, is as important as the insulin we take. Peer support literally saved my life, and it has to be valued by those in the healthcare profession. The psychosocial aspects of diabetes can (in my opinion) make or break you, and it’s only through engaging with other people like us and hearing “Me too”, that we can gain the strength needed to keep up that positivity we need to kick diabetes in the butt.